Planning for the arrival of your little one is an exciting process. During this time, you focus on putting together everything that your new baby will need. It is also a time for learning and preparing together with your spouse or partner and family.
From books and magazines to websites and forums, there are countless sources of information that expectant mums can turn to. Still, nothing beats the wealth of knowledge that comes from hands-on experience and advice from experts.
The Mount Elizabeth Hospital Childbirth Education Programme is a great boon to soon-to-be parents thirsting for valuable and practical information. The programme’s sessions are best started 8 to 10 weeks before your baby is due, and involve topics covered under the hospital delivery process.
Here are some of the valuable things that mums and dads can gain from the programme, as shared by Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital’s trainer and senior lactation consultant, Yasa Yong Nyuk Yin.
1. You learn to anticipate the changes that are coming and how to handle them
With pregnancy comes changes to your body, and you will need to make adjustments—from your food to the amount of physical activity you get, even sleeping positions.
Antenatal classes can teach you how to eat wisely and stay fit and healthy during pregnancy. You also learn how to strengthen your pelvic floor after delivering a baby through Yogilates exercises with an experienced physiotherapist.
High blood pressure, diabetes, and other health risks are also discussed during the classes. You will learn signs to watch out for and what actions to take, if need be, during certain emergencies, according to Yasa Yong Nyuk Yin.
Sessions on pregnancy preparedness can also help with the emotional changes that may come with pregnancy. You’ll learn how to manage stress during your first months as a parent, and the typical characteristics and behaviours of newborns, like fine hairs, skin rashes, and soft spots on the head.
2. You meet new people and gain confidence in yourselves as parents
The Mount Elizabeth Hospital Childbirth Education Programme provides you with a great opportunity to make friends and interact with fellow soon-to-be parents.
It can be a relief to speak with someone who is going through similar things as you are and who shares similar concerns. Knowing you are not alone in finding answers to your pregnancy and parenting questions can boost your confidence in yourself as a new mum.
You can expect to be in a group of up to 12 couples for these classes, shares Yasa Yong Nyuk Yin. All sessions take place on Saturday mornings, and light breakfast is served to the participants. The classes are broken down into three sessions to be completed within one month.
3. You learn about your birthing options
Childbirth education classes aim to educate mothers on the different arrangements for labour and birth that are available – Normal delivery, assisted birth and Caesarean Section.
The signs and symptoms of labour and when to go to the hospital are also discussed in the course, along with an orientation on stem cord blood banking, a way of storing potentially life-saving cells that could be used later on to treat certain illnesses not only in the child but in his or her siblings.
When you know what your choices are, it will be easier for you to make informed decisions when coming up with your own birth plan.
Check out three more ways mums can benefit from the Mount Elizabeth Childbirth Education Programme on page two.