When I was thinking about writing the course content and what to include in The Parenting Company's Antenatal classes, it got me thinking how important each area was! With such a huge subject to teach, and with limited time, what would people want to learn, how would I structure the course and what information would adequately prepare them for their births and becoming a Parent.
I came across a research paper published in the midwifery journal that highlighted my concerns. It was looking at prenatal education classes and how well prepared they made expectant parents feel for their birth and becoming a parent. It concluded that couples felt more prepared for childbirth following prenatal education classes than they did for the early parenting period.
Now, obviously the first thing that expectant parents want, is to be fully informed for the huge and very important event that is fast approaching...your baby's birth. I mean, it comes first after all! It is the unknown, a process that, as a woman 'we' have to go through, even feeling a little scared and very excited all at the same time. As professionals we are very good at reducing these fears and through good antenatal care, parent education and labour care we inform, educate and support you both for this event.
And then what happens...…. We don't need a qualification in parenting to become a parent, we don't need to meet a guru and be signed off to be able to take our baby home but we are almost expected to 'know what we are doing' when we do finally leave our chosen birth place. And then the fun begins…….
This helped me decide the direction of teaching for The Parenting Company. Obviously, birthing is a ‘must’ to learn, as you want to know what coping strategies there are for birthing or what happens when your waters break and you don’t start to contract or even when to come into your chosen birth place. But as important as it is, what the first days will bring, who is there to support and help you, what does your hospital trust provide in terms of care during the first few weeks. What happens to you and your body, your relationship, practical parenting tips, is your baby in a safe sleeping environment but to name a few.
Becoming a parent is the most emotional roller-coaster you will ever ride, but don’t worry we can do it together x