Sunday, March 4, 2012

Daddy Does Antenatal

Tomorrow afternoon we have our fourth and final antenatal class.  This is a shame for two reasons:

1.  I will have to stay at work all day on future Mondays, rather than sloping off early.
2.  I've actually been quite enjoying them, contrary to what all the men who had already attended them said.

I don't think antenatal classes are really designed around men (and rightly so, of course.  The only time that should change is if the premise of that Schwarzeneggar travesty 'Junior' ever comes true) but I wanted to go along.  As a man I've found that the best way for me to feel like I'm not completely fucking useless during the pregnancy is to be around for everything that I can, just in case it turns out I can be helpful.

Weeks one and two were about, respectively, labour and pain relief.  Most of week one was spent talking about that woman on TV recently who whipped up a tasty placenta smoothie following the birth.  No-one in our group was planning on doing anything similar, surprisingly.  Week two was primarily happy recollections of the psychotropic side effects of various pain meds.  Both these weeks there were more women than men, but a pretty good showing from the Y chromosome camp.  Not so in week three.

A Knitted Boob

Breast feeding!  You'd think the men would be (figuratively) all over that, no?  It's tits innit.  But there were only four guys this time.  Perhaps the midwife had put the rest off by mentioning that there would be ACTUAL BABIES coming along.  Luckily, as an expectant dad, I quite like babies, so I was looking forward to meeting them.  Maybe it was something else.  Had the men, like my wife, somehow misinterpreted "there'll be some new mums coming along to talk about it" as "there'll be some new mums coming along to give a demonstration of breastfeeding while you all sit, watch and take notes"?  I don't know but, whatever the reason, men were thin on the ground.

It's a shame, as I've found that the midwife running our classes has been informative, very good at putting people at ease and (importantly for me) keeping the men involved.  So all credit to her for being great.  Tomorrow is the final instalment; complicated labours.  I'll definitely be there, and I'll be as participative as I can, I really hope my fellow dads will be joining me.

What were your experiences of antenatal classes?  Were they useful?  Did you make friends?  We're being encouraged to go for coffee after the class, am I going to be the only man there?

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