Thursday, September 19, 2013

Are Antenatal Classes worth it?

The title above was exactly what I googled before signing up for an Antenatal Class.
I mean, I consider myself very well-informed, getting information from Mr Google, online forums, pregnancy books, every way I can think of. I know all about episiotomy, colostrum, effacement, placenta previa, all of that hoo-haa vocabulary of pregnancy.

The big question is, do I still need an Antenatal class that tells me what I already know, PLUS I have to pay for it? (okay, we can claim it from our medical aid but from the medical savings portion).

Firstly I requested for more information on the classes, and this is what I got from Panorama Breastfeeding Clinic.

After weeks of contemplating, I decided to go for it, more for Lecture 3 and 4 which I would prefer them to show me themselves, and also for hubby to get more information about childbirth since he does not have the time to read the books due to his workload at the office.

My, my! What an eye-opener the class has been! We started our first class at Panorama Breastfeeding Clinic when I was 27 weeks and it was so beneficial, even for someone who is already well-informed.
The ladies managing the classes are amazing! Friendly, warm and very approachable from the very first step into the clinic. This made such a difference to the way the classes are conducted. They made the classes enjoyable and informal, which in return made the attendees feel very at ease asking questions. Any questions are readily answered. There is also no pressure on which delivery options you eventually choose, which I find very respectful as I know of some mom who does not want to attend classes because they don't want to be put in the spot.

The contents of the classes are also very informative, I learnt so much more than what I would have with hours of reading recommended books eg "What to expect when you are expecting". It is also very personalised in the way they tell you how the labour ward of Panorama Mediclinic works, what is available for your use, what your rights are, what you can request for, what is optional vs routine procedure. These are things that you can't read from books as it depends on the hospital you are in.

I am so glad we decided to attend the classes. Hubby is so much more informed, and I feel more ready for the delivery of baby. Also, it forced me to watch the delivery video, which I think is very important as by knowing, you learn to overcome your fears. My options for delivery also changed after the classes, by being more well-informed.

Overall, I very strongly recommend you to go to Antenatal Classes, especially the one from Panorama Breastfeeding Clinic if this is your first pregnancy, and even more so if you are giving birth at Panorama Medi-Clinic. Added plus is your partner will understand as much as you do, so you can just relax and concentrate on pushing the baby out!

The price for the classes are at ZAR250 per class, total of 4 classes. There are some that come to only specific classes though, not sure if that was intentional.

Trust me, it is worth the money you spend. (We were able to claim it back from our medical aid, albeit from the medical savings).

Thank you so much Anelle, Delena and Anna-Marie!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Week 26 Day 5 - Baby Items

So, I am now almost 27 weeks, almost the start of my third trimester. 13 more weeks to go!
How time flew!
I have researched and find out prices for almost everything that is recommended for babies.
From breast pumps to bath tubs to nasal aspirators. I guess it's in my genes to look for something good, yet reasonably priced. Is it worth the extra $$? Is second hand items good enough? Prefolds or all-in-ones?

I am proud to say that I have been pretty good in not going crazy about shopping for the baby. In fact, the items are still countable. These are what we have so far for baby :

1. Cot
It was in the plans that we will get a camp cot instead of the traditional wooden cot after much research. Reason is that it's easy to pack, and the cost is also so much more reasonable, at around ZAR1k each. It usually comes with changing surface, mobile hanging over cot and useful pockets.
However, a friend of ours has been so kind to offer us their wooden cot and it looks so beautiful. So we decided to use that for now to see how it goes. I'm sure it will be wonderful. 

Baby cot standing in almost-empty room
2. Carry cot
We have decided to not get a travel system, and will get a car seat on its own. I will also be doing baby carrying on carriers. That is the plan for now, at least we can decide if it's feasible when baby comes than to rush to get a whole bulky travel system. Without a pram, this carry cot will be useful when we bring baby to friend's houses, especially when baby is born in summer there will be more outings.
However, must carry cots available in the market (Graco, Chicco, Chellino, etc) are very small in size. I think they can only fit for only 1 month! We looked further and found only a few boutique brands like Treehouse sells these big ones. It is almost the width of the wooden cot. I will also be putting baby to sleep in this carry cot, placed in the wooden cot for the first few months. He should fit until at least 3-4 months.
We bought this second hand through Gumtree. It is stil in very good condition, and we got it for R250. The retail price for the same-sized carry cot is ZAR800-900.

Carry cot

3. Boppy Nursing Pillow
I am determined to breast feed my baby, so this to me, is one of the essentials of breastfeeding. As we do not have any comfortable chair in the house, I think it will also help a lot to get into a comfortable position for me and baby. It can also be used for propping, tummy time and sitting when baby gets a bit older. I was eyeing at Boppy brand, as it has quite good reviews.
I finally decided to make the plunge when on one of my visit to Babycity Milnerton, they had a special price tag on it for ZAR399 from usual price of ZAR499. However, there are not many patterns left, so I got the best I could find. Luckily I did get it, because I eventually found out that the special was actually over, they just forgot to take the tag out. I still managed to get the special price anyway :-)

My Boppy pillow still in packaging

With washable cover

4. Lamaze Freddie the Firefly
Yes, even with toys I am selective. I want toys that has a reason to be there, not just because it is a cute teddy bear. I quickly found out that this particular firefly sensory toy has been quite a hit with babies of a few months old.

"Featuring multiple textures, colours and sounds to keep your baby captivated and entertained, this plush Lamaze Freddie the Firefly features a peek-a-boo mirror, squeaker, clinking rings, teether and crinkle features for your baby to discover. This item is also machine washable."

I got it the same day I bought my Boppy Pillow, at ZAR129.99 at Babycity.

Freddie spreading his wings

Freddie's features

5. Naartjie Jersey
Lastly, it's baby's first jersey! Me and Ian was walking around in a mall, when we saw a famous kiddy clothes shop Naartjie having a big sale. Ian saw a similar baby jersey to what he was wearing, selling for 70% off. Being an excited daddy as well, he was tempted to get it, but I reminded him that baby is going to be a summer baby, a jersey might be too warm for him to wear. At least he decided to get a 6-9 months old sized, but they don't have it in shop so it had to be ordered. When I picked it up two weeks later, the jerseys had a further 20% off the marked price. At last we bought it for around R80 something, although baby will have to wait to be able to wear it!

Excited daddy cannot wait to wear this with his son!

And yes, that's all the things we got for baby so far. Of course, there are still things waiting in Malaysia for baby, thanks to my sister Shu-Yin. There will be a baby carrier, breast pads, swaddlers, and lots more. Shu-Yin also gave me a box of creams when I first found out I was pregnant in Malaysia (which I forgot to blog about!)

Although I have not bought much, I already know what items I want, so I am just looking out for nice second hand ones or any good deals.
I am getting excited now, can't wait to meet baby!