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!

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