Monday, April 23, 2012

Preparing for Childbirth

I wanted my husband to become more involved with my pregnancy. Now don't get me wrong, he was over the moon when we first found out that I was pregnant. He was so eager to get ready for the baby and incredibly supportive with the whole thing. Eventually though, work caught up with him. My husband is a cinematographer, he shoots films and commercials and there are times when I won't see him for days. When he comes home from a shoot, he is usually so tired that no matter how many times I thrust baby books and websites his way, he just cannot read them.

We thought it would be a good idea to join a birthing class. It will give him a more active role in my pregnancy and we'll both benefit from the class. We spoke with some friends who are new parents and they recommended we take Rome Kanapi's Preparation for Childbirth class in Quezon City. And that's exactly what we did.

Rome Kanapi. She's a certified instructor of childbirth classes and has been teaching them since the late 80's. It was extremely difficult for us to get a slot in her class because we had called so late so I had to beg her to squeeze us in. Fourteen couples, five Sundays, 8 a.m. until noon.

My husband and I in the middle and Rome is in violet, standing, at the far right.

For expectant parents, I urge you to take childbirth classes like this. We learned so much and the whole experience was very rewarding. Just some of the things that we picked up from the classes are:

1. Various exercises and ways you can ease discomfort during pregnancy
- Not just pain management during the delivery but how to deal with those back pains, the correct way to postpone childbirth with breathing, plus relaxation techniques you can still practice even after giving birth.

2. Tips, tips, tips
- An endless stream of tips, and some aren't even from Rome! We picked up so many tips from other couples like the best kinds of diapers and bottles or the best websites to check out for great baby deals. We even compared hospital rates!
- Rome also advised us on the baby essentials. Nowadays there are so many products to choose from and it can get real confusing. She was able to point out which ones are the most important and which ones we could do without. She was a practical teacher and made sure that we were realistic with the costs of having a baby. Her best tip? Borrow whenever possible!
- Do you know the right way to help a pregnant woman rise from bed? If your wife is about to give birth, do you go to the ER or the labor and delivery department? We thought we had the answers to questions like these, good thing Rome was able to correct us!

3. What to do after delivery
- From the right way to pick a baby up, give her a bath and how to put on those cloth diapers

We covered a lot of ground in a surprisingly short amount of time. Initially, I thought that 5 Sundays was too long but towards the end I felt like it wasn't enough! What made the waking-up-early-on-a-Sunday worth it was the fact that my husband really enjoyed himself. He felt more confident and better prepared to be a parent and he was even more excited about the baby than ever before. He spoke with the other daddy-to-be's at the classes and they joked and laughed and bragged about their babies. 

Some of our classmates have probably given birth by now and are practicing the lessons we've picked up from Rome's classes. Very soon, we will too :)

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