A to Z of topics at Childbirth Education Classes

“Birth is a day you will never forget. A day that will transform you, your baby and your family. I have had the opportunity to be with women and men to celebrate their greatest joys. I have had the honour of watching women being born as mothers, men being born as fathers and families birthing themselves in pleasure and power! You deserve to give birth with dignity, love and pleasure!” – Debra Pascali-Bonaro

A = Anatomy and physiology of the female reproductive system. Understanding how and where this pregnancy is actually happening
A = Apgar scoring. The baby is accessed at 1 minute and 5 minutes after birth and given a rating of its condition

B = Breathing techniques. A coping skill for managing the pain during labour
B = Breastfeeding – the normal, natural way to feed a baby
B = Birth plan. How to write it and what your expectations are for your labour and birth. A way to convey your desires for your birthing experience to your healthcare professionals
B = Bag packing for labour and what items are helpful to have with you

C = Changes to mom’s body physically and emotionally during pregnancy and how to cope with these changes
C = Coping skills for labour.
C = Caesareans. Knowing the high risk of caesars in the private sector in SA standing at 69% as well as when caesars should and shouldn’t be done

D = Dad’s role in this process of pregnancy
D = Discomforts during pregnancy and how to cope with them as well as understanding why they occur

E = Episiotomies. How to decrease your risk of an episiotomy using perineal massage during pregnancy
E = Eating and drinking during labour. This should be routinely allowed for a woman who is low-risk
E – Evidence based information – where and how to access this information and what evidence says to the different questions during labour

F = Forcep delivery. How to decrease your risk of needing an assisted birth

G = Gaining insight for the dads about pregnancy so he can better understand his partner that has so drastically changed during her pregnancy

H = Handling a new baby. Newborns are not about to break when handled, so handle them securely and with confidence

I = Inductions – when to accept an induction is necessary and when not
I = Informed decision making

J = Just about any subject to do with pregnancy, labour and babies can be discussed depending on the needs of the class

K = Knowledge through alternatives. Know all options that are available to you for your birth

L = Labour. A day of hard work and effort, but the most rewarding day of a lifetime. How labour starts and what is actually happening in the body during labour and why contractions are so beneficial

M = Massage. A practical demonstration of different massages for different labours
M = Magical hour after birth

N = Normal natural process of labour

O = Options available for a care-provider for your pregnancy – gynae vs midwife. Birth options – home birth vs hospital birth

P = Positions for labour
P = Pain relief options
P = Practical advice on babies
P = Parenting and where to start
P = Postnatal depression- what to look out for

Q = Questions on all aspects of pregnancy, labour, birth and parenting

R = Relaxation – practically how to do it and why it is so effective
R = Rooming-in with your baby in hospital and not sending it to the nursery to be looked after

S = Self-help techniques for coping with the pain of labour
S = Skin-to-skin contact that is imperative for every baby immediately after birth

T = Third stage of labour
T = Tips on all sorts of topics

U = Understanding informed choice and the importance of knowing all your options available to you so you can make proper informed decisions

V = Visualisation
V = Vacuum birth
V = Vaginal birth – only just over 30% of births are vaginal births in the private sector in SA. Know why this is so and how to achieve a vaginal birth

W = Water usage during labour and birth

X = Xtra information .Make sure you read evidence based research and know where to find it

Y = YOU make the decisions

Z = Zero in and stay focused on making informed decisions

“Empower yourself with knowledge. You can’t possibly make the best decisions for yourself if you don’t have every scrap of information available” – ChildbirthConnection.org

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