Faith Mwaura : What to Expect in a Birth Class
A Doula, or professional Midwife, can be the most important person on your birthing team. I have always been curious about what goes on in a birth class, and why expectant mothers take several weeks to go through it.
When I was pregnant with Mugi, we went for a birth class with this lady who was really helpful when it came to how to breath during labour, the positions I would take when labouring and even how I would have my birth partner rub my back for maximum pain relief. So I was really prepared for labour and birth, but I always felt that there is more to birth class than breathing, labour and birth. So this week I went to visit Lucy Muchiri at her birth centre as she was conducting one of her classes, an appropriate time to visit because I am pregnant, I need the info anyway.
So I showed up on time at their new premises on Elgeyo Marakwet, small cosy and intimate.
The green couches and the beautiful pillows make you feel at home almost instantly. Lucy is bubbly and she provided lots of food and drinks.
After a brief tour of the place, the birth room took the day, it felt like your own personal hotel room, with a water bath thingy over there, a bathroom with warm water and a bathtub, a bed, a birthing ball and all a pregnant woman would want, big window for fresh air. They even have a dad’s recovery centre. Reason being, dads need to take breaks as their wives are labouring and just in case they can’t take it anymore then they have a room to go and meditate, think about life and their purpose, the new responsibility that is coming their way. I hope none of them are over taken by sleep in that room. The centre was conveniently chosen to have an upstairs so that mums can walk up and down during labour if they wish to.
Back down to our green room, the lesson of the day begun, this was the last class during this season, so they had pretty much covered most of the lessons, work-out, taking care of your body, diet, support, breastfeeding, labour and birth and so this was the class about life after baby. They had however, not watched a video during the labour and birthing class thanks to KPLC and so we had to re-cap on that.
This is a mistake every pregnant woman makes, we go looking for birth videos, I say it’s a mistake because you tend to freak out after you have watched it and you almost swear, I am never getting pregnant then your big belly stares back at you and it’s damn it! Too late a promise.
The difference with watching that video with Lucy and her team at the birth class was, after watching she assured us, the woman in the video was exceptionally calm and she said it’s because her midwife knew what to tell her.
Gross moment alert: at the hospital, most doula/doctors will tell you to push as if you are going for number 2 and you are constipated, what that does is that it applies too much pressure and that is why most women end up tearing because you pushed too hard. The baby will glide out of you, you only need to give them a gentle push, the birth is not a 1 minute, baby popped out kind of affair, the head comes out, then the baby turns so that the shoulders can be vertical and when the shoulders and hands are finally our, you are practically done. So the next time you go on YouTube to search for birth videos, well just know it is not as bad as the woman screaming, you can actually be calm.
It was valuable to hear the opinion of a midwife with over 17 years experience, and who has conducted well over 400 births within the past six years. I enjoyed watching the birth video with her. When I was expecting Mugi with two other friends, only two of us had the nerve to sit through and watch. Seriously, if you are a first time mum and haven’t watched a birth video – don’t. After reading read this you might say to yourself, ‘how comes I hadn’t even thought of watching?’ Then you will go ahead and watch and wish you hadn’t.
Read more about pregnancy from Faith Mwaura’s Blog.
You can also prepare for your baby’s arrival with this newborn checklist from MumsVillage. Our baby shopping list will help you purchase everything your newest family member really needs. From baby’s comfort in sleep, to their feeding and bathing needs, you’ll find it here.