Labor

Birthing Classes

Collaboration with Felicitas Mehiläinen

As Eerikki and I are expecting our firstborn, everything is new to us and that's why we really wanted to go to a birthing class.
Due to corona, there were only online classes available with the public healthcare but luckily we found this three session birthing class at Felicitas Mehiläinen!

The sessions were held face-to-face with a midwife and there were three sessions, each with it's own theme. However, our midwife Satu Peussa encouraged us to ask questions whenever something came to mind whether they were on or off topic and I'm sure we could've asked for completely different topics for the meetings had we wanted to.

The topics for the three sessions were the following:
1st meeting: Initiation of labor and pain relief in labor
2nd meeting: Phases of labor
3rd meeting: Newborn's first moments and baby care

I had already thought about what kind of pain relief I would prefer and I knew quite a bit about giving birth already, I had also been present when my sister gave birth. I had also discussed with Eerikki what my wishes were in regards of birthing positions and pain relief so we were already quite informed about the topics in the first two meetings. The information on the signs of a starting labor was new to us and something that's very good to know indeed!

Our midwife made a really good point when she was telling us that there's been times when dads or other support persons have gotten uncomfortable during the early stages of labor and have begun reading a magazine, for example. It's not because they don't care but it may be their way of dealing with their own feelings of helplessness, nervousness or fear. However, this may feel insulting for the mom giving birth. I doubt this is something that Eerikki would've done anyways, but it was good to discuss this from that point of view as well. So my tip to anyone attending a labor as a support person would be that even if you feel like you're not being helpful and there's nothing you can do, try to stay present in the moment. The mom may feel much better just having you there, present, even if you feel like you're not doing anything.

Each meeting was really useful as even if I'd heard some of the facts before, it was really nice to just sit down together and talk about different thoughts we had about the labor and baby care.

At the final session we got some hands on practice as I practiced some breastfeeding positions and Eerikki got to try bottle feeding positions. We also tried swaddling which wasn't complicated at all, like I had thought. I have a feeling it'll be more challenging with a restless baby than with a doll, though :D.

I think we were both quite up to date with pregnancy and giving birth stuff but neither one of us really knows much about baby care so the last session was super useful. I also appreciated how our midwife emphasized Eerikki's role in detecting postpartum depression. It makes sense that often it's easier for someone else to notice that all is not well and take action rather than for the mom to realize it herself.

So now we just wait for the baby to arrive as we're all ready and prepared now! :D

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