Antenatal and Lamaze classes were introduced less than a century ago to bridge the gap between the old and new, and help new parents realise their challenges aren’t as localised as they perceive them to be. These classes prepare the expecting mothers and their spouses for their forthcoming child, writes Dr Garima Jain, Gynecologist and Obstetrician at Apollo Cradle.
Nuclear families rule the roost in the 21st Century. Both working parents need their time and space to free themselves from their endless responsibilities. However, in this rat race of achieving greater success in work and personal life, most of us resort to quick fixes due to which much of our ancestral wisdom has been lost and forgotten.
In joint families, members live together under one roof and share their problems. In such a setup, elderly women often know secret recipes and cures for most of the common ailments, the knowledge of which has been passed on to them from earlier generations.
Handling children and their problems was never a herculean task when couples used to live in joint families. But in stark contrast, today’s new age couples find parenthood a major challenge mainly due to the absence of expert guidance and care.
Finding solutions to bridge the gap between the old and new, it is necessary to bring communities together to realise individual problems aren’t as localised as we perceive.
Antenatal and Lamaze classes were introduced less than a century ago to bridge the gap between the old and new, and help new parents meet the challenges associated with parenthood. These classes prepare the expecting mothers and their spouses for their forthcoming child.
Anyone expecting a baby can attend these sessions and look for solutions and generalise on the same level that they are going through.
Childbirth and pregnancy is an overwhelming experience especially for the mother.
The emotional and physical changes in the body and mind can be difficult to understand without the help of a doctor or gynecologist, who can explain every single issue a pregnant woman goes through. Antenatal care or prenatal classes are the preparatory sessions to help expectant parents get ready for labour and parenthood.
Through these classes, mothers and their partners can gain confidence to pass through late pregnancy and perfectly
take care of the little one with limited assistance post the baby’s arrival.
The entire idea behind providing antenatal classes for a pregnant woman and her partner is to promote a better quality lifestyle for both the mother and the baby. It includes preventive measures to be taken by expecting mothers to treat and prevent health complications that arise during the course of pregnancy.
10 advantages of having antenatal classes for nuclear families:
1. Antenatal classes are an open forum for expecting parents to ventilate their own issues and find company for the process of pregnancy and childbirth. Though obstetrician and gynecologists could provide with the right advice, such classes allow couples to fully understand the nature and techniques of combating pregnancy whilst attending the health of the mother and baby equally.
2. Most of these classes are to be attended by both spouses as they together need to understand the needs and requirements of the journey. The father needs to be informed as well as he is going to be the sole caretaker of the mother and baby.
3. Having the spouses together can serve as a support system for both while interacting with other expecting couples to provide similar stories and incidents that might be experienced by all but not completely comprehended as something normal.
4. Being mentally and physically prepared for the pregnancy is imperative for the couple as it serves the purposes of proving the necessary treatment and care before, during and after the pregnancy.
5. Proper nutritional diet and physical exercises specific to pregnant women are taught and practiced which help not only them to deal with the discomforts experienced during this period at the same time make women aware of their health while maintaining it for the growing fetus in their body.
6. The information and practices involved in these classes are very useful for couples living away from their extended family as it requires constant care and attention.
7. Antenatal classes are educational sessions conducted by experienced nutritionists, healthcare experts and doctors which serve as great platforms for expectant mothers and their partners to understand about a healthy pregnancy and early parenthood.
8. Along with introductory sessions on labour, birthing and baby’s first few years of life, such classes go a step forward in preparing the young mothers for normal delivery by educating them on the benefits a woman and her baby can reap through normal delivery.
9. Antenatal classes are an effective solution to address the fears and concerns of parents-to-be and help boost confidence level in the new mothers about healthy pregnancy and normal birthing, strengthen their willpower by giving examples, introducing experts and through lectures etc.
10. Setting aside the fears, providing guidance with expert advice and customised care, antenatal classes are helping build a league of confident parents.