Ante-natal care classes help expectant moms

For healthy motherhood

Ante-natal care classes help expectant moms

Ante-natal care classes, given to pregnant women, are gaining popularity. The classes that last up to an hour are often conducted in hospitals, where a physiotherapist or Lamaze trainer guides expectant mothers through the process of labour.

A class is usually for 10 to 15 women. They learn strategies to manage labour and complications during labour and birth. Controlled breathing, called the Lamaze technique, and right posture top the list of things to learn.

“The techniques teach them how to breathe so there is less strain,” said Dr Savitha C, head of the department of obstetrics and gynaecology, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute.

The ante-natal classes also focus on strengthening back and abdomen muscles, relaxation of pelvic bones, and improvement of lung capacity, as the lungs are pushed upwards during pregnancy. “The classes increase women’s confidence to give birth in a relaxed manner,” said Dr Gayathri Kamath, senior consultant obstetrics and gynaecologist, Fortis Hospitals.

Most women are worried about lactation after pregnancy. These classes help them understand and manage it, according to Dr Shubha Madhusudhan, clinical psychologist, Fortis Hospitals.

“We usually ask them to join after their first trimester of pregnancy,” said Haripriya P, manager, physical medicine and rehabilitation, child birth educator, Manipal Hospitals.

Women say the classes are helpful. “I did not scream and shout during labour because I knew how to breathe and control my pain. If I hadn’t gone for the classes, I wouldn’t have known that,” said Priya (name changed), who underwent training last year. Roshini Harsha, who has a 12-day-old baby, began classes three months before she delivered.

Ante-natal care classes provide a space for women to share their concerns and chat with like-minded people.

“Women internalise the atmosphere and the positivity. Where you are and with whom you are matters,” said Dr Shubha. The friendships help even after childbirth, when they share problems and find solutions. “It was like family, so much of fun,” said Priya.

Questions, questions

When women conceive for the first time, they have many questions: Will the delivery be normal? Will the baby be healthy? How should I breathe while giving birth? How should I carry the baby after birth?

In an earlier age, such questions were answered by mothers, grandmothers or aunts.
Physical toil used to help women deliver more easily. But with the advent of nuclear families and white collar work, pregnant women need professional advice, say doctors.


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