During my last visit to Doctor, that’s around when I was 20 weeks pregnant, she suggested me to start with Antenatal Classes. We didnt have much idea about. Many of us wouldnt know about it in First Pregnancy. So, I started doing some research about it to gather more information.
Before that, what do we mean by Antenatal Classes?
The word ‘antenatal’ means ‘before birth’ relating to pregnancy mostly. If we break the word into ante and natal. Ante means- before or in front of . Natal means relating to birth( nay be a time or place as well). So antenatal care is complete care required during pregnancy period. Antenatal is also know as Prenatal.
Antenatal classes basically prepares the couple/ or just the mother for the journey of pregnancy. It focuses on labour and birth. There are classes to prepare mind and body of the mother to prepare her for the labour and to ensure smooth journey of birthing. Then there are some couple workshops which prepare the couple to take care of the baby pre and post birth. Workshops guided towards nutrition both post and pre-birth, lactation classes, workshops for imparting spirituality in the unborn baby are also there. To be parents can choose from the workshops as per their convenience.
I decided to go for classes which would prepare me for labour and birthing. This is most important for a smoother pregnancy. I had 3 options with me :
- Get entire prenatal consultation at the Hospital where I was seeing my Gynaecologist
- Just Physiotherapy classes somewhere outside
- Yoga classes.
The Hospital consultation included many things- Dietitian/ Nutritionist consultation, physiotherapy consultation(just consultation), lactation sessions, Lamaze classes in last month (breathing exercises), managing baby affairs etc. It also included post natal classes, like consultation on pregnancy weight loss,lactation etc. I found this option to be bit costly and not of primary requirement for me. I wanted some exercises or yoga to prepare me for delivery.
I started exploring Physiotherapy classes and Yoga classes for Moms-to-be. Unfortunately, I couldnt find any group classes. Yes that was unfortunate, because I mostly stay indoors since the time I am pregnant and classes would be a nice way to meet new people and exchange vibes.
After much inquiry, I cut down on one Physiotherapy and one yoga centre. Both were one-on-one sessions. Before choosing one of these, I decided to opt for 1 day trial class for both.
My physiotherapy class was done at the centre. There I met a Doctor graduated in Physiotherapy. She assessed my entire file to understand if there are any complications in pregnancy, and whether and what kind of exercises would be safe and useful for me. There was nothing much to assess with my pregnancy. I found the assessment session to be a waste of money. I realised the session was mostly for a Yes or no to go ahead with Physio. The exercises in the trial class were though good. Simple ones for 1st class.
Then was the turn to try out yoga. Infact after my physio session, I had decided to go ahead with Yoga, before the try out session of yoga. Yoga session was at home, as per my time and convenience. My instructor was a post graduate and diploma holder in Yoga, power yoga and naturotherapy and 5yrs experienced. We started with some discussion on benefits and safety of Yoga. We did some prayers, then breathing exercises and then warm-up, and some asanas.
Yoga was definitely the choice I had to make. What I felt is,
Physio trains the body, but yoga is for entire mind, body and soul. I believe, regular practice of Yoga would also help in calming the mind of the baby.