Being late: the only thing the wife hates more than speaking in front of a group of adults. Yet, this week we were late going our 2nd NCT session. There I was, ready on the doorstep with the door open as she was frantically waddling (the baby was pressing on her bladder) around getting ready. Anyway, we arrived and walked in to a full room with every eye looking at us. We sat down and immediately, we were asked to re-introduce ourselves and talk about our imminent arrivals. So, the wife was late and she still had to talk in front of the group. Unhappy wife = unhappy life! ;)
This session was all about the latent stage of labour. That means the first part, pre pushing. We were split into a ladies group and a gents group and given slightly different tasks. The ladies had to write down their ideal labour conditions and the gents had to write down how they would create a romantic evening for them and their wife. This is quite helpful in itself.
A ladies list of ideal birth conditions:
#1 A cold flannel
#2 Their partner needs to present (fist pump in air!)
#4 Dim lighting
#5 Their own pillow
#6 Sympathetic but not patronising midwives
A gents list of how to create a romantic evening:
#3 Barry White
#4 Scatter Cushions
#5 No distractions (check us out!)
#6 Good food
The idea is that the pre pushing labour stage should be similar to a romantic evening. Our 2 lists didn’t exactly represent this but the point was made. The following is my list of helpful tips that I will certainly be trying out come the latent stage. It’s based on this NCT session.
#1 Hot (ish) bath
#2 Massage – lower back, lumbar region
#3 Distraction techniques like eating a nice meal or something similar
#4 Use different positions – birthing ball, leaning forward etc
#5 Dim the lights – this helps feel relaxed
#6 We are going to have 2 playlists : 1 calm music and 1 pumping house music.
#7 We will be taking our own pillow to the hospital
#8 Don’t forget the cold flannel!
The session was quite useful in that respect. It must have been pretty useful if I have been able to compile this list, some of which is common sense, but also some new ideas.
Following this we discussed the point at which dad needs to usher the wife into the car and head to the hospital. It turns out that dads have differing thoughts on this and some would jump in the car at the first signs of contractions whilst others would need to see a head peering from between her legs in order to make the drive. Here’s a few questions to get you thinking. At which of these would you decide to get over to the hospital?
#1 Finding a show? (My apologies in advance, but basically a show is the mucus plug finding its way out of the cervix and out of the body. It’s like a bloody, snotty, gloopy pile of discharge.)
#2 Waters breaking?
#3 Lower back pain?
#4 Mild contractions every 5 mins?
#5 Wanting to push?
Here’s my golden piece of advice: have the hospital on speed dial! The advice for all of the above is to call the hospital. Well, that’s not strictly true… if I called every time she had back pain, I’d be blocked for being a hypercondriac pest! And it’s probably best not to call the hospital if you find a show, rather it’s better to call the toxic waste disposal squad!!!
A good session, but could have been summed up in that 1 piece of advice. If in doubt, call.