And there you were thinking it was all about the chocolate. Wrong! Easter is a time of new beginnings and giving thanks, which means it is the ideal time to start preparing for the arrival of a child. (If you’re pregnant that is, you shouldn’t just be expecting one to turn up.)
So, what can you do over the lovely long Easter weekend to start your antenatal preparation?
Prepare for childbirth
Bit of a misleading title here because unless you have experienced it, nothing can prepare you for the childbirth experience. (Insert melon/eye of needle metaphors here.) Although it is a joyful time that will never be forgotten, (gift of life, etc etc), there is no escaping the fact that it takes a heavy toll on the body, as my pelvic floor will tell you in no uncertain terms. However, you can at least comfort yourself a little by booking a childbirth preparation class this Easter. You will be taken through all your pain relief options, and given the opportunity to plan almost every aspect of your labour by being taught how to devise your own detailed birth plan. (Be warned that writing a birth plan does not guarantee that it will actually happen that way. Don’t feel bad when it doesn’t, just go with it and do your best.)
Easter can be a stressful time. There are often plans to make, food to cook and family to visit, and these tasks can often leave little time left for relaxation. If you’re expecting a child, it’s important not to let Easter get in the way of your overall well-being, which is why attending pregnancy yoga classes during the Easter holidays could be a great idea. You’ll be given stretching and breathing exercises specifically designed to help you through labour. You will also find that the various exercises taught in pregnancy yoga will improve your circulation and your flexibility – which are both beneficial to you and your baby.
It’s like exercise, but with a high proportion of lying down. Everyone’s a winner.
Pilates involves a series of stretches and muscle manipulations that are intended to build core-body strength, improve posture and enhance suppleness. You will also be taught various pelvic floor exercises that will help you through your labour and during the weeks just after giving birth. (Pay attention to these.) If you’re facing a hectic Easter period this year, these classes could be the perfect opportunity to escape for a while – and improve your overall well-being at the same time.
Antenatal C-section classes
Whether you’ve arranged to have a caesarean section at a or you just want to be prepared for every eventuality, there are C-section classes that cover every imaginable aspect of this procedure. You will be given advice on how to prepare yourself for a C-section, including how to look after yourself and get around during the first few days of parenthood. You’ll also be given practical advice on how to feed and care for your newborn when recovering from what can be a very demanding experience.
An antenatal class for couples
It can be easy to forget that many pregnancies involve two partners, which is why this Easter could be a great idea. Not only is it a way of spending quality time together at a time when families should be together, it’s a way you can both prepare to support each other through labour and during the first few weeks of parenthood. Among the many issues covered during these courses are spotting the early signs of labour, foetal positioning, coping strategies, the role of the birthing partner, relaxation techniques and caring for a newborn baby. This sort of group setting is often where people realise they have a hearing problem – check out Hidden Hearing if you think you need a hearing test while you still have the time!
Instead of sitting around gorging on Mini Eggs this Easter, take a moment to think about what the future holds. If you are relaxed, strong and mentally prepared, you’ll be able to give your newborn the best possible start to life.