Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Natal Attraction

Pete and I attended our first ante-natal class the other day. It was very informative about all the things which can happen during the birth, to the point where I was left feeling quite anti-natal myself.

All the other attendees seemed friendly and the teacher was great. I think I knew it was going to be all right when she asked if anyone was planning to eat the placenta. No one nodded.

"Eating the placenta is supposed to prevent post-natal depression," the teacher said. "My feeling has always been, if I ate that, I would become post-natally depressed."

I kept quiet about my plans for an intensive hair conditioning treatment, as inspired by a recent trip to an American pharmacy:

Apparently most people's waters break at night. "You'll want to remain calm at this stage," said the teacher. "So Dads, the best thing to do is open a bottle of wine and pour Mum a glass." I was starting to like this woman more and more.

There was a long discussion about all the things you can do to while away the hours before you actually go to hospital and start pushing. These include having a nice healthy breakfast, doing some squatting exercises, eating some lunch to keep your strength up, walking up and down stairs, going for a lovely stroll etc.

That's all I can recall, anyway. Everyone else was furiously scribbling things down throughout this chat, but looking at my notes now all I have written is: "WINE - BREAKFAST - LUNCH."

On the next page I have scrawled "LABOUR CANAPES" and underlined it three times. The teacher said it's important to have lots of snacks on hand during the birth. I explained to Pete these are to keep my energy levels up, and not for trying to tempt the baby out by poking it with a Pepperami Firestick.

The most exciting part of the day was when we learned about "push presents". This is a new trend from America - the Dad gives the new Mum a reward immediately after labour.

J-Lo's husband gave her a pair of $2.5 million diamond earrings for her push present. For that money I'd want a life-sized diamond replica of my vagina as it was before the event, but I guess it's up to Pete.

After the class was over, Pete and I felt overwhelmed by the realisation that we will soon experience the miracle of life first-hand. We released the tension by having a row outside a pub about whether it's acceptable to text your best mate in the middle of a discussion about perineal tearing.


  1. They showed me the placenta after it came out. If I hadn't been veggie before, that put me right off.

    And they never show the "right, that's the baby out, but now you need to push out what looks like a major organ" on One Torn Every Minute.

    (er, and I was watching the Tour de France final laps whilst discussing needlework stitches with the nurses whilst they were fixing things up)

  2. Hmm. I wonder if they do placenta down at my organic butchers? Probably comes under sausages, I guess.