As an expectant mum I am very disappointed in the level of care when it comes to maternity services. Although health professionals have been very friendly and caring non-medical staff such as clerical and receptionists have been very rude and misleading. There isn’t much information readily available for things such as midwife care, appointment and future antenatal classes in preparation for the birth.
After much reading I found that most places in the UK had unsatisfactory maternity care so I was extremely worried that it would be the same in my case also. But to my surprise I had my first appointment today with my midwife for my 16 week check and she was lovely. One of my main concerns was antenatal classes in preparation for the birth as I have read that most NHS trusts do not have enough places and women are turned away. As a first time mum I was very concerned that I would have had to pay for private antenatal classes through the NCT. Well after speaking to my midwife she assured me that antenatal classes in Welwyn Garden City were fine, they never turn women away but the classes may get full. I was so relieved that my area was ok as I have heard many women who missed out on these classes because they were full. The midwife will discuss more on antenatal classes as I progress but wll start booking me in at 30 weeks.
NHS antenatal classes
To be honest they do seem like a waste of time, there have been many women who attend these classes that discuss the signs of labour and how to breathe when you are in labour, when it came round to the birth the techniques went out the window or a caesarean was performed instead. You cannot really prepare yourself for labour as it can go either way; some who want a natural drug free labour may find that the pain is unbearable so by having an epidural they are completely numb. When you have an epidural you cannot feel the contractions so you are told when to push, this is when you are most likely to tear or need and episiotomy. NHS classes will tell you all your options, gas and air, pethidine, epidural or natural labour. Other places though will only concentrate on the natural drug free route but this may not happen for all women.
I am trying not to read too much into all the negative comments and remarks about maternity care in the NHS as stress is not good for the baby. Initially I thought I may have to attend private birth classes but now I am confident that I will get a place on the NHS ones.