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Monday, October 04, 2004
The One With the AnteNatal Graduation 

**I started typing this last Wednesday. But, I had a major fungal infection which I had to rush to the hospital then. I was on MC for 2 days last week. Sorry for the late posting.

For the past few weeks, we have been going for AnteNatal Classes at the hospital; Damansara Specialist Hospital. The classes comprise of 4 session (2 hrs per session). It was RM150 per couple, with refreshments and doorgifts, from 7 to 9 pm. There were to groups (Tuesdays/Thursdays). We went to the Tuesdays group.

Last night (28 Sept) was the last class. Thus, as part of the graduation thingy, I shall give you the conclusion/summary of the whole antenatal classes. I do hope my hubby is aware of the teachings, for I wouldnt be able to remember most of it, esp the ones crucial during labor.

Diet and Nutrition

The recommended weight gain:
1. Underweight (BMI < 18.5): 13 - 18 kg
2. Normal (BMI 18.5 - 24.9): 12 - 16 kg
3. Overweight (BMI >25): 7 - 11 kg

Normal diet pyramid, except increase the intake of milk and dairy products.

*Avoid rapid weight loss
*Takes about 10 months to return to pre-pregnancy weight
*Reduce portion of food only after 6 months (at least) to avoid affecting milk production

What to Bring for Delivery
1. Documents: I/C, Appointment Card, Guarantee Letters, Deposit
2. At least 4 pairs of nighties/T-shirts with front openings
3. Slippers or flat sandlas
4. A jacket or dressing gown
5. Maternity bras, nursing pads, cotton panties or disposable panties
6. Shower cap and toiletries
7. A set of comfortable clothes for going home (both for mother and baby)
8. Mittens for baby

When to come to hospital (Beginning signs)
1. Contractions which are regular and frequent. (Contractions are feltas low abdominal cramps, similar to period pains, sometimes with backache)
2. A 'show' of mucus or blood or a mixture of both. (Show is a vaginal discharge)
3. Rupture of membranes, which may occur quite dramatically or as a slow leak. (Known as waterburst)

Do some antenatal exercise and backcare movements for physical relaxation. It is said that it helps for easier and faster labour. Brisk walking or swimming helps a lot.
Do some mental relaxation exercise ie listen to music, imagine/visualise pleasant environment

Breathing Techniques During Labour
1. THREAT Breathing - Deep, slow continuous breathing.
2. SOS Breathing - Sigh out softly (Normal breathing in fllowed by longer breathing out)
3. Saying "I Wont Push" - Breathing in for the first word, and giving a long sigh out for the last 2 words
4. Pant-Pant-Blow
5. Block and Push

Three Stages of Labour

Stage ONE (Dilatation of the Cervix)

a. Beginning Signs
1. A presentation of the beginning signs
2. 3 to 4 cm cervix dilatation
3. Contractions are about 7 - 20 mins apart, Duration is 30 - 40 secs
4. 8 to 15 hours for complete dilatation of servix
5. Use Threat Breathing

b. Active Phase
1. 3 to 5 hours
2. 4 to 8 cam cervix dilatation
3. Contractions are about 2 - 5 mins apart, duration is 40 - 50 secs
4. May have backache, coldfeet, discomfort in lower abdomen
5. Use SOS Breathing

c. Transitional Phase
1. 1/2 hr to 2 hours
2. 8 to 10 cm cervix dilatation
3. Contractions is 1 min intervals, long peak, duration is 60 - 90 secs
4. May have blood show and waterburst
5. Use "I Wont Push" Breathing

Stage TWO (Explusion of Baby)
1. 1/2 hr to 2 hours
2. Contraction is 2 to 4 mins apart, duration 60sec - easier to control
3. Baby crowning
4. Vaginal & Perineal muscles stretching
5. May require episotomy (a cut at the vaginal to give more space for the baby)
*DO NOT push unless told to do so. To ensure that the vaginal is not ruptured/bruised during the process. To avoid swelling of the vaginal/cervix.

Stage THREE (Placental Delivery, Uterine Contraction and Retraction)
1. Final push

Pain Relief in Labour
1. Epidural (temporary blocking the passage of messages along the nerves which lead from the womb and birth canal to the brain - with the help of local anaesthetic) - u feel numb at lower abdomen
2. Injection of Pethidine (injection of pain killer) - u maybe sleepy but still conscious
3. Gas - u maybe sleepy but still conscious

*Ideally breastfeed exclusively for 6 months.
*For the first few days after delivery, do not give anything else to the baby. Even if the milk production is slow. Baby may cry, demanding for milk. But once introduced to the bottle, future breastfeeding will fail.
*Attaching and positioning the baby is important for effective breastfeeding. (To avoid damaging the nipples ie baby grasp the nipple and most of the areola).
*Breastfeeding helps with the weight loss and family planning.

Role of fathers
*Since mothers have the privilege of carrying the baby for 9 whole months, the fathers have the privilege to be in the delivery room. They HAVE to be in the delivery. Whether you'll get screwed there ie "THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT!!!" shoutings/screamings, or the handholdings which can crush your fingers, and the BLOODY sight, ONLY FATHERS are allowed in the delivery room. So you know where you should be, right fathers?!!! That is THEIR privilege.
*They are the coaches in the labour room. It is common tht the mothers tend to forget what is taught in the antenatal classes. So the fathers have to be on standby for this.
*Always, always ask the mother's permission before doing anything in the labour room. The mothers are hyper sensitive at this point of time. You probably get screwed if you are not wise enough.
*Fathers are to assist with the housework during and after pregnancy.
*Fathers are to take the night shifts, as for the first few months, the baby would need 2 to 3 feeding per night. Mothers definitely would hardly get a good sleep.

Hopefully everything goes well for us in 10 weeks.

Pray for us, guys.


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