Author: Louise Broadbridge, midwife and antenatal teacher.
Dusty church halls or swanky wine bars. Wherever you had envisaged attending your antenatal classes it is unlikely that you have pictured doing them in your PJs in your living room. However, due to the Covid pandemic that is where we have all retreated to.
In the early days of our new world I thought that my work providing antenatal education was basically over, as the wine bars and gastro pubs closed their doors and pregnant couples were advised against social contact with others outside their front door. Introduce Zoom! What would we have done without this little gem?!
Following a wave of anxious messages from pregnant couples asking for advice regarding labour and birth I decided to offer a free class on our first Saturday in lockdown. Overwhelmed by the demand, I continued and have now taught over 2000 couples since the beginning of our time inside. And what fun it has been.
So, the downside... meeting your Mummy Tribe is likely to be a struggle unless you are on a small localised class which may well be more expensive. That's it! You would think that you would miss out on loads but in actual fact I feel that couples are actually learning more because they feel more inclined to ask questions from the comfort of their own sofa.
Gone has any nervousness or embarrassment to be replaced with a relaxed atmosphere allowing confidence to flow and questions to come in their droves. Partners also feel more relaxed and I’ve been amazed by the feedback saying how much they have enjoyed the classes - mainly because they feel so at ease behind the safety of the screen.
I have been able to continue to demonstrate certain products such as the lovely My Expert Midwife Spritz for Bits, and learners can see clearly and ask questions. The chat facility makes it really easy to jot down discount codes and information sources.
For those liking a little bit of banter you can have your camera on and your mic at the ready whilst for the shyer amongst us you can retreat into the background with your camera off, cosy up on the sofa and listen to all the information.
As a midwife I have been amazed at just how interactive, fun and vital these classes have become and I think, and hope, that they are here to stay. To book onto a FREE Let's Talk Birth and Baby Live Antenatal Class please visit www.letstalkbirthandbaby.co.uk and follow on Instagram @TheHonestMidwife