In case you don't know, antenatal classes (in Malaysia) are usually available to prepare parents-to-be for pregnancy care, labour, birth and early parenting. They may be organized by government or private hospitals, and perhaps also sponsored by some baby or parenting product manufacturers.
Just to give a rough idea of the first Antenatal Class in Malaysia that my husband and I participated on last Saturday - below are some blurbs of activities we did during the class which I personally deemed very fun, interesting and much beneficial.
I was so looking forward to attend my first antenatal class on Saturday!
Right after we registered in the organizer's registration desk, my husband and I received lots of goodies bags from the hospital and event's sponsors. I always have a sweet spot for receiving goodies bags at events so holdings lots of goodies bags and other freebies first thing in the morning, even before the event itself started, already made my Saturday.
My goodies bags and me!
At about 10am, the organizer officially opened the event and the first morning talk session at the event was about the importance of Stem Cell or Cord Blood Banking hosted by one of the event sponsors, Cell Safe. I myself find that Stem Cell is indeed crucial for the child's (and the parents') well being in the future but the whole thing is kind of pricey. Thus, given other current priorities on hand, my husband and I will likely have to skip investing on this one for the time being.
Next, the attendees got to see and listen to some demonstrations and tips from the hospital's nursery nurses on the correct breastfeeding and bathing techniques plus jaundice management for newborns. Exclusive breastfeeding for baby's first six months is still highly recommended and by the way, bathing a newborn baby seems like a very tricky business!
Newborn's bathing techniques demonstration by the hospital's nursery nurses.
Moving on, a representative from the event sponsor, Mead Johnson, gave a talk on nutrition for pregnant and lactating mother and child. In summary, the speaker emphasized that pregnant mothers do not have to eat for two as they are not carrying another adult in their tummies. Pregnant mothers just need to consume 360 extra calories per day to meet her pregnancy diet. She also mentioned the importance of DHA, Choline, Calcium and Folic Acid for baby's development. The speaker challenged all the participants to listen to her talk carefully as there would be some quizzes and prizes to be won at the end of her talk. I was aiming for Mead Johnson's special baby photo album since the beginning and luckily, I managed to answer one of the speaker's pop quiz questions and brought home the photo album I wanted.
A triumphant photo of me and the album photo I won during the pop quiz.
I managed to answer the question of the examples of food high in DHA.
During the session before lunch, all the participants were introduced to physiotherapy during pregnancy (back care and lamaze techniques demonstration). This demonstration was led by the hospital's physiotherapist to prepare the pregnant mothers' bodies for an easier delivery and faster recovery process after giving birth. Other than teaching the expectant mothers to do some light physical activities to stretch their muscles during pregnancy, she also taught the expectant fathers to give some relaxation massage to ease their wives' back pains and swollen ankles during late pregnancy. I love the latter part the most and have constantly reminded my husband not to forget all the massage techniques after we left the event's venue.
Loosen your muscles up!
The lamaze techniques demonstration.
The ankle and feet massage techniques demonstration.
After lunch, the event was continued with a comprehensive talk on pregnancy and labour from the hospital's practising Gynae, who happens to be my own Gynae. I must say that the Gynae gave really insightful points and real-life case studies on pregnancy care, various types of delivery processes, pain relief options during labour and family planning issues after giving birth. The information shared was very important not only for the expectant mothers to realize and consider but also for the expectant fathers. In conclusion, the Gynae said that we, pregnant mothers, should just enjoy our pregnancy as much as possible and be mentally ready for labour, when the time finally comes. Also, she advised all pregnant mothers to walk a lot or swim regularly to prepare their bodies for natural delivery.
dr. Norintan shared her thoughts and sincere advices on pregnancy care and labour
during the parenting workshop.
Before the event ended, there was a brief healthy cooking demonstration by Royal Bintang Resort and Spa Seremban's Chef. The Chef taught us how to make Salmon Salad and Fettuccine with Mushrooms. I think the first dish was unsafe for pregnant mothers to consume as the recipe calls for raw salmon but the husbands can definitely enjoy this appetizer with no problem at all.
Salmon Salad and Fettuccine with Mushroom.
Last but not least, the event's organizers held lucky draws to finalize the parenting workshop. Every attending couple got to win one hamper and at the end of the day, it was a matter of bringing a small or big hamper home after the lucky draws!
Some of the enticing hampers to give away during the event.
That's me accepting a hamper courtesy of Mead Johnson during the lucky draws.
Don't you think this parenting workshop was so much fun? What the expectant parents paid for the registration fee was definitely so worth the value of the one-day class like this. After the event, expectant parents went back home loaded with imperative information on pregnancy care and parenthood and all of them had their equal chances to ask many questions on various pregnancy and early parenting topics that most probably can't be all raised during the normal 10 minutes monthly antenatal visit with our Gynaes. Not to mention all the freebies that we took home too.
My advice for (first time) expectant parents out there, do not hesitate to sign up and go for similar (antenatal) classes like the above if you have the opportunity! Being informed on the right pregnancy care and early parenting techniques is always good.