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19th Apr 2016

The Pregnancy Diaries: Week 33 – Bumps On Parade

Big belly

I opened the door and knew instantly I was in the right place.

There were at least eight other women with bumps of varying sizes choosing seats in preparation for the first of our antenatal classes. It was a funny sight to see that many pregnant ladies at one time and as it turned out, we were all at the same stage. I couldn’t help but compare my bump in terms of size and position. One thing I know for sure now is that there is no such thing as a ‘standard bump’. One of the ladies barely looked pregnant while others struggled to walk because their bumps were so large.

The good news about antenatal classes is that you are entitled to take paid time off work to attend while fathers get the same entitlement for the last two. They are usually offered to parents from week 30 onwards and of course, if you’re attending them through the hospital they are free.

We received a list of dates for five classes when I reached week 30 but no specific details on what to expect or what would be covered. However, I needn’t have worried as, after we sat down, the midwife Ann laid out what the next few weeks would entail. Aside from the obvious issue of labor and delivery, we would discuss pain management, physio techniques, relaxation methods, care of the baby and advice on breastfeeding. We would also be shown around the labor ward and told about some of the machines that monitored both mother and child.


The blunt reality of what we were about to put our bodies through would be laid bare and most of us winced when Ann took out a doll and a plastic pelvis to illustrate what we had to do! Luckily, the Q&A session was conducted with an equal measure of humor which helped alleviate any real concerns we had over giving birth for the first time. Afterward, we were left in no doubt that any notions of self-pity would be overcome by the wonderful reward ahead.

We were also treated to a 30-minute physio session which included tips on getting up from a chair and a bed while heavily pregnant. It was amazing how many of us were doing this incorrectly, especially when it’s so easy to injure yourself carrying the extra pounds around.

I’m looking forward to the next few classes and my hubby has already declared his firm intention to come to his part. It’s great to be able to involve him in the classes although he jokes that he’s coming just to know where to park and drop me off. The cheek!

Stay with us every week for more from ‘Big Belly’ as she continues her pregnancy adventure.