Tag Archives: prenatal

First Prenatal Parent Group Meeting: Importance of Breastfeeding

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I was quite nervous about my first prenatal parent meeting. Would I understand everything? How many other parents would be there? How many other expectant fathers would be there? Would I make any friends? Would I like the midwife?

The questions were about to be answered as we approached the doors to the clinic around 3pm. The meeting would last for two hours. We were one of the last couples to come in.

Couples were sitting in a U-shape, with the midwife’s chair at the top. We took the last two seats and quickly realized we needed to write our names on a piece of paper. Lisa chose green–surprise, surprise.

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Being ever analytical, I had to observe everyone’s name. Notice anything in the above picture?

There were nine expectant mothers present; eight of whom were with their partner and one who was with her mother. All couples were Swedish, except one couple, where both were from Belgium, and of course myself.

We started off the first meeting by having the midwife tell us to be seated in our birthing order. We quickly discovered that we were the second youngest couple, with birthday’s ranging from around the 10th of January to the 27th. Ours is on the 25th.

After that,  everyone started introducing themselves one-by-one. To do this, we were instructed to come up with one word that describes themselves based on the first letter of their first name.

I said “mouth” for “Michael” since I like to talk a lot. After me was a woman who’s name started with an E. I’ll call her Elin. Elin said “ensam” (alone). Elin was the one person in the whole class who didn’t have the expectant father come with. It was a bit heartbreaking to hear her say ensam, and I immediately thought that the course could have had one course for couples and one course for people who will come alone.

This thought proved to be very true as the course progressed, but I’ll come to that in later posts.

After introducing ourselves, the midwife told us what to expect regarding the course and then we delved into the importance of breastfeeding. After the midwife spoke about breastfeeding for a while, we took a fika. No course can happen without a fika break!

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During fika we divided into groups–four groups of four, basically. Two groups of expectant moms and two of expectant dads. We were to talk about the lecture and our thoughts on breastfeeding.

The guys in my group were all pro-breastfeeding and all wanted to encourage their partners, but felt like the choice was really their partners and not there’s.

I discussed alternatives if our partners didn’t want to breastfeed, such as breast pumping and purchasing breast milk from others–the guys were less enthusiastic about this and some didn’t even know it was possible. The overall consensus from my group was that it was mostly the woman’s decision, although they liked the idea of breastfeeding.

After 10-15 minutes, we digressed into talking about who we were. So far, we hadn’t even done introductions of each other. All of the guys were professionals, and most commute to work (e.g. Stockholm), and not all live in Uppsala (e.g. one was living in Örebro, while his partner lived in Uppsala). And here I thought it was tough for me to come to a 3pm meeting. Others were traveling hours to make it to this course. One word: dedication!

We then met back up to go over our breastfeeding discussions. Turns out the other groups did similar things–talked about breastfeeding before digressing into getting to better know each other.

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There were several books a person could check out including a book on sex, on fathers, on breastfeeding, and on baby swimming

I didn’t make any friends, per se. But I did have a fun time.

Prenatal Parent Group Meetings: Background Information

I will have to attend a Swedish-speaking prenatal parental course. They were supposed to offer an English version, but the person who runs that course is on parental leave, so I am left to attend the Swedish version. Yikes!

This version is presumably better in some ways, as there are a couple of extra classes that you don’t get in the English version–apparently a couple of times, people from the outside (e.g. non-midwives) will come to discuss certain topics with the class. For example, we will have one class on relationships. That course is taught by two people from the Swedish church, rather than from the midwives at the clinic.

The course meets 6 times over a 1.5 month time period. And then a seventh visit about 1-1.5 months after we all have our babies (the first baby is due to be born a bit before mid-January, while the latest is the 27th of January….but who knows when they’ll actually all pop out 😉

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We have also learned that the midwife leading the class is from the same location as our midwife (Hjätat), but sadly is not our midwife 😦 They do rotations. This means that this is our fourth midwife so far (first midwife = first prenatal visit [she didn’t like father involvement so we discontinued seeing her], second midwife = current midwife at the MVC hjärtat, third midwife = ultrasound midwife).

This continuity of care is a bit annoying, personally. You search for a good midwife and make a connection with her, but meanwhile you’re just tossed from one midwife to the next. But I digress.

Anyway, at Hjärtet, they have several other ways to be involved while you’re pregnant.

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For example, the profylaxkurs is a type of massage class for partners, vattengympa is doing exercises in the water, pappaträff is for expectant dad’s to meet each other, väntabarn igen-träff–not sure what that is (maybe if you’re waiting for your second [third, etc] kid and want to meet other parents), regnbågsgrupp could maybe be for same-sex couples, and baby massage is just like it sounds.

Well, here goes nothing!

Prenatal Visits: Measuring and Testing

Three weeks after our last appointment, we met our prenatal midwife.

This visit was basically a repeat of the previous visit.

She answered our questions, did a iron-level blood test, measured the belly to see how the baby was growing, monitored the baby’s heartbeat, and took Lisa’s blood pressure.

 

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Since we knew the routine, this visit went a lot faster than the previous one–mainly because I was so curious and asked a lot of questions at the last visit. But since there was nothing new, I had little new questions to ask.

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The baby grew as expected. They have three lines on their computer chart–and upper limit, mean (or median [not sure]), and lower limit. Both measurements of the size of the baby is right below the mean (median) level.

 

However, Lisa’s iron levels were apparently “off the chart”–not literally. This must have been about week 29 (this may be off by one or so weeks). Lisa’s iron level was 137, but 110-120 is considered to be the average iron level for that week in her pregnancy. This was kind of funny too, because the baby’s heart rate was at about the same number.

Side note: I noticed on the first visit that I saw numbers of the baby’s heartbeat to be between 140-145, but the midwife said it was “140.” And then on the second visit, the heart rate jumped around from 134-141, and again she wrote 135. So I’m now wondering why they pick basically the lowest number, rather than the average number that they witness?