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Parenting Courses: The Gift of Confidence

6 Jun

I was a single mom with my first child. I didn’t know parenting courses even existed; and if I did, I certainly wouldn’t have gone to one. I wanted to be an amazing mom and have that “Gilmore Girls” relationship with my daughter. I wanted to do it all by myself.

As much as I believe in natural instinct, I soon realised that I was out of my depth. No, I don’t know why my baby is crying. I can’t always tell the difference between my baby’s cries! And no, my baby DOESN’T want the boob even though you insist she does Aunty Martha! [cue scream]

Although I eventually did learn the difference between my baby’s cries, I had major insecurities about what to do at times. Asking for advice was like admitting I was a useless mother with no motherly instinct. I didn’t want other people to think of me as incompetent. I was a great mom; I knew that. I just wasn’t as confident on the inside as I may have appeared on the outside. Every decision was double-checked and second-guessed until my brains turned to coleslaw. And at times I felt attacked and exposed when friends and family kindly offered suggestions. As much as I LOVED being a mom, I hated the indecisiveness and insecurity I was feeling.

I wish I had known what I know now!

When my daughter was 18 months I married Kegan – an amazing man who gave me a gorgeous step-son! Friends of ours raved about Growing Kids God’s Way, a parenting course geared for parents with kids between the ages of 2 & 8. We tried it. And I recommend it – whether you are Christian or not! It gave us fantastic tools to add to our parenting bag of tricks! So when I fell pregnant with my second child, we eagerly took their advice to try the Preparation for Parenting course – even though Kegan and I had both had babies before.

Desiree Haakonsen with her 2 children, Callum and Jaime

Me and my two beautiful children, Callum (left) and Jaime.

I don’t want to give away any details of the course…not now anyway! But I will tell you that it was life-changing in the way that my husband and I became a solid team. We had a game plan and we were in it together! As a couple (or a single parent), you gain a confidence that literally makes people stop in their pram-tracks and ask “how did you do that?”

I still believe that every mother has an amazing natural instinct, and I don’t for a second think I “got it all wrong” with my first child. I think I did pretty well in fact. The parenting courses just gifted me with a confidence in myself that I had clearly lacked before. It is a gift that should be shared with everyone. I would like to pass it on to you! I’m positive that when you have tried one, you will try them all. And when your friends ask you, “How did you do that?” you can pass the gift on to them too!

To find out more about available parenting courses from the Growing Families International curriculum, please contact Andrea at Baby Guardian Vaccination Clinic.

Please note that Andrea and Alastair de Wet facilitate courses in the Centurion/Midrand area in Gauteng, South Africa only but may refer you to other facilitators in the greater Johannesburg area.

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What are Antenatal Classes?

30 May

learning about pregnancy at antenatal classMoms-to-be are a beautiful, glowing, mushy-brained symphony of hormones and emotions. They mood-swing from the chandeliers every other minute; experiencing intense highs and lows of joy, confusion, love, frustration, excitement, exhaustion, anticipation, anxiety (just to name a few) – and that’s before we even factor in all the cravings, back ache and stresses of picking the perfect name! First time moms-to-be can be even more extreme.

What we find these days is that new moms are being overwhelmed with information from friends, family, media and even complete strangers about pregnancy, birth and parenting. Many new moms are confused, because they don’t know what questions they should even be asking. And so our moms-to-be are left mood-swinging from the chandeliers; too nervous to come back down to reality.

That is where antenatal classes come in. Antenatal is all about the early stages of motherhood – pregnancy, the birthing process and the first few weeks with your baby. These small group classes are a safe and secure place for new moms to ask questions and get professional advice. These classes are designed to inform and support first time moms-to-be, helping them to ease into their pregnancy and early motherhood with complete confidence, and keeping the chandelier-swinging for the bedroom!

Here is an outline of what is covered in antenatal classes:

Week 1 – The joys and challenges of Pregnancy

•   The stages of pregnancy, its niggles and its relevance to the birth process

•   The placenta, cervix and uterus

•   Development of the baby – 9 months of growth

•   Positions of the baby

•   Dos and don’ts during pregnancy

•   Exercise

•   Pregnancy massage

•   What to take to hospital

•   When to go to hospital

Week 2 – Normal Vertex Delivery

•    Hormones in Pregnancy

•    Anatomy

      –   Uterus, placenta, cervix (last week)

      –   Pelvic floor, amniotic sac and  vagina

•   Stages of delivery

•   Labour positions

•   Dads in labour

•   Relaxation

•   Birthing DVD

Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbili...

Week 3 – Pain Control (dress accordingly)

•   Pain Control

•   Types of Pain control

•   Epidural

•   Breathing Techniques

•   Practice Demonstrations

Week 4 – Assisted deliveries

•   Induction

•   Vacuum delivery

•   Forceps delivery

•   Caesarean section

•   Assisted delivery DVD

learning about your baby in antenatal class

Week 5 – Breastfeeding and Establishing Routine

•   Breast vs. bottle

•   Advantages/disadvantages of Breast feeding

•   Advantages/disadvantages of Bottle feeding

•   Breast feeding

•   Latching

•   Expressing

•   Breastfeeding problems

•   Bottle feeding

Week 6 – Early parenting (those first few weeks)

•   What is the Apgar score?

•   The first 6 weeks

•   What to look out for

•   Vaccinations

•   A baby bath

To find out when Baby Guardian Vaccination Clinic is running the next Antenatal Class, please contact Sr. Andrea.

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