Ante-natal classes: The introduction to a “Sisterhood of Motherhood”
This month of LOVE and the theme of bonding with my family got me thinking about all the bonds that I have created during my journey through motherhood. For this reason, I feel that it is absolutely fitting to write about the friendships and bonds that I have made with my ante-natal mommy group.
In this digital era, it is so important for me to have that personal connection with people that can empathise with what I am going through, and with whom I can engage with and get advice.
When I signed up for my antenatal classes at Marion Wing’s Baby Clinic, I had no idea that I was actually signing myself up to become a part of a whole new family, and not just in the sense of adding a third member to my nuclear one.
My antenatal class consisted of a group of moms to be, all expecting what not to expect within one month of each other. We were super excited, uncomfortable, gassy, heartburny, restless leggy, anxious, nauseous and always hungry, together. It was AMAZING! Lol! Nothing bonds you more to people than travelling on the same journey as them.
There is so much depth in the phrase, a “Sisterhood of Motherhood” which I have learned first-hand in the last three years. These incredible women and mothers have become my pillar of strength and support on such a personal level. We share a different kind of love, compassion, and understanding for each other.
We have become the 2am / 4am / 6am /10pm (you get the point) support group for each other. Someone is always there, and there is nothing more comforting than knowing just that. We may not see each other every day, but we are available to each other every day.
Our conversations have progressed from, “are we supposed to burp them every time they feed?” to “how do we keep them in their big beds without locking them in their rooms?” Three years later and we are still as tight as our pre-fertilised uteruses. We can discuss every aspect of our lives with each other knowing that there isn’t just one side or opinion supporting us through what we are going through and the advice that is given is pure honesty. The bond we have with each other is quite literally a “Sisterhood of Motherhood”.
Each of us follows a different style of parenting and each of us is open to testing and discussing these different styles of parenting. No one judges, everyone listens and tries their best to give the support and advice that is needed at that time. We are so blessed to be presented with so many alternatives to the way we do things.
For me (being quite analytical), this group allows me to conclude a 1 to 10 ratio, lol. As an example:
- 3 out of 10 of us developed Post Natal Depression
- 4 out of 10 of us had Caesarean Sections (2 of which were emergency)
- 2 out of 10 of us are NICU strong!
- 10 out of 10 of us say that we would have never survived those first few months without each other.
This ratio analysis keeps my head screwed on properly and allows me to conclude if I am going “crazy” or if this phase that I am experiencing is just another path that motherhood is leading me on.
Antenatal classes are however so much more than just opening the door to this Sisterhood
They provide you with:
- An Introduction to pregnancy (anatomy and physiology, possible disorders and good nutrition)
- The opportunity to form a trust and bond with the educator and Sister who will be guiding you through the future development of your baby.
- An environment where you can share tips and discuss health issues.
- An opportunity for discussions that often lead to you learning about things that you would not have thought of. (Most of which result in hysterical laughter. One word: Enema)
- The much-needed support and encouragement you need to keep your spirits up during your pregnancy and beyond.
- A platform where expecting dads get to participate, discuss and learn about the development of their unborn baby and understand what their partner is experiencing during her pregnancy. This is vital as dads do not get to bond with their unborn child on the same level as expecting moms.
They prepare you for:
- Motherhood and introduce you to a platform for on-going education.
- Labour and Birth
- Caesarean Section and assisted births
- Pain relief and procedures
- Post-birth skin to skin and bonding with your New-born
- Parenting and the basic care of an infant (massage, bathing, and layette)
- Postnatal Immunisations
- Post-partum depression and the awareness thereof.
Without my antenatal classes, I would not have become a part of a family that is irreplaceable to me.
The below video is a perfect representation of the “Sisterhood of Motherhood”, however, in my nuclear Sisterhood of Motherhood, we are a diverse group of 10 moms, each representing a different category that has been depicted.
Note: This awesome video is a product of Similac (http://www.similac.com) and a production of Harvest Films, with whom Baby Steps Early Learning Centre has no affiliation.
To my “Sisterhood of Motherhood” (you know who you are); I love you all to the ends of the earth and want to thank you for being consistent in my journey of inconsistent.
Planner, Seeker of happiness, Cat & Human mom (proud Baby Steps mom), Creative, OCD maybe, baby blogger
If you are looking to join an antenatal class AKA an introduction to your Sisterhood of Motherhood, contact Sister Marion Wing at The Baby Clinic on the details below.
Phone: +27 84 387 2388 (Jenny)
Message: +27 83 229 6964 (Marion)
Address: The Baby Clinic, Kloof Road Medical Centre, Kloof Road & Arterial Road West, Bedfordview
It’s not just me; here are a few testimonials that back up my feelings on the bonds that are created through antenatal classes:
From “Strangers” to “Saviours”
By Jasmine Guterres
When I first fell pregnant I was told I needed to go to an Antenatal class. At first, I didn’t even know what that was and secondly, I didn’t think it was necessary to go to a class to get me through pregnancy! My sister had a 7-year-old and a 4-year-old at the time I was pregnant, I thought I had all the help I needed. However, my sister was the one who convinced me that I needed to go and it needed to be Sister Marion!
The class was awkward initially, a group of people brought together because we all happened to fall pregnant at the same time. It’s impossible to think that you would become friends with people purely because of this! While in class I was blown away by how much Sister Marion knew and the help she gave me in trying to turn my baby so that I could try for a natural birth. Everything she told me was then confirmed by my gynaecologist after scans and check-ups were done. It felt good to have at least made one friend, Sister Marion. There were no stupid questions with Sister Marion, only loving caring answers.
We started a Whatsapp group with the moms, the conversation did not flow! But as the first baby was born, things started to change! Sister Marion still played a big role in getting us together on the group but as more babies were born she started stepping back and eventually left the group and left us to get along.
This Whatsapp group and the ladies on that group saved me from going mad!!! If there was anything strange or different or scary, we shared it. There is something so special about having people around you that are going through the exact same thing at the exact same time!! I thought it would be my mom and sister that I would turn to in those sometimes dark times, but it was these “strangers” that were there for me the most, at any hour of the day or night!!
Two and a half years later, and after having these “strangers” help me again with my second child, I no longer consider them strangers, they are my friends, friends brought together by pregnancy, antenatal and Sister Marion.
The community Sister Marion has created for us is amazing and has made motherhood just a bit easier and a lot less lonely.
A Band of Mothers
By Melissa Lynes
Antenatal class. It’s like walking into a classroom on the first day of school. You don’t know anyone and you have no idea how these people will impact your life. We sat in sessions weekly, for hours, and hardly said a word to each other. Then one day, the first mom had her baby… and boom.
Historically, and I quote, “A “band of brothers” is a martial group, dedicated and loyal. The spilling of their blood, mixed together in desperate battle, makes them a family as close as any blood tie can make them. In their desperation, their comradeship, their shared struggle they become a “band of brothers”.”
Honestly, is there a better description? Welcome to motherhood. These girls have been such a huge part of my new journey. Sometimes, in times of desperation, there are no sweeter words than “me too”. We’ve been together for 17 months and counting. We still meet up from time to time and a few of our moms are even expecting baby number 2. It’s been a ride and I’m so grateful for my Band of Mothers.
This Thing called Ante-Natal Class
By Lara Otto
When you fall pregnant, you go through all the steps in your head of what you ‘must-do’.
Antenatal classes, for me, was one of those ‘must do’s’. I never really thought it would have such a positive impact on my journey as a mom, except for the fact that you ‘must-do’ it.
At 26 weeks pregies, I decided we should do this thing they call Antenatal classes.
Meeting Marion and joining her Antenatal class was truly one of the best parts of being pregnant. Not only does she have a wealth of knowledge, but she also creates friendships within her practice, which is something that I can never be more grateful for. Especially knowing that there are ladies awake at 2am willing to listen to your sleep-deprived pleas. Ladies that are all on the same journey, who are also in need of support.
Marion becomes a part of your parenting journey and is just amazing support before, during and after. She is the human interaction that we all need. The interaction you don’t find on Google. She cares about you, not just your baby. Marion truly is an amazing woman and joining her class was one of my most valuable choices.
So now my view on finding the right Antenatal class is that it is probably one of the top priorities on your list when getting ready for your new baby.