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It’s worth finding out as much as you can about what to expect at the birth of your baby, and antenatal classes are an excellent way of doing this. They can:
Classes usually begin in the seventh or eighth month, but you may well need to book them around now. There are various kinds of classes, and most are designed for couples to attend together. However, if your birth partner isn’t going to be the baby’s father, and you want your mother, sister or a close friend there instead, they can come along to the classes with you. It will help them to support you better when the time comes.
Classes specifically about breastfeeding are also available in your area. If you would like more information about these, discuss with your LMC.
If you don’t go to antenatal classes, though, it’s worth organising a visit to your local maternity unit if that’s where you want to have your baby. They can show you around and explain what’s available – then the place won’t seem unfamiliar when you arrive in the middle of contractions! Have a read through our section on the birth – this can give you a general idea about what lies ahead.
Many women worry they could lose their job because they’re pregnant. Remember, your employer cannot sack you just because you’re pregnant. That means you cannot be fired, demoted or treated in a worse way than you would normally be because of your pregnancy.
If you feel that you have been treated badly, you can contact:
You may find that it’s hard to settle at night – your mind might be racing or your body feeling uncomfortable. Try these tips for sweet dreams:
If you’re losing sleep because you have worries or problems, tossing and turning won’t help. Try to put them firmly out of your mind till morning.
Many women worry that the strong chemicals in household cleaning products could affect their baby, but there is no evidence to suggest that ordinary cleaners will. Avoid using products such as oven cleaners (their labels are full of warnings anyway) and don’t breathe in strong fumes if you can help it. Work in a well-ventilated area if the strong smell makes you feel sick.