Pregnant With Twins? Look for the The “Personal Touch” in your Prenatal Classes.

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Posted by vera | Posted in Twins or Multiple Birth Pregnancy | Posted on 19-11-2009

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twin boysRecently, I was auditing a colleague’s prenatal course geared towards mothers pregnant with twins, and it caused me to think back to my own twins pregnancy six years ago.

I remember panicking when we discovered we were expecting multiples.  I started to Google for information – there was way too much! 

Our OB suggested twins-specific prenatal classes, which were offered in the hospital where he worked.  Multiples prenatal classes sounded good to us. perhaps a professional could help to guide us through the surplus of information out there, both frightening and overwhelming, about multiple births and in particular, monozygotic twin pregnancies.  I called to sign us up.

Imagine my surprise when I found out the price tag was $200!!!  On top of that we’d have to pay parking each time (we live in a large, urban centre, so this was no cheap “surcharge”!)  And to really top it off, the classes were 4 hours on Sunday afternoons, prime nap time for a pregnant lady!

But what could we do?  That was the option, the only alternative was to be totally unprepared for the arrival of our twins.  So, I signed us up, crying as I wrote a cheque big enough to cover a crib mattress or cheap double stroller.

The classes themselves were fairly comprehensive, as I recall. a nurse lead us through various multiples pregnancy and prenatal tidbits. we watched a twins birth video, we talked about how important breastfeeding was (there was no instruction on how to properly bottlefeed twins or triplets).  But as two teachers, my husband and I grew pretty impatient with the long periods of sitting in a circle with strangers at each class (sometimes we saw people who had been in a previous class, at other times, it seemed to be entirely new people – it wasn’t a course, per se, where the same people necessarily came each month).

Although some attempt at introductions was made, the course facilitator did little to foster a collaborative, safe, inclusive learning climate.  We felt a bit like cattle (LARGE cattle, in the woman’s case) being herded through a generic formula of information downloading.

Most of what we covered in the course I could have gotten from a book.  Good medical info, not much personal touch.  We didn’t get a true sense of “what it REALLY going to be like with newborn twins at home?”  The course instructor was not a mother of multiples.  The snacks were crappy, the seats were hard, the room was dreary at best.  At least with a book, I could have enjoyed it in the comfort and convenience of my own home!

Thinking back to when we were expecting our twin boys, I wish we had had access to an online multiples prenatal course like Babies in Belly. As a mother of twins, I remember the short attention span but keen interest to learn more about my belly and my future children.  The classes within each section of my online course are the perfect length to sit through, and unlike the long, tedious classes I took at the hospital, the bits of info and activities in my online course can be enjoyed from the convenience of the couch, or a comfortable chair in my office at work.

I bet lots of people wonder, though, about how interactive an online prenatal course could be.  “Why pay $50 for a course when I can buy a book for $22.95?”  you may be asking.  Well. a book is hard to put down (or to pick up, sometimes).  And how do you ensure your partner is also informed? A well-crafted online course is broken up into timely chunks of information, and includes visuals like colour photos or video-snippets, as well as some interactive activities, to accompany the inevitable text.  The beauty of the twins an triplets prenatal course I have created is that it can be accessed simultaneously by two spouses (and grandparents, too, for that matter!), so that everyone can be learning at the same time.  It is not overwhelming, but there is some homework and a few activities to do, too, so that learning can be solidified.

After completing the audit on my colleague’s prenatal class, I went online to review my own prenatal course.

At the risk of sounding arrogant, I told myself once again how fabulous it was! Then I sighed.. I wish we had had access to something affordable and convenient like this when our babies were on their  way!

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