November 28, 2003

Baby classes

Russell Crowe and wife have decided to skip the pre-natal classes for the impending birth of their first child. As usual they've gone an interviewed a couple of midwives who've tut-tutted and blamed the husband for pressuring the mother-to-be out of it. Yes, mothers-to-be cannot think for themselves so it must be the dastardly husband. Mrs M and I went and did the pre-natal class before JC was born. These classes revolve around the following precepts:
* touchy-feely hippy cr@p to get in touch with the "most important experience in your life" (like watching Steve Waugh's final test happens every day).
* scaring parents-to-be by listing every improbable thing that could go wrong with the pregnancy and birth
* explaining why you will be the worst parents in the universe if you don't breast feed your child.
* reminding you that you will forever condemn your child to an eternity of hell if you don't breast feed your child.
* tell you that breast is best.

This is all not very helpful when the day finally arrives. Nothing happens as it is explained. The midwives who actually help deliver the child (in both the case of JC and PB) are helpful and able to explain what's going on. As is the obstetrician. That's what they're paid for.

What would be a million times more useful is classes telling you what to do when you get home. Babies don't come with instruction manuals. There are plenty of books that help but getting some first-hand advice from someone who's already been there and done that is worth thousands of words. And it turns out when we asked the midwife giving the class what she did with her kids, she admitted she had them on the bottle rather than breast-feeding. But she wasn't allowed to say that in the class as it was against policy.

End result: the pre-natal classes were mostly a waste of time and money. Better preparation is to get lots of sleep and enjoy having some money to spend on yourself.

Two other asides:

1. This one from a co-worker for Shaky and Phil: "In defeat the English are gracious; in victory unsufferable."

2. We're waiting for the tailor to turn up as we're getting some business shirts made up. This man has missed two appointments with us so far, even though we've promised him orders for 15 shirts. Obviously business is getting better in HK again.

Posted by Simon at November 28, 2003 03:54 PM | TrackBack

Simon, you are not kidding. When Mrs Tall and I attended such classes before the birth of Baby Tall, our experience was much the same. Puritanism, in the perjorative sense of the term, has migrated to institutional bastions of political correctness such as universities and hospitals, even here in HK.

And someone could make a fortune doing a book/video series, or maybe a CD-ROM, showing you how to do all the little things you suddenly *have* to do once you take the little darling home.

Posted by: mr tall at November 28, 2003 04:17 PM

With respect to point #1 -- of course they're better at the former, they've got more experience at it.

Posted by: Conrad at November 28, 2003 04:45 PM

Mr. Tall, it sounds like you and I have our get-rich-quick scheme all sorted out. Imagine the fun that could be had at new parents' expense.

Conrad: you should try being an Australian this week in an office of Englishmen. The bleating hasn't stopped. You were missed on Wednesday but fully understand why.

Posted by: Simon at November 28, 2003 05:36 PM

2 thoughts - we didn't do the pre-natal classes for our lad, largely cos my wife mad the good point that the baby was coming out whether we went or not, and the baby is the 1 that has to get the right way round etc, and yet no part of the classes involved explaining this to the fetus. the womans role seems to be largely push, scream and swear at the father- not necessarily in that order - sov what was the point. and before irate females moan those were her ords not mine! (all irrelevant in the end anyway - he was born by C section!).

on the english comment - ABSOLUTELY. this is the only thing we have won in my lifetime, and quite posibly the last, and i thoroughly intend to enjoy it, especially as rugby is my first love in sport, way above the girlie game with the round ball. (and don't try to wind me up about tennis or golf - we all know those aren't sports - they're just ways of killing time till the bar opens).

Posted by: jonny english at November 28, 2003 05:49 PM

How interesting you wait until after the blogger bash to post these comments Simon. Worried about your health were we? :)

I admit we can be but you know, bearing in mind some of the ridiculous things the Australian press were coming out with in the lead up to the final I do think we have some right to engage in a minor dose of nose rubbing.

Posted by: Phil at November 29, 2003 04:10 AM
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