Monday, February 24, 2014

Antenatal Classes review: Parentcraft by Jenlia Maternal Services

This is a long overdue review but after going through my delivery, I think it's worth reflecting if I should have or shouldn't attend the antenatal class.

I surveyed during my pregnancy and narrowed down to Jenlia Services Sdn. Bhd. I found out that they are the one conducting antenatal classes "Parentcraft" for 4 days over the weekend in Sime Darby Medical Centre (SDMC) and also Sunway Medical Centre. I also looked in KMPJ antenatal classes but was told by my friend who attended that it was conducted in bi-language and not very focused.

Based on logistics, I narrowed down to SDMC or in Jenlia itself which was in TTDI. After that, I chose TTDI because it was over 2 days in a smaller group versus 4 days in SJMC in a larger group. Felt it was tiring to attend so many sessions during my pregnancy. Plus, I was delivering in Pantai Hospital. So I felt the added topics were not applicable to me.
Comparison of Parentcraft classes

TTDI – in the shoplot
SDMC, Subang Jaya – Medical centre (beneficial if you are planning to deliver there)
2 sessions (2 Saturdays morning)
4 sessions (4 Saturdays afternoons or 4 Friday nights )
Max 5 couples a class
Maximum 18 couples a class
Brief classes but more interactive.
More detailed class inclusive of visit to the medical center labour room and admission procedure
More time for discussion and Q&A
Not sure as didn’t attend
Topics covered
Topics the same excluding topics like Admission Procedure, no ante-natal exercise but have the relaxation exercise and breathing technique, do not “visit to labour room”
1.1 Recognizing Derivations from Normal Progression in Pregnancy
1.2 Preparation for Parenthood
1.3 Relaxation Technique
1.4 Ante-Natal Exercise
2.1 Importance of Early Breastfeeding
2.2 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding
2.3 Care of Self Post Caesarean Section and Breastfeeding
2.4 Signs of Labour
2.5 Admission Procedures
3.1 Tour of Labour Suite
3.2 Husband's Role during Labour and Delivery
3.3 Preparation for Normal Labour and Delivery
3.4 Normal Labour and Delivery Process
3.5 Pain Management
3.6 Breathing Technique of Stage 1 & 2
4.1 Care and Support for Mother during Puerperium
4.2 The Newborn - What to Expect in The First

As I attended this sessions in early 2013, I might have forgotten all the details but I remember her tips on breathing and the exercises the most. I remember the transparency and projector (a bit old school) with vivid diagrams showing the delivery process and her explanation on the pain management. I remember the demonstration of how to breastfeed using a doll. How is this any difference from reading a book? 

Well, I asked her about "Asian practices" during confinement i.e. what herbs can be consumed during breastfeeding. Jennifer does do home visits limited to certain radius for RM100 a trip, the last I asked. Unfortunately she doesn't cover my area but thank God, all I needed was another friend who gave me confidence about my breastfeeding during the 4th day post delivery. :) 

It is also good to attend to hear and see other couples in the same boat with equal concerns and anxiety. It's comforting to know every parents go through this. 

Would I recommend attending the classes?
Yes - very much to first time parents. It is not only for mothers but I find it very helpful to get the daddies involve. Jennifer goes round asking questions to the daddies too and giving some tips of their role during labour. I didn't ask my hubby how it felt but I think it is a good lesson for him as he doesn't read any of the books I pass to him. ;)

Jennifer is also very realistic in saying that sometimes we do not really have to force breastfeeding by saying it is not wrong to mix with a little formula milk when she gave the scenario in the hospital. However, I did attend another breastfeeding class by another person who is more pro-fully breastfeed. Will share my breastfeeding experience in another post.  Am happy to share that I am still breastfeeding my baby and hopefully till my son's wean off himself. :)

Tips to consider:
Only attend antenatal from 28 weeks onwards. IF too early, you might not remember too.
Why Jenlia? It's because I have read reviews about the instructor (Jennifer Hor) who co-wrote the book Asian Parenting Today, which was recommended because of consideration to our local asian context in terms of "confinement", traditional believes, etc. However, since it is my first child, I didn't read finish the book from cover to cover but use it as a guide for reference only. Will try to do a book review of it later.

Sample of the content of the book:

  • 0-3 months: First Impressions, Jaundice, Breastfeeding, Bottle-feeding, Sleep, Clothing, Keeping Baby Clean, Outing, Sterilization of equipment, Prevent of Infection, Immunization, Screening of Tests, Rashes, Baby's Temperature, Crying, Colic, early Concerns, Bonding & Stimulating Baby, Playtime, 0-3months checklist
  • 4-6 months: Establishing a Routine, Sleep, Feeding Habits, Guidelines and Menu, Semi-solids, Home Safety, Milestones and Ideal Activities, Checklist
  • 7-9 months: Sleep Issues, Feeding Baby, Recipes & Schedules, Baby's Health, Milestones, How Baby Learn, Play Schedules, Checklist
  • 10-12 months: Baby's Health, Feeding Suggestions, Meals & Mealtimes, Milestones, Watching TV, Building Self-Esteem and Independence, Playtime, Checklist
  • Ways to Keep Baby Safe, Nursery Rhymes, Recipes 
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