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I have about six-seven weeks left in this final trimester and it’s time to prepare for birth, what does labor look like, when do I call the midwife, when do I leave for the hospital, what do I bring to the hospital, what is my birth plan, how do I get through this.  I am lucky enough to have a solid team including a Midwife, Douala, Husband and Sister but this is still something that’s up to mother and baby.

Prenatal Classes:
There are prenatal classes available at local hospitals for as low as $80 a couple but you need to sign up as soon as possible and our hospital was all booked up.  There’s an online video series at BabyCentre.com and Toronto Public Health offer FREE online classes.  Group and private classes are also available from $120-275 across Toronto.

Lamaze:
As recommended by my mother-in-law, Lamaze, also known as the psychoprophylactic method, started as a prepared childbirth technique popularized in the 1940s by French obstetrician Dr. Fernand Lamaze based on his observations in the Soviet Union as an alternative to the use of medical intervention during childbirth.  I couldn’t find anything in Toronto and it seems like a technique that people still talk about but is less popular.  

Hypnobirthing:
Everywhere I look, I find Hypnobirthing, “what the heck is this” I asked myself, it sounds like they hypnotize you and then you miraculously give birth, “sign me up!” .  Well it’s more than that:  HypnoBirthing® – The Mongan Method is as much a philosophy as it is a technique. The concept of HypnoBirthing® is not new, but rather a “rebirth” of the philosophy of birthing as it existed thousands of years ago and as it was recaptured in the work of Dr. Grantly Dick-Read, an English obstetrician, who, in the 1920s, was one of the first to forward the concept of natural birthing. The method teaches you that, in the absence of fear and tension, or special medical circumstances, severe pain does not have to be an accompaniment of labor.  Trained HypnoBirthing® educators are successfully teaching women and their birthing companions to trust birth and release all fear and limiting thoughts. HypnoBirthing®practitioners can be found in 46 countries throughout the world.

“When you change the way you view birth, the way you birth will change.” -Marie F. Mongan

Classes in Toronto range from $420-$550 to do the full series of six hours of classes, which seemed like a big commitment for me and my husband, so I emailed two qualified instructors Jennifer Elliott and Karen McWilliam and asked what my options were for a private classes.  Since the full series can’t be shortened because of the content I found that there is a Hypnobirthing book and recording that you can buy.  We ended up committing to a private prenatal class and then buying the book and recording for “homework”, this way my husband and I could study at our own pace over the next couple of weeks, plus, I’ve heard having the recording during  birth is helpful when you want to tune out the world around you and focus on birth.

What to bring in your hospital bag:
It’s about time to pack for the hospital just in case and I found it helpful to look up lists and videos on what to bring.  My list includes the following:

HOSPITAL BAG: FOR YOU & PARTNER
Prenatal medical records
Health card & Insurance card
Birth plan (if you have one)
Phone and charger
Music, iPad, magazines or a book
Robe
Socks / slippers
Headband or hair elastic
Usual toiletries (cleanser, moisturizer, toothbrush bb cream)
Maxi pads & Nursing pads
Nursing pillow / extra pillow
Change of clothes, comfortable
Disposable underwear (or old comfy undies)
Snacks (granola bars w protein, drinks)

FOR YOUR BABY:
Diapers, wipes & diaper rash cream
2 or 3 one piece pjs
2 or 3 receiving blankets
Going home outfit (onesie, pants, cardi, hat and socks)
Scratch mitts
Infant car seat
Baby blanket

Now we wait….