More than halfway
Over halfway: The first period is behind you. If you are pregnant for the first time your abdomen starts to grow now (during your second pregnancy this happens a lot earlier). Often this is a period when you have more energy. During this period it is good to think about antenatal classes, and about breastfeeding. The desire to have sex changes during pregnancy. From 28 weeks onwards, it is important to feel your baby move every day.
Antenatal classes or birth preparation classes
It is a good idea to follow antenatal classes during pregnancy. It prepares you for the upcoming birth. Relaxation and breathing techniques are part of most types of antenatal classes; these techniques come in very handy during your birth. Which classes you choose is up to you; it depends on what feels right for you. There are classes based on yoga, mensendieck, haptonomy, and so forth. Some are led by a physiotherapist. During some types of classes your partner will attend once or twice, others you will attend with your partner every time. There are many different types of antenatal classes in Amsterdam. Choose the one that suits you and your partner best.
rondomdegeboorte: This organisation provides classes based on exercises or yoga. They also have a course ‘pregnant, giving birth, a child’; this course is a bit more extensive and prepares you for parenthood supported by a parenting coach. These antenatal classes are not too expensive and they are free for people who have a ‘city pass’.
Classes based on Mensendieck. Sandra Langenveld this classes nowadays. Carita Salomé, the founder of this course, is known from the book ‘Duik in je weeën’. If you can read Dutch, this is a good book to read.
Truus Gale: English language course about giving birth in the Netherlands aimed at non-Dutch women.
Lilith Turk: teaches a strenuous form of yoga. This is not a defined course of a set number of weeks, but you can join any time you want.
Patricia Vriens: yoga classes in activity centre ‘de Roos’ in the ‘Vondelpark’; classes are given continuously and you pay per month.
If you want to breastfeed after birth it can be nice to prepare yourself for that. You can read about it. Around this period you receive the booklet on breastfeeding from the Growth Guide series. You can also attend an information session. These are organised in several places, for example in hospitals and at the breastfeeding centre: de Boezemvriend
The desire to make love and to have sex may change during the course of your pregnancy. Particularly in the first trimester many women are very tired and nauseous. The desire to make love is then greatly reduced or non existent. This is not surprising and for many women the desire returns after 12 to 14 weeks. Many things change in your body during pregnancy. Your breasts are growing and are often more sensitive; strokes that were pleasant before may be a bit painful now. Your abdomen is growing. Some women feel beautiful and sexy as a result, but others may feel insecure about their body and are therefore less comfortable with it.
The whole pelvic area receives more blood because more blood is needed in your womb. As a consequence, your vagina and clitoris receive more blood as well which may also change your sexual experience. Some women have an increased desire in making love and reach an orgasm more quickly. For others, the increased blood flow makes having sex too sensitive Making love and sexuality are normal parts of life, also in pregnancy. Only in case of vaginal blood loss you are advised not to have sex. Sometimes men are worried about having sex because they are afraid that their penis may harm the baby. The baby is well protected in the womb; therefore, this should not be a reason to avoid making love.
Feeling your baby move
Your baby is going to move more and more when you are about 20 weeks pregnant. At first it will be irregular, but you feel it more and more clearly. Every baby has its own pattern and you know this pattern like nobody else. From 28 weeks onwards you feel your baby regularly, in particular when you are lying on your side. If you are worried that your baby is moving much less than you are used to, please phone us. From about 34 weeks, your baby will have less room to move and you will have to concentrate more to feel it. But if you concentrate well you should still feel the movements as frequently as before.
As a father-to-be it is also good to prepare for the birth and for parenthood. During most antenatal classes there will be one or two partner sessions, sometimes you can book this lesson separately. You will learn a lot about what will happen exactly during labour and how you can support your partner best. If you want to support your partner in breastfeeding, you can join her to a breastfeeding class (1 evening), for example at ‘de Boezemvriend’.
Special courses for fathers-to-be; see here
Henk Hansen gives a course in one night. He is the author of te books ‘zwangerschapsmanagement voor mannen’, ‘babymanagement voor mannen’ en ‘peutermanagement voor mannen’. (pregnancy management for partners, baby management for partners and toddler management for partners)