One of the many excellent things about giving
birth in the kingdom of the Belgians is that it is standard practice to go to a
physiotherapist for ante and post natal classes and the physiotherapist attends
Yesterday I attended a class. Usually I go to a French speaking class,
partly because I think that the physio is clearer in French but mostly because
it panders to my notions about myself. Anyhow,
at the French speaking class itÂ’s a mixture of people who have had children
before and first timers but, for whatever reason, at the English speaking
class, they were all first timers. Oh
how superior I felt.
Here are some reasons why. Irish woman, due on the day of the class Â“is
there a birthing pool in the hospital?Â”
Frankly, lady, if you want to go down this route, do you really think
that itÂ’s a good idea to ask about it for the first time on your due date? In fact, I happen to know that the only
birthing pool in Belgium is in Ostend (please do not ask how I came by
this arcane knowledge), so it was really far, far too late for this. Meanwhile the physio had understood Â“birthing
pillowÂ” and responded that there were dozens.
Slightly smug American lady asked the physio
Â“do you believe in the epidural?Â”. Given
that 96% of births in Belgium are with epidurals, IÂ’m betting
that she does. Seeing is believing.
Physio explained that she would come to the
hospital after the birth to do exercises and then, after a couple of weeks at
home, we should start coming back to classes.
Finnish woman asks Â“why donÂ’t we go back to classes immediately after
coming out of hospital?Â”. Physio says
tactfully that this can be a tiring time.
Â“ButÂ” persists the Finnish woman Â“we can do them at home?Â” Â“Yes, you can do them at homeÂ”. Â“ButÂ” IÂ’m thinking Â“you may prefer to use
that time to showerÂ”.
Yes, I was irredeemably smug. Boy, am I riding for a fall.
on 23 September 2005 at 16:06
on 23 September 2005 at 17:26
Dear Mrs. Waffle, i am in awe of your fortitude, still going to prenatal classes. I am putting up my feet in hopes you will follow my lead.
on 23 September 2005 at 19:43
on 23 September 2005 at 23:06
on 24 September 2005 at 12:53
Norah, please write a blog entry on this! I’d enjoy that and I need to be humoured.
Kristen, FT is an American also, so he is entitled to be a bit sarky. Most of the Americans I know are not smug at all, no for a nation of smug souls, you need the Dutch.
Star, Jojo, thank you very much.
on 23 September 2005 at 10:53
on 23 September 2005 at 11:00
on 23 September 2005 at 12:05
on 23 September 2005 at 13:20
I’ll be thinking about you. Best wishes to the family of five!
on 23 September 2005 at 13:41
on 23 September 2005 at 15:34
Pog, it’s here, drove around in it today. Bloody enormous.
Norah, I knew you’d be pleased for me and two sweeties. Ta very much.
Jojo, all sweet things are banned – you must suffer with me.
Angela, even more exciting from some angles, I guess.
Amerly, well maybe I should enjoy this time…
on 23 September 2005 at 15:38
on 23 September 2005 at 15:43
on 23 September 2005 at 23:04
on 24 September 2005 at 12:50
But it’s kind of quiet without them Chintzy.
Jojo, wish I’d seen this sage advice before I went shopping this morning.
on 26 September 2005 at 16:26