Pregnant women always want the best for their unborn baby and that is why a majority of them give up drinking, smoking and even junk food. Another good thing you could do for your unborn baby is to sign up for a Lamaze class. Lamaze classes help you learn sophisticated breathing techniques that may help you a great deal the day you will be huffing, puffing, pushing and sweating-cursing, depending on the mother.
They also teach a few physical exercises and help you prepare mentally for the day you will be delivering the baby. These classes are usually taught by qualified nurses who have been trained on delivery methods and also have experience as midwives. Pregnant women are usually encouraged to bring their husbands or partners to these classes.
However, in the real world there are many single mothers who also want to attend these classes. The problem is that most pregnant singles are afraid of signing up for these classes because they do not know what to expect from the other attendees.
It is important for single mothers to focus more on what they are going to learn in these classes and whether or not it will be important for the baby, rather than the judgment they perceive or feel.
Once you divert your attention from your fears and focus instead on your unborn baby you will get the courage to go to these classes. Despite this, you may still want to know what you will encounter in a prenatal or Lamaze class. So, the following are the ten things you may have to deal with as the single mom in a Lamaze class:
10 The Annoying, Judgmental Nurse
She may be sweet, and may even compliment you at times but sometimes you have this nudging feeling that she is judging you. Sometimes you will catch her staring at you out of the corner of your eye, and in your mind you imagine her holding her hands tightly on her chest with a scowl on her face. However, you may just be imagining things. That is until she keeps on asking about the baby’s dad even after you have told her several times that you are a single mother.
If you find yourself in such a situation, try not to take the nurse’s criticism personally. Sometimes veiled or overt criticisms from a judgmental person reflect more about him or her than about you. Chances are that the nurse probably criticizes other couples for other different reasons. For example, the nurse may have told another lady in the class that her husband has lost weight yet the husband is clearly obese.
You could also try to read carefully the underlying message the judgmental nurse is trying to convey. Maybe what you read initially see as a negative message could just be the nurse’s tactless way to try and have a conversation about your child’s father. You never know, the nurse may actually be trying to befriend you so that she can introduce you to her single brother.
You also need to rise above the situation and avoid getting into a fight. There are some cunning people who poke at your emotions so that they can turn you into a raging emotional wreck. So, pick your fights carefully and if possible find another Lamaze class where you will be at peace.
Here is how you can avoid being like the judgmental nurse:
- Be confident about yourself and do not depend on other people to validate you
- Try to understand other people’s situation by putting yourself in their shoes
- Accept people for who they are once you begin to understand them
And remember that you don't have to listen to a blowhard nurse who's bent on judging you from her oh-so important role as Lamaze instructor. Some people just have small minds, rise above them and carry yourself with pride.
9 Judgmental Hormonal Women
photo by David Castillo Dominici
Apart from the weird cravings that pregnant women develop--that includes eating dirt and chalk-- they usually become a little too territorial and temperamental. So they may look at you funnily because you are single while at the same time clutching onto their husbands for fear that you may snatch them.
Do not be surprised if one of them approaches you with one hand rubbing on her tummy and the other gripping her husband’s arm like a vice and asks you where your yet-to-be-born child’s father is. If they keep asking you these “loving” questions, telling a clever lie could be the best thing to do.
Just tell them that your “ hubby” is in the army and is currently fighting in Afghanistan. Then stand aside and watch as guilt eats them from the inside like a corrosive acid. You could also hire a handsome model to pretend to be your “baby daddy”. Have your arms all over him just to make the ladies who judged you cringe with jealousy.
photo by Stuart Miles
To make your tormentors feel like their judgmental attitudes aren’t getting to you; do the following:
- Practice your I- don’t-care-what-you-think smiles in front of a mirror. Invite your friends to help you out. (Avoid fake smiling too much. Your mouth may get stuck in that position)
- Concentrate on your goal. You are not there to make the other hormonal women happy.
- Change the subject whenever they want to talk about your “hubby”
Or you can make them even more jealous and angsty by asking non-stop questions about their spouse, like what does your husband do? How much time does he spend with you at home. Now they're the ones who have to put that ridiculous fake-polite smile on.
8 Guilt and Humiliation
photo by Duron123
A number of single women who attend Lamaze classes alone are usually plagued with guilt and humiliation. It usually stings a little when you see the perfect little families that attend these classes.
A typical perfect family has the father and mother helping each other to breathe perfectly and they may pause sometimes just to smile at each other and say “I love you ” loud enough for all to hear.
Their constant expressions of love will definitely make you feel miserable because they will be a continuous reminder that you are single. However, before you grab a pillow on your bed and start rocking yourself while repeatedly saying “ I am not alone”, here are some pregnant women who went through worse:
- Sue Sylvester had crazy Nazi hunting parents, got pregnant without touching a man, married herself, and is now the “Supreme principal of McKinley High”.
- Tina Fey had to hire Amy Poehler to be pregnant on her behalf in the movie “Baby Mama”. At least you get to carry your own baby.
- All of Donald Trump’s “Baby Mamas”
Keep your face straight and be proud of who you are. Remember you are not in a Lamaze class to be admired but for the love you have for your unborn child. Additionally, nowadays there are many single women who are pregnant and proud.
7 "Dads do this” awkward moments
photo by patrisyu
The nurses running the class usually call on the unborn babies’ dads to do certain things. If you are single, these may be the most tortuous moments in a Lamaze class.
They are also the moments some women in the class will stare at you with pity written all over their faces--one or two may even shed tears. Other women will look at you with disgust.
The dads usually attend these classes so that they can also learn breathing exercises to help them and their wives avoid hyperventilating in the delivery room. Some men have been known to pass out during labor. It is nothing to be ashamed of-- some women think it’s beautiful.
Lamaze class instructors also teach the dad’s how to put diapers on dolls and how to tell whether their wives are going into labor. This will help them know exactly when they need to take their expectant wives to hospital. Some men know nothing about pregnancy and may take their wives to a hospital at night just because the fetus kicked.
Men also learn what to pack in the overnight bag for their wives when they are going to the hospital for delivery of the baby. You would not want your husband to a pack a blanket, a huge bottle of water and a towel to dap your sweaty forehead with water during birth time. They supply these things at the hospital. Instead pack what will make you comfortable.
photo by adamr
They also teach men how to be supportive to their wives during childbirth. The following are some of the things you can do when the nurse starts mentioning “dads”:
- Do not look at the other participants and if you do, illuminate them with the smile you have been practicing
- Have a “dad’s time volunteer” like your brother, father, mother or even your friends
- Use the situation to your advantage by doing all the dad stuff alone and perfectly.
You can even crack some dad jokes to let everyone know that you're not bothered by the fact that you don't have your baby's daddy there.
photo by imagerymajestic
Though most people still look down on single mothers, you will find a few people in the classes who will openly tell you how much they admire you. You will be regarded by some as a symbol of strength and female independence and you will be invited to a lot of dinners.
However, for you to be admired you need to work on your first impression. People usually form an impression of you in the first few seconds of meeting you. Just make sure that you keep repeating your qualities so that people believe in them.
Additionally, try and socialize with as many people as you can in the Lamaze class. You could do this by asking questions or even telling funny (I repeat: funny) jokes. Being quiet may make people dismiss you as anti-social.
You should also avoid certain topics when you are talking to people you have just met. For example, topics about politics, religion or taxes are very controversial. So, try and focus on sweet baby stories.
To maintain your position as the most admired person in Lamaze class do the following:
- Wear comfortable and stylish maternity clothes. Avoid your ex-boyfriend’s baggy track suits.
- Show genuine interest in your fellow Lamaze attendees
- Avoid eating or drinking during Lamaze class.
photo by adamr
Although you might feel all eyes on you at times, try to remember that other people don't think about you quite as often as you imagine they do. It's all in your head, take a deep breath, although you're probably already doing that because you're in Lamaze class, but just keep doing it!
Make sure that when you go to a pre-natal class hold your head up high and be the best student in the class and make friends with people who see you as a strong independent woman-you may just become one.
5 Awkward couples
photo by David Castillo Dominici
They usually look like the perfect couple before the class starts but during the class sessions you will notice their awkward behavior. This could mean that they are first time parents, siblings, friends or even couples that are not that close.
The awkwardness could be because one of the couples does not want to hold the other too closely because they are embarrassed or the male partner or husband may be bored and may spend the entire time looking at his watch.
Do not be surprised if you hear a slap, or see a phone being flung through an open window or a pregnant woman dashing out of the room crying like a mad thing. Pregnant women turn into tyrannosaurus rexes when they think they are being ignored by their significant others. So, sit close to the door if you have a predator in your Lamaze class.
Just thank your lucky stars when you find at least one awkward couple in your class, because all the attention and judgments will be focused on them and not you. Here are a number of reasons why you should be happy to be single:
photo by khunaspix
- You won’t have to force your husband to go with you to a Lamaze class. Most men would rather be repeatedly electrocuted than stay for more than 15 minutes in a room full of pregnant women.
- You will not have to take care of an overgrown baby while pregnant. Men sometimes just sit there watching sports while there pregnant wives work their backs of doing house chores.
- You will have more support from relatives than you would have had had you been married or with a partner.
Look at how much better you feel already! You won't have two babies to look after, you can focus on the important things.
4 You will learn a lot of things in the Lamaze class
photo by patrisyu
Many people dismiss prenatal classes as a waste of time, but you will learn a lot of practical and important things in these classes. In a Lamaze class you will be taught different techniques that may help you have an easier time giving birth naturally without routine medical interventions.
For example, various movement and breathing techniques, coping skills and methods you can use to comfort yourself during the real crunch time, making a birth plan so you can discuss with your doctor the types of interventions you want and those you don't.
Women also go to these classes to prepare themselves mentally for natural birth so that they can avoid having a caesarean section. Pregnant women are also taught about pain relief medications so that they can make informed decisions about them during childbirth.
photo by David Castillo Dominici
You do not need a partner to learn these things and the other women in the class will not allow their squeamish husbands in the delivery room anyway. Some women do not allow men into delivery rooms for the following reasons:
- Some of them behave like they are bored
- Other men faint at the slight sight of blood or other body fluids
- Some men scream louder than their partners during labor
Crunch time is a level playing field for all mothers. So don't feel like you're not going to do it right, there's no right and wrong in this situation, it's whatever feels right for you.
3 You will not be the only single lady in the class
You may actually find other single ladies in the Lamaze class and could even take some time to sing the “All Single Ladies” song.
Strong bonds and friendship will most likely develop between you and the other single mothers. You may even call yourselves “the single-ladies pregnant women gang”. The more confident you are in the class the more likely your gang will take over the class.
You will be the “cool kids” and all the other women will want to be like you. Additionally, the bond that you develop with these women will create a support system that will help you through your pregnancy. There is nothing more therapeutic than talking and relating to people who understand your situation and support you.
Some of the women in your “gang” may also know more about child birth than your Lamaze instructor. If so, they will give you much needed first hand advice on giving birth and so on. So, listen carefully to what they tell you about their own experience as single pregnant mothers.
You never know, this relationship could continue even after your baby is born. It's important to find support amongst other pregnant women. In some ways this support system will benefit you after the baby is born.
- Some of the women may offer to look after your child during emergencies
- You will know where to get the best clothes for your baby on the cheap
- You will not lack places to go to for some fun.
Prepare to be bonded to some of these women for life! What starts as a Lamaze class can turn into a club, or a ring of friends that you have for the entire life of your child.
photo by adamr
Some people may shake their heads at this but not all men who accompany women to these classes are their husbands. Some of them are their tall, dark and handsome brothers, friends and so on.
Just ask around and do not be ashamed to make the first move if you find out that certain couples are actually brother and sister or uncle and niece. Sometimes they will make the first move.
In order to catch your “prey” in a Lamaze class, leave the maternity clothes that look like your father’s old track suits at home. Instead, wear stylish and colorful maternity clothes that show your shape-make sure they are not tight or trashy.
Additionally, apply makeup to cover those bags under your eyes or just have enough sleep every night. Any sign of tiredness and drudgery will only remind your potential date of his mother or grandmother. The more alive and energetic you look the luckier you will be in the “bedroom department”
So, do not go to a Lamaze class looking miserable, sad and lonely. Instead, look and dress confident (not trashy) and you might just get laid.
1 Pregnant Pessimists
You may encounter pregnant pessimists in the class who will always complain about how lame the Lamaze classes are. They will moan and groan about how useless the techniques taught in the class are and will even quote famous pregnant people like their mothers, sisters or aunts to prove this.
They usually only see the negative side of things and are constantly convinced that things will not happen perfectly. You could try to change their perspective on things but have an escape strategy whenever you feel their negativity is dragging you down. Additionally, you could set boundaries and tell them that you only want to talk about positive things.
There will also be experienced women who will tell you the most gruesome child-birth stories they know only to irritate you. Just be confident and avoid these pessimistic potential mothers and make friends with people who are more excited about the day they will give birth.
Do not be afraid to go to a Lamaze class alone and focus on what is good for your child not on what somebody else thinks. There are things you can do to stay positive and happy during you’re the last trimester.
- Surround yourself with family and friends who are funny and positive
- Watch good movies, read happy-ending books and listen to soft music
- Share your concerns with your loved ones.
And remember that Lamaze class is not your entire life. So if there are judgmental women and nurses, remember that it's more their problem than anything else. Don't stoop to their closed-minded level. Be yourself and be proud!