Childbirth education classes are a necessary evil.
If you’re going to push something the size of a watermelon out of an orifice that is usually the size of a blueberry, then you need some training. Very few first time parents are willing to go through the whole birth thing without at least a little bit of formal advice, and sadly that advice is rarely delivered privately.
Not since high school have you been packed like hairy little anchovies, side by side into a small space, and expected to bond over a single commonality. The environment is distinctly awkward, the subject matter confronting, the props just plain weird and your fellow participants? Well, they’re the most challenging part of the whole childbirth education experience.
Luckily, you don’t need to be unprepared for the friend-making element of the class. Who to avoid and who to buddy up with is something you can study for in advance. The couples you want to be furthest away from (and avoid any group activity with) will inevitably fall into one of seven deeply annoying categories.
Read the list and learn to identify them, like native birds, by their distinct markings, trademark noises and toiletry behaviours. And then? Pick your seat as carefully as you possibly can. (Whatever you do, don’t sit next to number 4).
1. The super prepared couple who have read EVERY baby book (and want the whole room to know it).
She is dressed in super-comfy, designer maternity wear and is wearing the most sensible of sensible shoes. He’s come prepared too, ready to get down on the floor and deliver the best supportive massage of anyone else in the room. They nod knowingly when medical terms like ‘pre-eclampsiya’ or ‘funds’ or ‘alpha fetoprotein’ are used. They exchange pitying smug glances with one another whenever someone has a question. Dad-to-be regularly interrupts, belittles and clarifies the midwife’s perfectly reasonable explanations.