Sharon Sasse, who has worked as a midwife for seven years in the Sharjah Maternity Hospital and for a year-and-a-half in the School of Nursing in Sharjah, conducts classes for pregnant women to advise them on what to expect next and how to cope with changes.

"These classes are not about me telling them what to do and when to do, but about giving them ample knowledge so it helps them make decisions and take responsibility for their own pregnancy," said Sasse, who is running her Parent Craft classes in the Charly Poly Clinic situated in Karama.

While working as a midwife, Sharon realised that a majority of the ladies who were pregnant were mostly in the dark about what to expect.

She decided to combine her teaching skills and midwife experience and use the two to educate these ladies.
"I shared this vision with Dr Charly Thomas, who is also the director of Charly Poly Clinic. He liked the idea and with his support I was able to set up Parent Craft."

The course comprises a total of eight classes starting from the 12th week of pregnancy. In the first three sessions, Sharon looks at the correct diet, right exercise, things to avoid as well as things to do and the development of the baby.
"I try to give them enough knowledge and information about the various changes in their body, complications of pregnancies, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and the attached symptoms," explained Sharon.

"Events like emotional changes is a normal part of pregnancy and nothing to fear about. If you know what's coming your way, then you needn't panic."

In the next two sessions, Sharon teaches about breast-feeding and ways to handle a newborn.
At the clinic, Sharon has dolls that are the same size and weight of a newborn and with these models, she teaches the expectant mothers how to feed, massage, bathe and basically handle the delicate child.

"Most first-time mothers are scared to handle their babies. I train them to handle a baby confidently so they can enjoy their first born without apprehensions."

The final three classes are about the actual delivery. Here, she tries to instill confidence, explaining about the different breathing exercises, natural ways to take care and the different medical interventions that are required. She also informs them about various pain-relievers and discusses labour with them.

"I can even show them a delivery video if they want. The main thing here is empowering women, giving them enough strength to take their decisions and being with them all the way, sharing their apprehensions and fears. And I encourage husbands also to attend these classes," says Sharon, explaining that a husband's active participation and interest in his wife's daily routine can be a real confidence-booster.

Sharon holds her classes in English, but also speaks Arabic fluently enough to answer queries. Each class costs Dh50, but there is a special package of Dh250 for the whole course. For more details contact Sharon on 050-5243260.