There are endless ways to prep for the upcoming arrival of your new little babe. And one common way is by taking prenatal classes.
But of course there are endless possibilities for classes to take.
You can take the classes offered through your provider, online classes, specialty classes, you name it.
Heading into labor, birth and motherhood I want to be as prepared, yet calm as possible. One way I know to do this is by educating myself about the physiological process of birth, learning labor techniques, and just getting myself excited for the experience.
Today I wanted to break down the options available to me, and what I chose to do.
[There is no right or wrong way to prep for a baby. You do you.]
Classes available through my provider/hospital: (I pulled these descriptions straight from the website)
Baby finance — walks you through a sample budget, explores costs of parenting from infancy through college, and discusses insurance and legal issues to consider for your new family.
Baby Safety — nursery safety, safe sleeping, home safety, baby-proofing your home and briefly discusses car seat safety.
Breastfeeding — essential information on how your body produces milk, what an effective latch looks like, how to know if your baby is feeding well, the basics of expressing your milk, what to expect during the beginning of your breastfeeding journey, and what support resources are available after you've been discharged from the hospital.
Car Seat Safety — facilitated by a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. It focuses on three main objectives: Iowa's Child Passenger Safety law vs. Best Practice Guidelines; positioning the baby in the car seat and securing the harness; and how to secure the car seat in the vehicle via an install demonstration.
Childhood Vaccinations — the importance of infant vaccinations, addresses myths and answers participants' questions regarding immunizations.
Comfort Techniques — a more in depth study and practice in how to manage labor pain with fewer medical interventions. Topics include breathing, relaxation, visualization, focal points, positions and movement during labor.
Feeding Your Baby — shows parents how to feed babies in a nutritious, safe and encouraging way from birth through one year. Topics discussed include breastmilk and formula, when to start solids, how to introduce baby food, the progression of textures, self-feeding, and much more.
New Dads — provides new dads with valuable insights and expectations regarding the important role of caring for their child. They'll learn about postpartum changes in mom, the vital role they play in their growing family, and the incredible joys and day-to-day challenges of parenthood.
Newborn Care — helps expectant parents learn basic caring techniques for a new baby during the first six weeks. You’ll watch videos and discuss common care techniques for comforting, feeding, bathing and diapering, as well as understanding newborn health and safety concerns.
Understanding Childbirth — essential information on pre-labor, stages of labor and delivery. you will watch a birth story showing the progression of labor and delivery. You will discuss medical procedures, medical pain relief options available to you and cesarean birth
Other, well known classes available: (once again pulled directly from a website since I don’t have personal experience)
Lamaze — supports birth as normal, natural and healthy. Empowers women and partners to make informed decisions
Normal labor birth and early postpartum
Positioning for labor and birth
Relaxation and massage techniques to alleviate pain
Labor support and communication skills
Info on medical procedures
The Bradley Method — helps women prep for natural labor and birth without use of medication
Importance of nutrition and exercise
Relaxation techniques to manage pain
How to avoid c-section
Hypnobirthing — teaches mothers if you remove fear and tension, severe pain doesn’t have to be part of labor.
Intense relaxation will enhance natural birthing instincts that lead to a calm birth experience
Teaches women how to feel similar to daydreaming while remaining controlled and happy during labor and birth
Listen to hypnobirthing tracks
The Alexander Technique — movement technique used by those with back pain or posture issues, or those who want to feel more relaxed.
Can help with labor breathing and opening body for birth
Number of classes depends on your preference but proponents recommend a class a week
Birthing From Within — preps moms to give “birth-in-awareness” not to achieve specific birth outcome.
Developed by midwife, Pam England
Curriculum adjusted to meet specific needs and differences of parents
Recognizes pregnancy, birth and postpartum involved learning, holistic support and education
Alrighty then, now that we’ve got that list out of the way, let’s talk about what I’m planning on doing. (And this is always subject to change).
Up until this point have I taken any classes?
I did meet a wonderful woman (who also lives here in Iowa) who is a Hypnobirthing teacher and doula. Before our chat I didn’t know much about Hypnobirthing and kind of thought it was a little woo woo and not for me.
But she graciously sent over a few Hypnobirthing tracks that I started listening to and that definitely spurred an active change in mindset when it came to thinking about labor and birth.
I’ve always been very excited about labor, but I feel like our chat really spurred me into actively working on my mindset and other labor prep.
In my quest to work on my mindset I discovered the book, Birthing From Within, which I didn’t even know was a legit “method” before researching for this blog post. (It makes sense that it is now that I know, and the book definitely talks about things that happened in classes so who knows where my disconnect was).
What’s on the horizon for me when it comes to prenatal classes?
Well, I’ll tell you!
I scheduled all my classes to be taken in June, and my first one starts this coming Tuesday. (Geeky squeal)
I’m taking three official classes.
The main one is a three-week birthing class offered through my midwife clinic. I was on the wait list for quite some time for this one so I was signed up for the “Understanding Birthing: Series” offered at the hospital as a back up.
I really jive well with my clinic and was hopeful to be able to take the class they provided. And it’s only $10 for the three classes!
The third week of June I have one Breastfeeding Class I’m taking. I’m really hopeful that I can be successful with breastfeeding so I figured it couldn’t hurt to educate myself with an actual class to go along with all the books I’ve been reading about breastfeeding.
As you can see from the description above they’ll go over "information on how your body produces milk, what an effective latch looks like, how to know if your baby is feeding well, the basics of expressing your milk, what to expect during the beginning of your breastfeeding journey, and what support resources are available after you've been discharged from the hospital.”
I know breastfeeding isn’t easy, and takes work, but I’m so excited to have that experience. And it’s free.
And the final class I’m taking is the Newborn Care class. It came recommended by my older sister, and let’s be honest, I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to a brand new baby. And I think preparing myself can help give me confidence instead of being a nervous Nelly. This one is also free.
Oh, and one final thing to mention is that Michael is coming to the Birthing Classes and the Newborn Care Class as well. I’m not sure he’ll come along to the Breastfeeding Class, but we’ll see.
And that’s that. Those are the three classes I’ll be taking this coming month, and I’m geeking out excited. I love learning. I love classes. And I think going to classes will make it feel even more real. Does anyone else feel like a faker when it comes to baby stuff? Even when I go to my midwife appointments it doesn’t feel like I’m actually pregnant, just pretending to be or something (I don’t know honestly. I’m weird.)
What classes did you take to prep for baby’s arrival? Do I have any Lamaze, Bradley, Hypnobirthing peeps out there?