The birth of a child is a fascinating time of growth and discovery. To help expectant parents meet the challenges of the transition into parenthood, most birthing centers offer a wide variety of classes.
Childhood and parenting classes are designed to build your confidence, help you make more informed decisions; and support you in your new role as a parent.
Childbirth Preparation Classes
Childbirth classes are designed to respect individual values and strive to make each birth and parenting experience a special adventure. Childbirth and parenting classes are taught by skilled nurses and highly trained instructors who will answer your questions and offer you guidance. Included in childbirth classes are discussions of anatomy and how your body changes during pregnancy and what to expect during labor and delivery. Also included is information and practice with relaxation techniques, choices available to you for medication and anesthesia to decrease discomfort and a tour of the birth place.
These classes help prepare the expectant mother and her support person for the physical and emotional aspects of childbirth. Most childbirth classes are 12 hours of education divided into 4 or 6 sessions.
Some busy expectant parents who are both working may be interested in an express childbirth class that meets once or twice for a total of 8 hours.
First time parents are encouraged to take a baby care class that teaches the basics like: diapering, feeding, comforting, and what to expect during the first three months of life.
Infant CPR Classes
Infant CPR class is also encouraged for first time parents and even experienced parents who need a refresher of what to do in the case of an unexpected emergency. Most CPR classes offer information on accident prevention and child safety.
Expectant moms who are planning to breastfeed are encouraged to attend a breastfeeding class. Preparing for breastfeeding before delivery is very helpful and makes a success of that first week of life.
Expectant parents having the second baby or more may be interested in a refresher childbirth class. Refresher classes are offered to families who already have children and had a childbirth class years ago. Sometimes couples in refresher class are experienced mothers with new first time dads. Refresher classes are usually 3-6 hours of education in 1-2 sessions.
Early Pregnancy Classes
Some birthing centers offer classes for early pregnancy. These classes discuss morning sickness, good nutrition, and the avoidance of harmful substances.
After you have your baby, you may want to follow up with the variety of parenting and support classes that many birthing centers have. These classes give you a chance to problem solve and help you form a great relationship with the newest member of the family.
Editorial provided by the health care professionals at Littleton Hospital in Littleton, Colorado