Are Prenatal Classes worth your time?
I feel like everyone is familiar with lamaze classes and I think that’s exactly what I expected our prenatal classes to be. I kept reading and hearing about the different birthing techniques and people questioned me as to which we were doing. But we didn’t take one of those classes. Instead we took one more generalized.
They were definitely worth it to us though. In our recent podcast Bobby and I touched on, but didn’t go into details, that we really didn’t know a whole lot about the female body during birth (and pregnancy). Either we weren’t paying a whole lot of attention in school, or they just didn’t teach much about it.
I learned SO much about my body in this class and I am forever grateful. I was definitely terrified at first, not really sure how I was going to be able to push out a baby from my vaginal canal. I was nervous about getting an epidural, but knew I’d be okay having one if the pain got too much to handle. (Did you know that an epidural is medical grade fentanyl? Bobby was not thrilled when we learned about that.)
Our prenatal class that we took had six parts - Infant & Child CPR Safety, Childbirth Ed 101, Newborn Care 101, Infant Feeding Class, Preparing your relationship for baby, Mindful Parenting workshop. I have to say that we found each class had valuable information.
Thank goodness we haven’t needed to use any safety measures, but we are prepared now - definitely didn’t know a thing before this class. Like I mentioned before, the childbirth class was incredibly helpful. It really helped me to know how my body was working throughout my pregnancy. I was able to recognize that I was in early labor (while working a 10 hour shift at the NYS DMV!) which allowed me to be in control, not freak out and ride it out the way I felt I was comfortable. It wasn’t until the next day when active labor started that I began to panic!
I don’t think that Bobby and I took the mindful parenting and relationship classes as seriously as we probably should have. But I see now as we grow as a family how we did listen a little bit, because we are taking some of the suggestions from the class and implementing them in our communication with each other.
There really is just so much information to be learned before having a child. And whether or not new parents take a prenatal or birthing class they still need to be supported. There are fantastic resources out there and now that we lived through a pandemic those resources are virtual and accessible from almost anywhere. While we have some friends who did not take any classes (due to the pandemic) and others who did, we are all figuring it out our own way.
We hope that you will be encouraged to take advantage of the benefits of a prenatal class either with the birthing center, hospital, library, or motherhood center near you or online. An added bonus is most times the other parents to be taking these classes can be instant parent friends!
We took our classes with The Nesting Place. And here are a few other resources that we mentioned in our podcast too. The Postpartum Resource Center of New York - Resource for parents offering free support for Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders; Long Island Doula Association - Resource for parents offering a directory of local doulas and birth resources
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