Information regarding pregnancy and childbirth can come from many different sources – well-meaning family, friends, baby magazines and social media are just some. Hospitals as well as some insurance companies offer pregnancy classes to educate expectant parents-to-be.
These classes cover various topics related to childbirth and postpartum care, from childbirth techniques and techniques for laboring through to postpartum support. Here’s Your Essential Guide to Pregnancy Care Classes to help guide the way.
What to Look for
Early online pre pregnancy classes will help you better understand the process of labor and delivery. Most prenatal classes address basic nutrition, exercise and fetal development principles while others focus on pain management or birthing options such as natural childbirth classes which should typically take place around months 6 or 7. These techniques provide many different opportunities to gain knowledge of different birthing techniques that could make labor more manageable during delivery.
Other pregnancy care classes concentrate on postpartum mother and baby care, including breastfeeding. A breastfeeding class might cover newborn characteristics, beneficial breastfeeding techniques, partner roles in breastfeeding support and pumping and storing at work – just to name a few topics! Online pregnancy classes provide another great resource for expecting mothers who wish to expand their knowledge but cannot make traditional classes in person.
Preparing for Childbirth
There is plenty of advice available about maintaining a healthy pregnancy, but planning for labor itself can be challenging. Childbirth classes (commonly referred to as labor preparation or antenatal classes) provide expectant parents with guidance in understanding what’s happening to their bodies while answering any queries and building excitement for their big day.
Childbirth classes can be found through hospitals, private instructors or practitioners – each offers its own distinct philosophy and approach – yet most follow a similar curriculum covering breathing and relaxation techniques, various labor approaches, pain relief options and newborn care advice. Childbirth classes also serve as an invaluable way of meeting other expectant parents-to-be who can offer support as you anticipate the arrival of your new bundle of joy!
Consider what topics interest both you and your partner when selecting a childbirth class. Lamaze classes, for instance, are widely-sought after among expectant parents as they emphasize natural approaches such as breathing control and massage to manage pain relief – while many mothers also used medications as pain-relievers; your birthing instructor should discuss both avenues.
Pay special attention to how the classes are run and whether or not they include tours of birthing facilities, so that you can decide where you would like to give birth and imagine what your surroundings may look like on delivery day.
Pregnancy care classes often cover postpartum care, the six weeks post-childbirth when medical checksups take place with your obstetrician and you bond with your newborn.
Some women experience serious and even life-threatening health complications after childbirth, including miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death. A postpartum checkup can help detect these indicators so you can get appropriate medical treatment.
This class can be taken before or after you become pregnant, and is tailored for couples working together to learn relaxation and visualization techniques, hospital routines, medications and pain relief options, newborn characteristics and daily care as well as when to contact their pediatrician, bathe and diaper their infant, prevent SIDS with experts’ tips as well as eating and sleeping tips from experts.
This three-hour class equips you to actively participate in your delivery at either MultiCare Auburn Medical Center, MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital, or MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital. Among other topics covered is birth and delivery preparation, labor options and pros/cons of medications used during childbirth; vaginal and cesarean delivery options will also be discussed as options during this process. Unless otherwise specified, fees charged per couple.
Choosing a Pediatrician
Finding “Dr. Right” takes time, thought and energy – especially when selecting a pediatrician for your baby’s care. Their medical experience should align well with your own, providing years of good service. You need to ensure that they will fit seamlessly with both you and your family’s lifestyles.
Reach out to OB-GYNs, family physicians, friends with children and others you trust for recommendations of pediatricians before interviewing potential pediatricians. When conducting your interview of potential pediatricians:
Are their office hours convenient for you? If both parents work full-time jobs, evening or weekend appointments may be most suitable. Also find out the advance notice required to schedule well-child visits as well as whether or not this practice provides after-hours care or home visits.
Make sure that any pediatrician you consider is board certified – this means they have passed rigorous exams designed specifically to address the physical, emotional and social needs of infants, children, adolescents and young adults.
Once you’ve interviewed multiple pediatricians, trust your instinct and select the pediatrician that’s right for both you and your child. Sutter’s Find a Doctor tool makes the search simpler by allowing you to filter by name, specialty and hospital privileges as well as view biographical sketches and exam rates of multiple doctors side-by-side for easy comparison purposes.