The hospital I'm planning to deliver at offers several classes for expectant parents through their Wellness Center and last week Kristian and I took two of their classes.
On Wednesday night we went to the 2 1/2 hour Baby Care Basics class which is taught by a registered nurse. As the name implies the class teaches you the basics of how to care for a newborn baby including diapering, feeding, bathing, dressing etc. Since the class is only 2 1/2 hours long there isn't time to go into too much detail but it's a nice overview for first time parents. Most of the stuff she went over I had read about or heard about but I did learn a few new things. For instance- with breast milk the babies will poop more but the poop doesn't really smell, with formula they poop less but it stinks more. So even though I am hoping to breastfeed we got into a debate about which would be worse, more poop that doesn't smell or less poop that does. What do you think?
We also had the chance to practice diapering and swaddling a baby doll. The teacher actually complimented me on my swaddling technique. Kristian told her we had been practicing on our cat (true story) and the teacher thought that was awesome and couldn't stop laughing. Hey whatever works right? We were both very pleased with the class and definitely walked away more knowledgeable.
This past weekend we took the Childbirth Prep Class which many people know as Lamaze class. We had the option of spreading this out over 5 weeks- one night a week or knock it out in a weekend- 5 hours each day. We went with the weekend option and even though it sucks to give up a weekend I'm glad we did it all at once.
This class teaches you all about childbirth including labor, birth, breathing, relaxation, medication, C-sections and post partum. This is also taught by a registered nurse who had worked in Labor and Delivery for 25 years and had 4 kids herself (two naturally and unmedicated and two C-sections) so she knew her shit.
The first day was more of a general overview and introduction of things and we learned a few breathing techniques. The second day got into more specific, nitty gritty stuff and we got to watch several videos including one where we watched a birth- from the end you usually don't want to see it from. We ended the class with more relaxation and breathing techniques and your partner learns different coaching techniques to help you with.
Overall we really enjoyed the class despite having to miss the Redskins game yesterday (they lost so it was probably better we missed it). We learned a LOT of information and I really liked how the nurse talked about so many different birth options, not just one, so that we are fully informed of our options and what we can/should ask for. I think the class did alleviate a lot of my fear and uncertainty about the labor process and I feel much more prepared for labor/birth regardless of which option I go with.
Most of all I think Kristian really benefited from these classes. I've been reading a LOT online and in books about this stuff and even though he knows quite a bit already I know he learned so much more and now feels confident that he can help coach me through this. He was a great student and asked both teachers lots of good questions and was a very active participant. He's going to be such a good dad, he's so excited about meeting his son.
I highly recommend taking any classes you can prior to having a baby that you think may be helpful, for me it has helped ease some of my anxiety and increased my confidence level. It will also help you make informed decisions about yours and your babies care which is priceless.
Share time- did/will you take any classes before having a baby?