Monday, October 17, 2011

Baby School

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?

11 comments:

Heather said...

These sound like great classes, and we'll definitely be taking some when it's our turn. As for the poop question, I think I would rather have less poop no matter what. Then again, as of right now, I'm thinking I'd rather not breast feed, so I guess I won't have much of a choice in that case!

april said...

We did the hospital tour (INOVA Women's Center), Red Cross First Aid and CPR class, Childbirth class even though we were having a c-section and the entire class thumbed their noses at us, and the generic baby class. We actually also took the baptism class before the baby was born so we didn't have to do it afterwards, too. We were more than ready for the baby. I had quite a bit of experience with newborns and kids, but Rob had not so any bit of false confidence he could muster up was helpful.

Lexilooo said...

My friend had her baby in Reston, and that hospital is amazing! I visited the next day. I have no babies yet, but I will most likely take these classes. I've been around lots and lots of babies, I used to babysit all through high school and college, but I'm sure there are still lots of things I don't know...like how to swaddle!

KLaw said...

So glad you enjoyed the classes. And most importantly that K got to see the guts and glory :) ha!!

Venassa said...

Initially I wanted to take some of the classes, but I never did. I learned all about diapering and feeding when my nephew was born, so it's not as scary now that I have one of my own.

Stephanie said...

We're taking an 8 hour all day Saturday Child Birth class at our hospital that includes a tour and then with 3 huskies at home we're taking a Pet and Infant Safety class as well. However, I'm terrified of the Child Birth class for the guts and glory video. I'm the person who can't watch a surgery on Grey's Anatomy without getting squeamish so I have a feeling this class will be hard for me. Hubs on the other hand, will love it, his wish is to be a doctor and he thinks surgeries and things are cool.

Teenage Bride said...

I ended up being put on bed rest before I got to take classes. I am so happy you got to take some!

Mrs EyeCanSee said...

If I didn't know any better, I'd swear we took the same classes! I mean I know every city offers them, but even your teacher sounded just like ours!

Anyways. Obviously yes, we did take classes. We did a Breastfeeding one, a Newborn Care one and a 3 part birthing one. The Bfing and Birthing one were really helpful. I used a lot of the breathing techniques until I got my epidural and thought it really helped!

Nicole-Lynn said...

Very nice! I'm glad you two were able to go and walk away learning some things and feeling more confident about your labor.

AmyJean {Relentless Bride / Fry, The Baby} said...

The newborn care class sounds great and i think we definitely need to take one. We are currently taking Bradley Classes which are similar to the Lamaze class in that it teaches you all about the phases of labor and what your body is going through in the physical sense. It also tries to teach pain coping techniques. It's been interesting so far... Thank GOD for classes although, i don't know if anything will quite prepare us for what will come :)

Mrs. Pancakes said...

how awesome that they have classes like this...so helpful! glad you are taking advantage!