Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Baby Classes

Wayne and I decided to take the parenting classes offered through our clinic/hospital. We went back and forth on if we really needed to take them and had heard from people on both sides of "they were helpful" to "you won't learn anything." Well, let me tell you as first time parents they were DEFINITELY helpful.I would recommend taking them.

The name of the class is actually "Childbirth Preparation," which I thought was a very appropriate name and it was a six-night series every Wednesday night. They recommend starting at 28 weeks. That way it's not too early where you forget, but not too late, where you probably won't finish. We started at 31 weeks.

Our teacher, Cherste, was a RN for many, many years and has now been teaching these classes for 5 years. She also was just finishing up her masters. I felt she was very knowledgeable on everything, as well as honest (didn't sugar coat parenthood) and a great resource for questions.

Weeks 1 (May 11th), 2 (May 18th), and 3 (May 25th) were all about understanding birth.

We learned and focused on preparing for a vaginal delivery. We went over the signs of pre-term labor, when to come to the hospital (511 rule), stages of labor and delivery, breathing and relaxation techniques, and medications for labor. We had to bring 2 pillows with us the first 2 weeks to practice labor techniques with each other. The third class my Mom actually came with me because Wayne had to work that night. That was the night where we reviewed all the different options for drugs during labor and delivery.

Week 4 (June 1st) was about Cesarean Birth, Postpartum Care and we took a tour of the hospital.

I liked that they went over both vaginal deliveries in the early weeks, but we also learned about c-sections as well. It was nice to learn about both and be prepared just in case. A lot of times you just plan for a vaginal birth and then unexpectedly, you need a c-section. That recently happened to a friend of mine after 19 hours of labor, they ended up doing a c-section.

It was fun to see the labor & delivery rooms as well as the Mom & Baby rooms as they call them at our hospital. We discussed the hospital stay, recovery time from a cesarean or vaginal delivery, and how to care for ourselves when we go home.

Week 5 (June 8th) was about caring for our newborn after birth

We learned the basics of infant care (such as bathing, swaddling, diapering and feeding options) and different skills for calming a fussy baby (the 5 S's).

Week 6 (June 15th) was all about Breastfeeding

I thought this class was extremely helpful. Our teacher was recently finishing up her masters and did her thesis on breastfeeding, so I felt like she was very knowledgeable about breastfeeding. We touched on how to recognize baby’s hunger cues, how to know and signs that baby is nursing well and getting enough, pumping, and breast milk storage information for time away from baby. I definitley think it was a good thing that both Wayne and I went to this class, becuase then he learned and now knows how demanding and time consuming for me it will be to breastfeed. She gave the guys tips on how to help the Mom's breastfeed, especially in those first few weeks.

Overall I thought all the classes were very helpful and I am glad we decided to take them. Wayne was joking that they should give out official graduation certificates so that when Hailey is 13 and starts talking back, we can show her the certificate of "parenting" and say..."See this, we are certified." If only it were that easy. LOL.

I'm grateful that my Husband wanted to take these classes with me and participate in them and learn just as much as I wanted to. I know he will be a great Father to Hailey and a great and supportive Husband as we welcome our first child into this world and learn to be parents together.

Love you Babydoll!