Pregnancy care classes are recommended by ob-gyns, labor and delivery nurses and midwives for pregnant, first-time parents in order to help prepare them for childbirth experiences. Classes typically cover cardiopulmonary resuscitation for infants and children as well as breastfeeding techniques as well as postpartum mother and baby care.
Since the COVID-19 Pandemic, many pregnancy education classes have taken to taking virtual courses online and at UChicago Medicine you can enroll virtually in these classes as well as view additional material and videos.
Early Pregnancy Classes
Early pregnancy brings many physical changes for mothers-to-be and it’s essential they understand these modifications to prepare themselves for labor and childbirth. Antenatal classes provide expecting mothers and partners with all of the knowledge and information necessary, dispelling any myths about childbirth while providing time-tested, factual advice.
Prenatal care classes aim to assist pregnant women in enjoying their pregnancy and approaching parenthood confidently, as well as help them make informed choices regarding care during their delivery. Unfortunately, research into their effectiveness remains limited despite their immense popularity; in 2001-2002 first-time mother attendance dropped from 70% to 59% between 2011-2012 (Lothian).
Pregnant women and their partners can benefit greatly from attending hospital-sponsored antenatal and baby classes, offered during gestation. Attending these classes allows participants to gain knowledge on various aspects of gestation and childbirth – such as what to expect during labor, pain management options available during delivery, breastfeeding and newborn care options – in addition to taking a tour of the birth center for insight into services available during delivery process.
Classes taught by experienced and knowledgeable professionals – certified childbirth educators, labor and delivery nurses or OB/GYNs may all provide valuable instruction; additionally they may specialize in specific topics like nutrition or exercise during pregnancy or infant safety.
Childbirth classes can help prepare you for labor and delivery of your baby, covering all aspects of the process from physical discomfort to emotional anxiety. Furthermore, these courses will show ways of dealing with pain during delivery.
Most hospitals and independent educators provide birthing classes. When selecting your class, ensure the instructor shares your beliefs about labor and delivery; that way you can ensure it fits with your vision for an ideal birth experience.
Morristown Medical Center offers an intensive four-hour childbirth class designed to guide expectant mothers through the entire experience of labor, including pain relief techniques that they can employ with or without medication, partner roles during childbirth and a tour of its Maternity Center.
Another alternative is taking an online course called Understanding Birth. This comprehensive program, suitable for second trimester pregnancies, covers topics like Lamaze Six Healthy Birth Practices, coping and breathing techniques, stages of labor, medical support options available during labor and postpartum recovery.
Consider enrolling in a CPR class before your due date to ensure you know how to respond in case of emergency situations. CPR training teaches participants how to provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on infants as well as treat choking, burns and wounds effectively.
No matter whether you plan to give birth at home or the hospital, it’s essential that you understand what awaits during labor and delivery. UConn Health offers pregnancy care classes to prepare expectant mothers for labor as well as the first few weeks postpartum.
These classes, either online or in person, cover topics related to physical recovery post-childbirth, breastfeeding, returning to work after having given birth and caring for newborns. Furthermore, it’s an invaluable opportunity to discuss any concerns with other expectant mothers and partners alike.
Banner Health’s Gestational Diabetes Management class can assist pregnant mothers who may be living with gestational diabetes – an abnormally elevated blood sugar during gestation – with nutritional guidance, exercise guidelines, insulin or medication management and how to avoid complications during and postpartum.
While pregnant women generally know what to expect from gestation, childbirth classes offer essential information and resources for the birthing process. Childbirth classes based on Lamaze International principles often cover birth physiology; what your body is going through during each stage of labor; supporting your partner throughout labor as well as common medical interventions and pain management techniques.
Infant Care Classes
Newborn babies require extra care and knowledge from parents, which is why infant classes exist to assist expectant parents in understanding the basics. Classes cover topics like newborn traits and behaviors, sleep patterns, diapering, bathing, swaddling, bottle feeding, baby wearing safety guidelines as well as sudden infant death syndrome guidelines – so expectant parents can feel prepared before welcoming a newborn into their lives.
Many pregnancy classes provide CPR and first aid instruction as part of their coursework, an invaluable skill should a medical emergency arise that requires assistance from another. Classes are led by experienced CPR instructors and typically feature practice on adult and child mannequins.
Those anticipating cesarean section can use this class to prepare for hospital admission and surgery. Topics covered in class include signs of labor, what to expect during cesarean delivery, as well as tips for recovery after cesarean section.
An abundance of online and in-person classes exist to aid expectant mothers with breastfeeding. Some teach specific methods, like the Bradley Method – commonly associated with drug-free births. Other classes focus on specific aspects, like positioning baby for breastfeed or ways to support nursing mothers. A unique online class available is Dads Adventure which features articles written specifically for new fathers (complete with videos showing “veteran” dads demonstrating lessons such as swaddling, diapering and relieving gas).