In this 4 part blog series, you will find 4 weekly posts that help you prepare for baby. In our second post we talk about prenatal education.
What is prenatal education?
Prenatal education includes prenatal classes, newborn care classes as well as reading material. This post will talk about each one.
A prenatal class will teach you all about labour and birth and can vary in length from twelve weeks to a weekend course or even a one day class. Some prenatal classes are specific to different methods of birth such as hypo-birthing which teaches you about self-hypnosis as a non-medical comfort measure to help during labour. When deciding which class is right for you, it’s important to think about scheduling. A twelve week course doesn’t work for everyone. While different classes may teach different methods, the purpose of these classes is to help you and your support person make informed choices by providing you with information about the entire labour and delivery process. Prenatal class is also great for lessening the fears of birth
Some prenatal classes are held in groups and others can be arranged for a private class.
What to expect in prenatal classes
Fredericton Maternity offers a one day prenatal class that covers some of but not limited to the following topics.
- How to recognize signs of labour
- Stages of labour
- Comfort measures to use during labour
- Medication options available to you
- When to head to the hospital
- C-section birth
- Creating a birth plan
- Hospital procedures and your options
- Basic newborn Care
The classes are held on a Saturday every month. This one day class teaches you and your support person natural pain relief techniques for anyone planning an unmedicated birth but touches on pain medications for those who may be interested in using them. Caesarean birth is also talked about so that you know your options if you should require one or if you have one scheduled already.
Fredericton Maternity also offers a VBAC class for women and their support partners who are interested in having a vaginal birth after a cesarean section.
Who teaches prenatal classes?
Specially our prenatal classes are instructed by an experienced childbirth educator and a labour doula. All prenatal classes are generally instructed by someone with a background in childbirth.
Who can go to these classes?
The prenatal classes with Fredericton Maternity invite the mother and her support partner. We usually advise the person who plans to be in the delivery room come to these classes. However the mother is invited to bring one person of her choosing for free. Other classes may have different policies. Make sure you check with the instructor to see who can come along.
What is the cost of prenatal class?
All classes vary in price and can range from $100-$500+ depending on what type of class you decide to take. The one day class at Fredericton Maternity is $130 per couple in a group or $200 for a private class.
Newborn Care Classes
Another great prenatal education class you can take is a newborn care class. This class specifically teaches you how to take care of your precious newborn. Many parents-to-be have never actually changed a newborn, held a newborn or cared for a newborn until they had their own baby. The thought for some parents can be a little overwhelming. Like childbirth preparation classes, newborn care classes can be held in group settings or in a private setting. Also like childbirth preparation classes, newborn care classes can range in length from weekly to a one day course.
The newborn care class at Fredericton Maternity covers some of but not limited to the following:
- How to hold a baby
- How to change a baby’s diaper- including how often this happens as well as what normal bowel movements look like
- How to bathe a baby- sponge bath and infant tub
- Umbilical cord care
- Feeding- breast or bottle
- Safe sleep for newborns
- Sleep habits
- How to comfort your newborn
- Talk about carseat safety- do’s and don’t’s with babies and carseats
These are held monthly on a Saturday. At our classes we invite the mother and her support person to come for a full day of hands on instruction. If you are taking a different class held by a different company, be sure to check with the instructor to see who can come along. Like our childbirth preparation classes, newborn care classes are $130
Books to Read
Reading books is a great way to enhance the information you’ve learned at childbirth preparation classes especially if you’re interested in learning a certain method of childbirth. Namely hypo-birthing.
Check out our recommendations here