If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of caring for a newborn, or unsure about your options in the delivery room, there’s no need to panic – you’re not alone. Uncertainty is a normal part of pregnancy, and parenthood. Fortunately, prenatal classes were designed specifically to help you start out on the right foot.
Prenatal classes offer expectant parents the advice and support they need in preparation for delivery and birth, and after-birth care, including breastfeeding. As expectant parents, you’ll receive resources and information to help you make informed decisions and have the chance to address any questions or concerns you might have with an expert in the field. You’ll learn various techniques to help you and your partner relax during labour, and review the basics of newborn care to put your mind at ease.
What’s more, prenatal classes present an excellent opportunity to meet and connect with other expectant parents who are going through a similar experience. Sometimes, these relationships continue long after a class has been completed.
Where Can I Find Prenatal Classes?
Many hospitals offer prenatal classes as part of their education programs. For example, Markham Prenatal and Newborn Educators offer prenatal and newborn classes taught by registered nurses with experience at Markham Stouffville Hospital. These prenatal trainings have been structured in a variety of formats to suit the busy schedules of expectant parents. The regular program is offered in a weekend or four-week evening structure.
What Will I Learn From a Prenatal Class?
There are a number of learnings offered through prenatal programs. At Markham Prenatal, registrants will learn:
- Signs and stages of birth and labour
- Pain relief options (non-medicinal and medicinal)
- Medical interventions and their possible indicators
- Positions for labour and breathing
- Caesarean section
- What to expect after birth – physical and emotional changes
- How to prepare for baby’s arrival
- Newborn care
- Feeding your newborn baby
How Can Prenatal Classes Help Guide my Birth Plan?
See the Cells for Life birth plan checklist (click the image below) to help you guide discussions with your practitioner. While prenatal classes cover the basics, it’s also a good idea to look into additional workshops that address topics that may be of interest or relevant to your particular pregnancy such as emergency first aid, baby care (in-depth), or how to cope with having twins.