Women who think that they may be expectant should schedule a visit to their health care provider to initiate prenatal care. Prenatal appointments to a health care provider typically include a physical exam, weight checks, and a urine test. Depending on the stage of the gestation, health care providers may also perform blood tests and imaging examinations, such as ultrasound assessments. These appointments also include discussions about the mother’s wellbeing, the fetus’s healthiness, and any inquiries about the pregnancy.
Preconception and prenatal care can help avoid complications and notify women about imperative steps that they can take to keep their infant safe and guarantee a healthy pregnancy.
In today’s article, we highlight the importance of prenatal classes because they are one of the most significant parts of prenatal care services.
What are prenatal classes?
Prenatal classes are the best way to help the expectant mother and father-to-be for the awesome journey of parenting.
These classes are exclusively supportive for the first-time parents as the guidelines and skills they’ll acquire are intended to make the pregnancy, and the delivery of their child, as simple as possible.
The classes will explain these:
- What to anticipate throughout the pregnancy
- What to expect during the birth and the decisions for dealing the labor and birth
- How to take care and look after a newborn baby
Why do the expectant parents need prenatal classes and how much these are important?
Every woman has a different pregnancy and delivery experience that is unique to her and her baby. Nonetheless, there are particular things that all women experience during pregnancy and delivery. These are the things that make the prenatal classes a significant requirement for your pregnancy – it helps to acquaint yourself with what to anticipate. If you ask other people, you may get different reviews. Therefore, it is very important that you will do comprehensive research before you finalize which prenatal classes are suitable for you during pregnancy.
Most of the people think that prenatal classes are useless and a waste of time because there is a handful of information about pregnancy available through magazines, books, and internet. Nonetheless, there are various reasons why you should think about taking these classes.
What do the expectant parents learn from prenatal classes?
Prenatal classes are generally based on discussions, lectures, and exercises that are all intended to provide you help in order to prepare you for your labor and early parenthood. If you take these classes regularly then you will be prepared to make knowledgeable decisions when there is a need.
Some of the things that are typically discussed in these classes include:
- How to distinguish labor pains
- How the usual labor develops
- What sort of medical mediations you can anticipate during childbirth
- What are the different forms of birthing positions
- How to prepare your body for the childbirth
- What are the different techniques to relax yourself
- Guiding about the usage of different pain relief options that are available and to know their implications
- Guiding about the possible complications that may occur during the pregnancy and the choices that you can make
- Get to know about a cesarean birth
- Get to know about breastfeeding
- How to care a newborn
What are the different types of prenatal classes?
The main difference between the different types of prenatal classes is that they differ in their philosophy and focus. But the common thing is that all types of classes provide informative and valuable lessons for the labor, delivery and postpartum issues. Some classes focus on teaching parents the medication-free methods to manage the pain of the childbirth. While some classes begin in the early pregnancy stages and focus on the changes that happen throughout the pregnancy.
The main types of prenatal classes include:
- Lamaze Technique
- The Bradley Method
- Alexander Technique
This technique is the most commonly used childbirth method in the United States. The philosophy of Lamaze classes presents the process of childbirth as natural and healthy. The courses of Lamaze don’t support or discourage the use of medications or regular medical interventions during the labor and delivery process. As an alternative, they inform the mothers-to-be about their different options so that they can make informed decisions for their own labor and delivery. Lamaze classes mainly focus on building up the self-confidence of the expectant mothers or talking about how they can keep the birth of their baby safe and simple.
Lamaze classes are small consisting of around 12 hours in which instructions are given. They provide you information on:
- Normal labor, birth, and early postpartum care
- The different ways positioning yourself for the labor and birth
- Massage and relaxation methods for comforting pain
- Breathing techniques throughout the labor
- Performing relaxation by using the inner and outer focal points
- Support during the labor
- Effective communication skills
- Medical procedures
- Healthy lifestyle preferences
The Bradley Method:
This method is also called husband-coached birth because it prepares the expectant mother to deliver the baby with the use of pain medications and also prepares the father-to-be to become the birth coach of an expectant mother. This method also prepares you for the occurrence of unexpected situations such as emergency cesarean section.
The Bradley course is of 12 sessions and it covers:
- The significance of nutrition and exercise
- Relaxation techniques for managing the pain
- Labor rehearsals
- Ways to avoid a cesarean birth
- Postpartum care
- Guidance for the coach about supporting the mother
This technique is intended to improve the easiness and the freedom of movement of the expectant mother, also the balance, flexibility, and coordination. It is necessary that you should take lessons in these classes on a weekly basis while you are pregnant. This technique is basically an educational process so more practice gives you greater benefits. Although anyone can use this method, the main goals for expectant mothers comprise:
- Improve the level of comfort during the pregnancy
- Enhance pushing effectiveness during the delivery
- Support in recovery from childbirth
- Ease the distress of nursing
It is also called the Mongan method. HypnoBirthing focuses on the relaxed natural childbirth approach that is enhanced by the self-hypnosis methods. Emphasis is given on pregnancy and childbirth including the pre-birth parenting and the consciousness of pre-born baby. This technique is presented in 5 classes of two-and-a-half hours or 4 classes of three hours.
Why should an expectant mother take her partner in these childbirth classes?
Prenatal classes provide encouragement to your partner so that he can get more involved in your childbirth. In this way, your partner gets the opportunity to learn what you are going through and so he will learn how to become more appreciative and supportive during the delightful process of the pregnancy and childbirth. Sometimes, partners become more anxious like the expectant mothers when it is about their childbirth and the prenatal classes help to ease this anxiety and prepare both the partners for the future. It always becomes hard to make decisions during the pregnancy so it is necessary that you discuss all the options with your partner and plan ahead. When you have loved ones to guide and help you, you will always feel easier while making decisions.
Where can you find free prenatal classes?
Prenatal classes are usually held in the hospital or birth center where you will be giving birth. Here at Women Caring for Women, we will be giving you FREE prenatal classes and advice when you decide where to have your baby and if you want us to take care of you.
If you are by this time booked into a hospital or birthing center for your delivery, ask us about our prenatal classes. Private classes may also be available.
Book your free prenatal classes as early as possible by visiting our website or by calling at (718) 630-1300