Prenatal classes can be an important step in your parenting journey. Today we’re going to talk about what a prenatal class (or birthing class) is and what to expect during the teaching process.
Hi, I’m Hilary — The Pregnancy Nurse 👩⚕️. I have been a nurse since 1997 and I have 20 years of OB nursing experience, I am also the curly head behind Pulling Curls and The Online Prenatal Class for Couples. 🩺 After helping thousands of patients (most of whom did NOT take a prenatal class) I know what you’re going to learn and how they can help you as you transition through birth into parenthood.
I’d love to join you for your pregnancy, giving helpful tips and ideas along the way:
Introduction: What is a Prenatal Class?
Prenatal classes teach families how to cope with birth and what to expect during the labor process.
A prenatal class is an informative, inclusive, and interactive seminar for pregnant couples.
You can expect these types of topics to be discussed:
- Comfort measures
- Things to discuss with your provider
- Signs to go to the hospital or call your provider
- How to know if you’re in labor
- When you should go to the hospital
- Some common complications
- Pain management options
- Cesarean deliveries
- Hospital tour or learning about the admissions process
- What to take to the hospital
- After Baby
- How to take care of your body after baby
- What to expect from baby after delivery
- What to expect at the hospital
- Life after you go home
- Signs for you and baby that there is a problem
Other topics that may be included:
- Baby development / Newborn care
Most often people aren’t specialists in all of these areas, it is likely that to be fully informed you may want to split it into several parts.
What to Wear and Bring to a Prenatal Class
The first time you go to a prenatal class, you are probably overwhelmed. There are so many things to think about – what to wear, what to bring, how much information should I take in. Here are some tips on how to prepare for your first prenatal class.
–What to wear: Wear something comfortable and loose fitting, as well as something that’s not too tight or too revealing. You may be moving during the class. Some sessions had me on the floor with the couples when I taught them in person. Mostly you want to be comfortable.
–What to bring: Bring a notebook and some pens because you’re going to need some notes for this one! Bring water as well because staying hydrated is so important. I would also recommend bringing some snacks, I never minded if people ate during my class (try to avoid smelly foods). No need to be hangry. 🙂
Pro Tip: See if there are any handouts that can help you remember what you’ve learned as you get closer to delivery day (OR take a different type of class — stay tuned for that!)
The Day of the Class
Make sure you know where the class is going to be held. Hospitals can be some of the most confusing places on earth. If you’re not sure, call that area and ask them to email you a map or give you specific instructions. It will make you feel much less stressed when you go.
Try to eat a meal before class so your brain can engage in the learning (rather than how hungry it is). But, like I said most teachers don’t mind you eating in class.
What are some Prenatal Class Benefits?
There are a lot of benefits to a prenatal class or a birth class.
- Bonding between both of you as you consider this new life event happening for both of you.
- Know what’s going to happen. It’s like having a game plan.
- You’ll understand the new words that people say, the language in labor.
- More confidence as you discuss options with your healthcare team.
- Understand how informed consent works — and how to use it for your benefit.
Where Should I take a Prenatal Classes
There are a LOT of options. Some places people find birth classes:
- Some large medical practices have their own
- Prenatal Educators with their own classes
I would recommend checking out the online birthing class options. This allows you to do them on your own timeline (and no fear the teacher won’t want you eating during it).
I am the creator of one of the top prenatal education classes on the internet, but you don’t have to take my word for it.
The Online Prenatal Class for Couples will prepare you for your confident birth in just about 3 hours, together. Created by a highly experienced RN you have found the teacher you can trust.
Taking a prenatal class has been shown to increase birth and parenting satisfaction overall. Patients who have taken it are SO much happier with their birthing process. I hope you’ll consider taking one. If you HAVE taken a birthing class, tell us your favorite part about it in the comments!
- About the Author
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A nurse since 1997, she has worked in various fields including pediatrics, geriatrics & hospice.
She has 20 years of labor and delivery experience in the San Jose, CA and Phoenix, AZ areas.