Consider this a bonus episode to our three part series on Pregnancy Care. We talked about how to choose a pregnancy provider, what to expect at your first prenatal appointment, and what a routine timeline of pregnancy care looks like. We are also huge proponents of empowerment through education, and often advise our patients and listeners to take a prenatal course to help them along their pregnancy to parenthood journey. But how do you even begin to find a course that’s right for you!? We’ve put together this quick guide with our top three things to think about when you're choosing your childbirth education class, to help you along in the process!
1. General Philosophy of the Instructor
This is really important. If your instructor's values and thoughts around childbirth education are not aligned with yours, you're just not going to jive. It can feel uncomfortable, reduce engagement, and you won't get out of it what you need to. For example, if you're hoping for an elective Cesarean section for your birth, which is absolutely your right, and your childbirth education classes focused entirely on “natural birth”, then this is not going to meet your needs. You'll be better off choosing a course that reviews Cesarean sections so you can learn more about recovery, what your postpartum period might look like, and newborn care.
How do you learn best? Do you need frequent breaks? Do you like the social camaraderie of having others around you? Are you more of an introverted person? Do you and your partner or support person work different hours and a live online or in-person course might be hard to fit into your life? If that sounds like you then check out our online Pregnancy to Parenthood Masterclass. If you find a live format more engaging, check out our upcoming One-Day LIVE Prenatal Course on April 30, 2022!
3. The Curriculum
It is so important to make sure that your prenatal course is well-rounded. Many of us hope to have the birth we always dreamed of, whatever that is for you, but for many reasons sometimes this just doesn't happen. Being prepared for alternatives can really help you understand what is going on and feel you have a bit more control over the situation when things are not going as you might have expected. We believe this can decrease the risk of birth trauma as you're prepared for alternate situations and can recognize what is happening as it’s happening to you.
A lot of online courses also tend to skip the postpartum & newborn period - a crucial time that can be stressful and difficult to navigate, so make sure your course covers that as well!
Infant First Aid and Car Seat Safety
from Safe Beginnings
Pelvic Health in Pregnancy and Preparing your Pelvic Floor for Childbirth
from Mommy Berries
The LIVE She Found Motherhood One-Day Prenatal Course
A full day of live, informative sessions on preparing for childbirth, the childbirth experience, and those first few weeks postpartum with Drs. Sarah and Alicia, as well as a live Q&A, giveaways + more!
The Pregnancy to Parenthood Online Prenatal Masterclass: Taking you from anxious and overwhelmed to confident during your childbirth experience!