View Full Version : Child Birth Classes
07-13-2005, 09:49 AM
DH and I are going to sign up for the classes/hospital tour....how far before the baby comes should I do it? I'm due in November and was thinking about taking the class on 8/13? Is that too soon? Should I take the September class?
Also, did anyone take child care classes as well? My hospital offers these as well...how to care for the belly button, swaddling etc. I think it would be beneficial.
Thanks in advance!
07-13-2005, 10:23 AM
My doctor office recommended calling around 6 months to get signed up. There was one class that was already full (breastfeeding), so I wish I had called a little earlier. I would just make sure all of your classes are completed a month prior to due date.
07-13-2005, 10:31 AM
My Dr. only offers it starting every other month. I'm due October 3rd and DH and I started it last week (7/6) because the next class doesn't start until September and would go past my due date.
I guess it depends how often it is offered and how long it is. I would say you would want to be done at least 2-3 weeks before your due date if not sooner.
07-13-2005, 10:40 AM
We're due in late September; we had our tour last Saturday and our first parenting class last Monday. We have another parenting class next Monday. We then have 3 birthing classes in August.
On the pamphlet for the classes, it specifically says the classes are for women in their 3rd trimester, this of course may be exclusive to our hospital.
Hope that helps!
07-13-2005, 11:27 AM
Most drs recommend that you finish a month before your date in case you go early.
07-13-2005, 11:33 AM
I think it depends on how many classes there are in the series. Ours for example are once a week for 12 weeks. The teacher strongly suggested to me to do it as late as possible so that you are actually practicing the techniques there at the end when it matters most. She said she would rather me deliver while I'm still in class than a month after. But I will caveat and say that this is for Bradley (natural child birth).
I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to offer this advice for the current moms to be. DH and I went to a BF class last night and it was a total waste of time. Of the 2.5 hours of total class time, almost half was spent on the advantages of breast feeding vs fomula feeding. Very little time was spent on technique, problems and issues were barely addressed and really no advice was given on how to overcome them, weaning was not covered at all and finally 5 minutes after the class was supposed to end someone asked about when and how to introduce solids. It was so bad that we decided to cancel our prepared childbirth class.
IMO, if you are reading the books and doing research online, you have the bulk of the info you need. You may come away with 1 or 2 new things from the class, but with time so tight right now, it's really not worth me sitting through 12 hours of class to get 1 or 2 bits of new info. Luckily, my hospital allowed me cancel and is giving me a full refund for both classes due to my dissatisfaction. When I mentioned the lack of pertainent info they said that my hospital has lacatation consultants available 7 days a week to assist with breastfeeding while you are in the hospital, has a hotline that you can call after leaving if you are having problems, offers 1 free in home visit with a LC and is trying to put together a support group to offer advice and help. When I heard all of that I was wondering why I even bothered signing up for the class in the first place.
So, I would suggest finding out what services your hospital offers prior to signing up for any classes. Buy the books; they're cheaper, you have them around for reference later and you can read them at your lesuire. Talk with friends and family who have children for advice. And, as my Dr. friend who laughed at me when I told her all of the classes I was taking said, women have been having babies and BFing for millions of years without classes, you'll be just fine, just don't stress out about it. ;)
10-05-2006, 01:02 PM
Wow, what a terrible experience! I'm so sorry you wasted your time, that's a real shame. The hospital we are delivering at also has lactation consultants and they are available after you leave the hospital. However, the bf class they offer is taught by the head lactation consultant and it's all about technique, care, and troubleshooting and nothing about the benefits vs ff'ing since... DUH, you signed up for the breastfeeding class! I agree not to stress out about it though.
As for a childbirthing class. Dh and I LOVED our childbirth/child care class. Dh is an only child and has never been around children nor did he take any 'parenting' type classes in highschool so he was completely at a loss in regards to what to expect. It was a HUGE help with him overcoming his fear of the unknown and now he's eager and excited about our upcoming delivery! The class took his point of view on cutting the umbilical cord from 'absolute not!' to 'most likely!' That's a big step for him. Plus, this may sound stupid but i didn't want our l&d to be the first for dh so the videos of the natural childbirth, medicated childbirth, and c-section were a huge help as was the information and video on the birth of the placenta. I also found that having open discussion about symptoms, precautions, and what to expect nice too and even though i haven't had to use them i would imagine that what we leanred about working with contractions and relaxation is going to come in quite handy too. It was nice to have a third party talk about all the things pg women go through so dh didn't just think i was whiny and making things up ;) The information on interacting with your newborn and swaddling, bathing, etc... were invaluable for us too. We could've read it in a book but hands on with someone was more helpful for us.
I'm sorry you had such a terrible experience but for us... the classes were 100% worth while! It'll be different for everyone.
eta: My doctors office advised calling to enroll in classes by the 4th month. Good thing i did too... the only infant cpr class that had availibility is 1 week before our due date! We started our childbirth/childcare class at week 26 and it lasted 6 weeks. The next class offered ended after our due date so that's how we decided on when to take it. There was a couple in our class that wasn't due until December though. Take it whenever you think you'll be the most comfortable. I'm glad i don't have to deal with it this last month!
10-05-2006, 01:14 PM
Well I didn't go to them (wanted to but DH refused :rolleyes: ) but I've been reading all that I can find online about the labor/delivery process and talking with other moms about it. I feel I'm pretty prepared (babysat a lot in high school and beyond - even infants) but I'm a little worried about DH. He's read a bit of the "New Father" book I got him, but really has no clue. Oh well, he'll just have to learn.
I was told by my OB to register for classes a month before I was due. She said classes filled up really quick, and to register early....
10-05-2006, 02:05 PM
My OB wanted me to have completed the prepared childbirth/lamaze classes finished by the time I was four wks from my due date. That meant we had to start classes earlier than we thought due to the schedule of classes. It was very helpful to us. The last night was a BFing class. We found it to be helpful. The instructor of our class was an OB nurse and an LC.
We registered early for our classes so we were assured a place in the class due to some of them filling up faster than others.
10-05-2006, 02:19 PM
I'm a lucky lady I guess, as DH is the one pushing for us to go to class. I think it's his way of being involved. He's excited. We signed up a couple weeks ago for a 4 week childbirth preparedness class that beings Nov 13. It will finish up when I'm 36 weeks, so that's good timing. Had I not looked then, I would have had to go during my last month (during the Christmas holiday no less) and risk not being done if I delivery early. Or we could have been going this month, but I think that's too early. My doc says to go between 30-36 weeks, but to sign up earlier.
I signed up for a breastfeeding technique class and I need to register for our infant CPR class. I'm not worried about getting into the CPR class. My hospital offers it 3 days a week. I'm going to get through our other two classes and see what we learn. Then I'll schedule the CPR and/or infant care class.
10-06-2006, 11:21 AM
Unfortunately our hospital doesn't have a tour, but they do offer an orientation/tea once a month in their conference center. My doctor gave us the pamphlet with the info on that as well as all the classes they offer, and told us that they fill up quickly so it was best to get signed up by the time we hit the 3-month mark. We sent in the paperwork sometime in June and were able to get in for the July orientation/tea. Our classes just started this month (7-month mark) and continue into the first week of Nov.
We're taking a 5-part Childbirth class, a BFing class, a Postpartum class, a Child Safety class and a Baby Care Basics class. We know absolutely nothing about raising/caring for a child, so we wanted to prep with as many classes as possible before he gets here. :) When they originally mailed back the paperwork with the dates for the classes, some of them were the same week as my due date. I had to call and get them switched around b/c I didn't want to miss any important classes in case the little guy got here a week or 2 early. We complete our classes by the time I'm 38w along b/c another class got rescheduled again...
10-06-2006, 01:23 PM
As much as I thought the classes were stupid (especially the breathing-- I could never get into it and it didn't help me one bit during labor/delivery), I'm very happy we went. I think it was more about sharing that experience with my husband than learning anything. Although, I do think it helped to prepare my husband with his new responsbilities! The videos were super outdated -- but that only added an element of entertainment :D
I do think that the breastfeeding class was worthwhile. I can't say I learned A TON, but it made my husband realize that breastfeeding is not all fun and games and that he was going to have to be really patient, which he defintely was.
Just curious how far ahead of time we should take our childbirth/parenting class. From what people have said here it seems like it would be safest to choose the one that ends a month before my due date. I'm due October 23rd. There's a class that goes from Aug. 8 - Sept. 12. Then the next one is Sept. 4 - Oct. 9. So, I'm thinking we'll go with the 1st one just to be safe.
04-21-2007, 02:28 PM
SQ2 - that's about the time we took ours. It worked out well. We finished up at about 35 weeks, any later than that and I would have paniked. GL!
04-21-2007, 03:26 PM
We are taking Bradley classes, and we started them so that we would end about 3 weeks before my due date.
We are going to take our hospital tour sometime around 26-28 weeks. I want enough time to be able to have a conversation with my OB afterwards if I find out anything that concerns me with regards to my birth plan.
We aren't doing childcare or CPR classes. We're already Adult, Child, and Infant CPR certified. And we've been raising our foster son since he was 5 days old, so we're confident in our abilities there.
04-21-2007, 03:31 PM
SQ2 - my hospital recommends taking them in your 7th month (which for me would be now) - but April felt too soon when I was booking the classes. We are taking them in May (my 8th month).
04-21-2007, 03:50 PM
I didn't go to classes (even if I had them planned they wouldn't have been worth it since I delivered a whole month early) but take the 1st classes would be better for you just in case.
I am in the minority and really glad I didn't bother with classes. The nurses helped me know what to do when I needed to. Regarding my son's care after, he had a special ointment on his belly button to allow the stump to fall off. I never needed to clean it, just leave it alone and just let it fall off once it was dried up and ready (about 2 1/2 weeks after birth). He was circumcised and I didn't need to do anything for that, but just keep it clean of poop.
For first timers that really feel the need for a class, I say go for it and make the most of it. I was a first timer, but watched a lot of baby shows as well as read all the baby prep books. Plus babysat since I was 9
04-23-2007, 12:15 PM
Lets see...we will be starting our Prepared Childbirth classes next Tuesday, which will put me one day shy of 29 weeks. Its a 3 week series, so I will be almost 32 weeks when we finish them.
We are also taking a baby care class separately that doesn't start till June. I will be edging into the red zone at that point...just a month shy of my due date. :)
07-18-2007, 10:41 AM
Bumping this up in case anyone else looks for it.
i'm wanting to take Bradley classes, but there is only 1 instructor in my area with a class starting August 29 for 12 weeks or one starting November 28 for 12 weeks. The November class would take my right to my due date, so if I was early, I'd miss the last class(es). I'll probably just email them to see what they advise.
07-18-2007, 10:59 AM
mcwigan - Have you talked to the instructor yourself? I thought it was going to be terrible trying to get into a class that would work with my due date and my DH's schedule. So I called the instructor, and she offered to give us private lessons in our own home. It's been wonderful - and we just finished our last class this week.
07-18-2007, 12:03 PM
Karlatta~ Yes, I just emailed her, so we'll see what she says. Thanks for the speedy response!
07-18-2007, 04:02 PM
mcgwigan - I took a Bradley class with DS and the last class was 3 days before my due date. I happened to have DS 8 days late (which is actually the average first pregnancy length!) so it wasn't a problem for me. But the last class was more of a review, and most of the "important stuff" was covered before the last 2 classes so I didn't worry too much. I'm sure they will let you know the best way to handle it.
07-19-2007, 06:26 AM
The Bradley Instructor emailed me back & recommended that I start the class that begins at the end of August so I can be sure to complete the full course and said that I would be able to attend as many classes in the following session that starts in November as I wanted (for no extra charge). Now, I've got to convince DH to go with me!
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