For most expectant couples, the labour and birth process can be both overwhelming and joyful.
Many women and their partners choose to attend childbirth classes to gather information and lessen their anxiety.
Prenatal education plays a vital role in assuring you have a safe, comfortable and positive birth experience.
The Maternity Unit at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) offers Prenatal Birthing Classes, taught by the same midwives who will assist you during labour and delivery.
“If you are pregnant, consider enrolling in our Prenatal Birthing Class by your seventh month, so you will have all the information you need, along with confidence in your ability to have the birthing experience you want,” says Christine Virgil, clinical director for Maternal/Child Services.
“Our classes cover all kinds of issues surrounding childbirth, including breathing techniques, pain management, vaginal birth and caesarean birth.
“They will help prepare expectant couples for the many aspects of becoming a parent, such as the changes occurring during pregnancy, the process of labour and delivery, and important tips regarding the care of your newborn.”
Classes are offered on Tuesday evenings and run for four weeks. They provide a forum to ask questions and can help you make informed decisions about key issues surrounding your baby’s birth.
Information covered in these sessions includes:
- How your baby is developing
- Healthy developments in your pregnancy
- Warning signs that something is wrong
- How to make your pregnancy, labour and delivery more comfortable
- Breathing and relaxation techniques
- How to write a birth plan
- How to tell when you are in labour
- Pain relief options during labour
- What to expect during labour and delivery
- The role of the coach or labour partner
- Tips for getting breastfeeding off to a good start.
You might also find support from other expectant couples taking Prenatal Birthing Classes.
Who would better understand the ups and downs of pregnancy than couples who are going through them, too?
Many people find friends in their childbirth class who last long past the birth of their child.
If your birth coach is the baby’s father, taking a class together can mean his increased involvement in the pregnancy and can act as a good bonding experience.
Like the mother, the father can also benefit from knowing what to expect when the mother goes into labour — and how to assist in that process.
“The goal of our Prenatal Birthing Classes is to provide you with the knowledge and confidence you need to give birth and make informed decisions,” Mrs Virgil adds.
“This includes reducing your anxiety about the birth experience, as well as providing you with a variety of coping techniques to aid in pain management.
“Our goal is to assure the safety, health and comfort of mother and baby.”
The benefits of Prenatal Birthing Classes include:
- Childbirth classes build confidence in your body’s ability to give birth
- Expectant parents can discuss their concerns about labour and birth with the instructor and other couples
- Birthing partners will learn about childbirth and how to support mom during labour and delivery
- Your instructor will discuss pain relief options, including massage, relaxation, breathing, and medications
- A tour of your birthing facility will give you the opportunity to see staff in action and provides a chance to ask about routine practices, such as electronic fetal monitoring and freedom of movement during labour
- Classes include an overview of pregnancy, labour and delivery, and also cover specific hospital practices
- Sessions include critical information presented by registered nurse midwives with extensive experience in the birthing process
- Classes cover a variety of ways available at the hospital to manage pain and discomfort during labour and birth.
Topics include Body Changes, Labour and Delivery, Relaxation and Pain Management and Breastfeeding. Classes are small and couples can discuss their birthing plan and ask for assistance.
Expectant parents are advised to sign up for classes several months before their due date.
For more information contact 239-1682 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about Prenatal Birthing Classes or to enrol in the next session.
Oh Baby 2012!