Learning that you’re going to be a parent is exciting, shocking, scary, you name it! And with the news of your pregnancy comes a flood of information from your family and friends. Not to mention all of the questions you have about your developing baby and changing body. It can be completely overwhelming, especially for a first-time parent. In this day and age, everyone just hops online to get the answers they need, not really knowing if the source is credible and up to date.
Let us make life a little easier for you. At OMC, we offer a multitude of childbirth and parenting classes that can answer all of your questions and concerns. We can help prepare you, future siblings and grandparents for your new addition. Certified instructors present all of our classes in a variety of formats, close to home.
Below, I’ve answered some common questions we hear from expecting parents.
I’m getting an epidural, so I don’t need to attend a childbirth preparation class, right?
Wrong. Pain relief and comfort measures are just one part of preparing for childbirth. Our classes also address common discomforts of pregnancy and what to do about them, how to tell the difference between true and false labor, when to call your doctor, when to come to the hospital, stages of labor, common procedures during labor, medical terminology, emergencies, reasons for a cesarean birth, how partners can help, birth plans and so much more.
How often should I change position during labor?
About every 30 minutes during active labor or whenever you become uncomfortable. Repositioning can help reduce the pain of contractions, get baby into a good position and may make your contractions more efficient.
Is it OK to eat fish while I’m pregnant?
There are recommendations to limit the amount of fish you eat while pregnant. Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have guidelines that encourage pregnant women to only consume 2-3 servings of fish containing low levels of mercury weekly. Read more.
I’m tired of being pregnant and all of the aches and pains that go with it. It won’t hurt to deliver a little early, right?
Although all of the organs and systems in the baby are developed during the first trimester, they don’t finish maturing until 39-40 weeks of pregnancy. Babies born before this time commonly have difficulty coordinating their suck, swallow and breathing. They may also have breathing problems or trouble maintaining their own body temperature. Sometimes, there are medical conditions that may require delivery to occur before 40 weeks. Your delivering doctor will discuss the risks and benefits with you. In most cases, you are your baby’s best incubator.
I’ve babysat before, but never really been around a newborn. What’s different?
Our Infant Care class explains the standard procedures and screening tests your baby will have during the hospital stay. We address the basics of baby care, such as holding, passing baby to another person, bathing, taking a temperature and using a bulb syringe. You’ll also learn the latest safety recommendations for safe sleep practices to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), proper car seat use and when to call your baby’s doctor. The class packet includes multiple resources to use at home.
My doctor just put me on bed rest. How do I get ready for childbirth now?
Our online Childbirth Preparation class is perfect for you. You can start whenever you like, and you have access to course materials for 60 days. There are lots of pictures and videos in the program, fun activities and handouts that can be printed for later reference. Postpartum and infant care sections are included, in addition to a feature that enables you to have your personal questions answered by an expert.
My parents don’t know about safe sleep and other recent recommendations. How can I get them to understand things are done differently now?
Our Grandparenting Today class addresses current labor and delivery practices, infant care and safety (safe sleep and car seat) guidelines. The grandparent’s role and long-distance relationships are also discussed.
I just found out I’m pregnant. What do I need to know now? What should I be doing?
Congratulations! With this exciting news, come a million questions and concerns. And while having access to just about anything online is great, it can also cause a lot of unnecessary anxiety during pregnancy. To make life a little easier, our specialists created a pregnancy planner that outlines what you need to know and what you should do each trimester. Download our OMC Pregnancy Planner to give you an idea of when you should be considering taking different classes, activities and decisions throughout your pregnancy. It is ideal to attend the Healthy Pregnancy class during your first trimester to learn about the changes your body is going through, including moving safely as your center of gravity and joints change throughout your pregnancy. We’ll also discuss coping with common pregnancy discomforts, nutrition and dietary and environmental exposures to avoid or limit.
I’m planning to breastfeed, and since it’s natural, do I really need to attend a class?
Although breastfeeding is natural, it’s also a learned behavior for mom and baby. Our breastfeeding class explains the basics, what is normal and provides you with realistic expectations for the first several weeks. Common beliefs about breastfeeding are also explored so you know the facts. Breastfeeding can be overwhelming for a new mom, so learning the positions, techniques and helpful tips before you deliver builds confidence, creating less stress.
For more information about our childbirth and parenting classes, and to register, check us out online.
Written by: Lisa Cavin-Wainscott, Clinical Nurse Specialist, The Birth Place