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Essential Pre-Baby Classes for Expectant Parents

The journey to parenthood is sprinkled with a mix of elation and apprehension. It’s an experience unique to each individual, whether it’s happened overnight or taken years of effort. There’s a whole host of things to consider and arrange for. Thankfully, there’s a wealth of experts ready to guide you through this adventure.

So, where do you begin? Most soon-to-be parents prioritize childbirth education — and for good reason, as it equips you to advocate for yourself and approach childbirth with confidence. Yet, there’s more to the story. When we counsel expectant parents at Stork, we delve into their background, support structure, and birthing wishes.

Our suggested classes are customized according to their familiarity with babies, knowledge of postpartum, and any inclination towards anxiety or depression.

Here’s a rundown of the must-attend classes we advise for every family.

Childbirth Education

A seasoned childbirth educator leads these classes, offering either a comprehensive session or a sequence of classes across several weeks. You’ll acquire crucial skills, insights, and comfort measures for labor and delivery.

Some educators might focus on specific birthing approaches like Hypnobirthing or The Bradley Method. We encourage sampling a variety of these to find what resonates with you, rather than settling on a single method. Stork provides the luxury of tailoring childbirth education to your preferences, whether in-home with safe distancing or online.

For those short on time or in need of a refresher, we’re flexible with our scheduling and content. Birth classes focus on empowering you to trust your body, understanding labor stages, knowing when to contact your healthcare provider, and managing pain. Our educators are well-versed in numerous childbirth philosophies and will support you regardless of your birth plan.

Infant CPR + Choking

Infant CPR and choking intervention training are indispensable, often paired with newborn prep for a thorough session. Every parent should master emergency resuscitation for their child. Stork offers classes led by Registered Nurses, teaching the basics of CPR and the Heimlich maneuver, ensuring you’re prepared for any emergency.

If you’re taking this class online, we recommend practicing with a doll for hands-on experience, with an educator offering feedback. Including grandparents and caregivers in this training is also a smart move.

Newborn Preparation

Many overlook the necessity to gear up for newborn care. Holding your baby for the first time can be as daunting as it is magical. A class dedicated to newborn care can dispel fears, offering insights into feeding, diapering, swaddling, bathing, soothing, and when to call the pediatrician. Stork ensures that a Registered Nurse delivers this critical information.

Breastfeeding 101

Breastfeeding, while natural, is an acquired skill and can be challenging when you’re exhausted. Hence, a class on this topic is recommended. An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) will guide you through the fundamentals of breastfeeding, ensuring you’re well-informed on nutritional needs, feeding schedules, latch techniques, and transitioning to the bottle. Stork includes a private breastfeeding class with our birth doula package because we believe in the importance of this support for all families.

Education doesn’t stop here. Other areas worth exploring if time and resources permit:

Postpartum Expectations and Planning

Acknowledging the realities of postpartum life is crucial. A class on postpartum recovery offers a realistic preview and prepares your partner to provide support. Stork’s certified doula leads a “Life with Baby” workshop, offering personalized tips and a plan for self-care and emotional well-being after the baby’s arrival.

Couples Communication

The arrival of a baby can rattle even the strongest relationships, particularly for first-time parents. Learning to navigate this new dynamic is key. Stork’s parenting coach offers a two-hour session to bolster communication and emotional readiness for the transformative journey to parenthood.

While there’s a plethora of classes out there — from pumping strategies to baby-led weaning — don’t overwhelm yourself. Focus on your delivery and the initial three months at home. Once you’ve settled into life with your newborn, you can delve into topics for older infants. Parenthood, no matter how you arrive at it, is a profound shift. Being well-prepared allows you to savor the cuddles, rest, and recovery more fully.


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