We delivered our daughter at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano, which was recently named the best place to have a baby in Collin County by DallasChild and I don’t disagree! One of my favorite parts about delivering at Presby Plano was the option to take free birthing classes prior to our delivery. We opted to take Babycare Basics, Lamaze, and a course on Breastfeeding. Each course is available for the pregnant momma and her coach/support person and is held on-site at Texas Health in Plano. The classes are taught by their childbirth education specialists, many of whom have been nurses at the hospital for years.
The first class we took was Babycare Basics. They covered the basics of bathing, feeding, and caring for your newborn. The class was very practical and hands on – we also received a book that covers all the information we talked about in the class, which was a very useful resource. My husband’s favorite part was practicing with the baby doll – he was an expert at making a ‘baby burrito’!
The next class we took was the month-long Lamaze class. We met each Monday for four weeks with the same small group of expecting parents and covered every aspect of childbirth. It was helpful to take this class at the hospital where I was giving birth because they outlined some of the specific things the hospital offered. For example, I knew when I arrived to deliver that the labor and delivery rooms had birthing balls I could request and that my daughter would get a Halo Sleep Sack after she was born (I love free stuff!). The class ended with a tour of labor and delivery, which was wonderful for a planner like me. I loved knowing exactly what my room was going to look like and how to get to the labor and delivery floor.
The last class I took was the Breastfeeding class. Candidly, this was my least favorite class, though it was still very informative. My lack of enthusiasm may also have been due to the fact that I was only three weeks from my due date extremely uncomfortable. I felt like a lot of this material was covered in the other classes or easily found by doing basic internet research. Overall, I still enjoyed the class, but if time was precious and I had to make a choice, this is the class I would skip.
Most hospitals offer some sort of childbirth course and I would encourage any expecting mom (and dad!) to look into the classes their hospital offers and take advantage of these free classes to help prepare them for motherhood.
What classes helped you prepare for childbirth?