Thanks to T.N. Dickinson's Company for their support of this article

Consider These Classes During Pregnancy

Planning to add a tiny new member to the family? Here’s an overview of the different types of classes available and how they can help you and your partner prepare for your new baby.

Exercise Classes:

Exercise is one of the best things you can do for yourself during pregnancy. It soothes swollen ankles, prevents pain, relieves stress and anxiety, takes the edge off depression, improves circulation, and can help prevent or manage diabetes. Plus, it’s good for your growing baby!

If you were already active in an exercise program before becoming pregnant, you can usually continue with that same routine throughout pregnancy. Some exercises may need to be modified and you should always listen to your body. Check with your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise program — especially in pregnancy.  

SEE ALSO: How to Choose a Childbirth Class

Childbirth Classes:

A childbirth class can help you learn or recall preparing for labor and birth ahead. Find a class that aligns with your birthing goals. Most provide an overview of labor, coping techniques (relaxation, breathing, massage, position changes), medications, and warning signs. Involve your partner or labor coach. You can also find these classes online or at the facility where you plan to birth.

Breastfeeding/Chestfeeding Classes and Support Groups:

They say breastfeeding/chestfeeding is natural, and it is! But there’s definitely a learning curve, and it’s normal to face challenges at first while you and your baby are learning. Taking a breastfeeding/chestfeeding class prior to giving birth is a great way to set yourself up for success. Not only will you learn the skills needed to latch and nurse your baby, you’ll also learn about normal newborn behavior and how to read your infant’s cues.

To ensure you’re getting the most accurate information, take a class that’s taught by a board certified lactation consultant or lactation educator. You can also check with your healthcare provider, the local breastfeeding coalition, La Leche League, or WIC.

Daddy Classes

New father classes are a great place for dads-to-be to learn with other men from veteran dads in a supportive environment. Dads learn what to expect with a new baby, and develop the skills and confidence they’ll need to dive right into fatherhood.

Newborn Classes

There is so much to learn about your baby in the days, weeks, and months after you bring them home. There are classes on baby care and safety, as well as classes that focus on normal baby behavior, cues, infant development, soothing techniques, and infant massage.

SEE ALSO: Your Healthiest Pregnancy: Trimester by Trimester

Child and Infant CPR

Before bringing baby home, be sure to take an Infant CPR class. In the event of an emergency, the skills you learn could mean life or death for your growing baby. The American Heart Association and the American Red Cross offer CPR classes.

Make sure you also look at 40 REASONS TO GO THE FULL 40

Thanks to T.N. Dickinson's Company for their support of this article


Rachel Napoli, DNP, PHN, CNS, RNC-OB, IBCLC, is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Sonoma State University (SSU). She also serves as Assistant Director of the Pre-Licensure BSN Program. She is the lead course instructor for the Care of the Childbearing Family course. She has a passion for expanding baby friendly initiatives and breastfeeding.

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