"I think it puts them more at ease. They have a much better experience and it’s more realistic. It’s not easy and I think a lot of people watch the ‘Baby Story’ and other things on television and have an unrealistic expectation and it just puts them at ease and having realistic expectations for their labor and delivery experience as well as their post-partum experience," says Ashlee Lake, Licking Memorial Childbirth Educator.
Area hospitals like Licking Memorial and Genesis Bethesda offer a variety of classes to prepare you for pregnancy, delivery and bringing your child home. Their basic childbirth education classes give you a complete overview of what you need to know.
"We go over the basics or fundamentals of parenting starting from taking baby home from the hospital on up to about one year of age," says Lake.
"It gives you general information about car seats it gives you information about breast feeding, bottle feeding, how to take care of the baby whenever you get the baby home. It also let’s you know what to expect while in the hospital," says Erin Burris, Genesis Bethesda Childbirth Educator.
The hospitals also offer classes devoted to specific topics, like breast feeding or childbirth.
"That class is not only about the breathing techniques through Lamaze, but it’s also just trying to relax through your labor," says Burris.
And if this isn’t your first child, classes are also available to help big brothers and sisters know what to expect.
"It’s a lot of fun, we take them on a tour of the hospital and they learn the basics of how to act in the home with the child, the new baby, so that mom and dad can be a little bit more at ease," says Lake.
Childbirth educators say whether this is your first child, or if it’s been a while since your last child, it’s good for moms-to-be to take the courses.
"They do much better. They have a better expectation. They have a plan of what to expect during their stay with us and as far as post-partum the gals that take the breast feeding class and are committed to the breast feeding process have a much easier time with breast feeding than say those who may not have taken the class before," says Lake.
"Newborns are definitely different than the babies you see at family reunions that are six months old so it gives you that information on how to care for those babies," says Burris.