Preparing for Your Bundle of Joy

March 9, 2020, Shirley Rubio Blake

Prenatal Classes aren’t just for learning about childbirth.

Expecting a baby is a very exciting chapter in life. When I think about that time, I remember mixed emotions of nervousness and joy. I also remember thinking about how much I loved my child. I was in awe about how I felt about my baby and how amazing that was since I had not seen my baby face-to-face.

Last week Hailey, our new blogger, shared her prenatal class experience. Reading about her experience made me reflect on my classes and why I took them.  I’m glad I participated in prenatal classes for many reasons. I learned a lot of valuable information, met others that shared the same life chapter of parents-to-be, and most importantly, learned how important it is to have an open mind.

The main reason I wanted to go to prenatal classes was to learn. Becoming a parent was a new experience and I wanted to learn what to expect. I have always loved learning so this was an easy choice but some people may experience anxiety going to a new class. It’s important to remember that prenatal classes are to learn what to expect and how to better prepare for your baby.

Going to prenatal classes was a way to start building community. At the time I had my first son, I did not have many friends with children. Prenatal classes helped my transition to parenthood, especially when I connected outside of the class with parents from class. I loved the diversity of the other parents in the class. There were couples, single moms, moms of different backgrounds and ages. There was also a grandma to be and many expectant fathers.

It was super helpful to learn best practice techniques around labor, childbirth and newborn care, including how to prepare for that big day. In class, we went over how to prepare our hospital bag and then the instructor gave us homework to prepare our hospital bags. The homework motivated my partner and I and it was it easy with her guidance. In addition, she recommended packing some special things like chocolate covered coffee beans for my partner and warm socks for me.

Our instructor presented us with different stories and scenarios that helped me to be more flexible and open to my birth experience. We can get an idea of what childbirth is going to be like and focus on that perfect scenario, but life doesn’t always go like we plan. Having an open mind about how your birth may go, aside from your envisioned birth plan, is an important part of the process. Our instructor helped guide us through this mental prep piece. This is the most important part of prenatal classes because it’s not only preparing you for childbirth but it’s preparing you for parenting.

Expecting a child is a very unique experience that is one of the most impactful experiences for us women. Taking prenatal classes with your partner is an important part of your pregnancy.

My children have motivated me to do many good things. Learning more about prenatal classes is a great way to start learning more about what to expect to help you better prepare for your child.