Which Classes to Take During Pregnancy: Childbirth, Breastfeeding & Newborn Care

Which Classes to Take During Pregnancy: Childbirth, Breastfeeding & Newborn Care

pregnancyUpdated August 4, 2020

Pregnancy stages, registry must-haves, labor and delivery advice, breastfeeding tips, newborn care techniques, life postpartum — phew! There’s a lot that goes into feeling prepared for pregnancy, birth and life with a newborn.

As a first-time mom, I spent a lot of my nine months of pregnancy doing a whole lot of attempting to understand pregnancy and baby prepping through reading blogs and books, talking to other mamas and even attending a few classes.

So what did I find out?

For starters, there are a ton of effective ways to navigate this journey of pregnancy and motherhood. Seriously. Some experts will recommend one thing and others will recommend the complete opposite, however they both had success and happy babies. So while things may not be so black and white, I found that taking the time to educate myself–and whether or not he wanted to know the information, my husband–helped us to feel prepared, increased my excitement for baby’s arrival and even set us all up for success.

One question I had for other moms and my doctor was, “What are the best classes to take during pregnancy, if any?” And just like with everything else, I received mixed reviews, so I decided to take them all. Let me break down your options for which classes to take during pregnancy.

Classes to Take During Pregnancy

The Newborn Care Class

As first-time parents, this class answered all of our I-feel-too-dumb-to-ask questions — all of them. From, “How do you swaddle a baby?” and “Should I change his or her diaper before or after they eat?” to, “What’s the best way to hold a baby?” and “Are you sure we won’t break the baby?”–they covered it all. We took this class in person and at the hospital we planned to deliver at, so it was in a hands-on, small group setting.

Here’s what I liked about it:

  • We were able try out the techniques — yes, that meant swaddling baby dolls, holding them and even changing their diapers.
  • The in-person class allowed us to ask questions along the way.
  • My husband and I walked out of the class on the same page with how we would do things when caring for the baby.

Who would find this class helpful:

  • If you or your partner do not feel fully confident around new babies.
  • If you or your partner have not been around babies in the last few years.
  • Anyone who needs a refresher on newborn care.

The Breastfeeding Basics Class

The breastfeeding basics class, one that I also attended in-person and with my husband, covered everything we needed to know for the first few weeks at home — from positioning and latching to breast care. I left the class wishing that they would have covered even more — tips for bottle-feeding breastmilk, pumping and returning to work–however, after two and a half hours, we certainly learned a lot.

Here’s what I liked about it:

  • There’s a lot that goes into breastfeeding a baby, so hearing the details, challenges and best practices was very helpful to understanding this feeding option.
  • My husband learned how he can support both me and the baby.
  • The in-person setting allowed for questions and practicing with a baby doll.

Who would find this class helpful:

  • Anyone who has decided to breastfeed or is considering it. While you may be provided a lactation specialist following delivery, there are a lot of details that can be lost or forgotten on that busy day.
  • Partners of those who plan to breastfeed or are considering it.

The Childbirth Class

If I’m being honest, labor and delivery is the one area that this over-researched mama-to-be has not read too much about. There are so many scary stories out there and I simply did not want to put fears, that will probably never happen, in my mind. To equip me with the basics of labor and delivery, I watched Baby Center’s Child Birth Videos.

Here’s what I liked about it:

  • They covered the basics of labor and delivery in a short and sweet segments.
  • Watching online allowed me to skip topics if desired.
  • I have a good understanding of what delivery day could possibly look like.

Who would find this class helpful:

  • Mamas who want an overview of delivery day without the scary stories.
  • Partners who do not know what to expect with this big life event.

However, there are many options for birth classes, and we do strongly suggest educating yourself and your partner before labor. You can take a hospital class, a variety of online classes, a Bradley class, or Hypnobabies. There’s something for everyone!

So there you have it, the full breakdown of classes to take during pregnancy for first time parents! Are there any classes that you would add to this list? Let us know in the comments!


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