Recently, I was looking at a pregnancy calendar app that goes week-by-week detailing what a pregnant mom should be focused on each week. It could be anything from “start a registry” to “do some light stretching to help loosen up your ligaments.” This week, the task on the calendar said to look at labor and newborn classes and decide which one my husband and I want to take. Hmm… we are second-timers. So, we should be experts at all this stuff, right?
The summer before Boone was born, we looked at the hospital website for options on classes to take to prepare for our firstborn. There were almost as many class choices as there are entrées on the menu at Cheesecake Factory. From one day crash courses to topical classes to dad-focused and single parent classes, the options were endless. But then I saw it … a complete, 10-week course that met once a week. The class would meet for approximately five weeks before the baby arrived and five weeks after you delivered. Woohoo! Sounds like the perfect option for a nervous, first-born, pregnant mom and her second-born husband who had never changed a diaper in his life.
As my husband and I now reflect back on the classes, we realized we really did learn quite a lot. A few of the topics we covered in the baby curriculum included: basic newborn care, breastfeeding/bottle-feeding encouragement and guidance, safety tips for homes with newborns and how to deal with an extremely fussy baby. But, beyond the lessons, our teacher also encouraged us to share with our fellow “students” (or moms and dads) the true fears and excitement about becoming parents, including struggles we didn’t expect to have, as well as how to balance a new baby with our other relationships in our lives. It almost felt like a bit of a therapy session towards the end of our class, but wow, was that needed as a new mom! A great product of the class that I hadn’t expected was the close circle of friends and confidants I gained! There aren’t many other places where you can go to meet a large group of parents who will all be having their baby within a few weeks of you (and they are all just as scared and nervous as you are). Those moms became my confidants and close friends during the first year of my son’s life.
So what to do this time around? We probably don’t need all the nitty-gritty details of bringing home a newborn. Although I have to admit, I’ve already realized how much about just the pregnancy part I forgot since the last time around. There’s bound to be things that I don’t remember. So, I think maybe even a veteran baby daddy and mama like my husband and myself might be able to benefit from a refresher course. And hey, if we don’t learn anything new, maybe I can at least meet a few fellow preggo moms to commiserate with.
Are you taking classes before baby arrives? What’s the best thing you learned in a baby course?