Childbirth classes provide a healthy start for new families

Pregnancy, for most expectant parents, is a time of good feelings, good health and a tremendous sense of accomplishment. At the same time, the experiences that accompany pregnancy might also bring about feelings of anxiety and uncertainty for first-time, as well as veteran, parents. Fears and concerns about the upcoming labor and delivery experiences, the health of their baby, care of their newborn, managing breastfeeding and becoming new parents can sometimes seem overwhelming.

Although watching videos, reading childbirth preparedness books and visualizing a healthy labor and delivery can prove very helpful, most childbirth experts agree that the most effective way to calm these fears and concerns is to prepare for this important life event by attending childbirth preparation classes.

Childbirth classes can help parents-to-be plan for what to expect during the labor, birth, postpartum and newborn experiences. Gaining knowledge of their childbirth and childcare options can help expecting moms and dads worry less and make informed choices.

Childbirth classes provide a great deal of valuable information, including:

  • How to stay healthy and comfortable during pregnancy.
  • Understanding labor, delivery, and the postpartum period.
  • Relaxation and breathing techniques.
  • Important tools for the labor partner as he or she offers support during the birth process.
  • Comfort measures, pain relief options and coping strategies.
  • Medication/anesthesia and hospital procedures.
  • The benefits of breastfeeding and how to get started.
  • Infant safety.
  • Car seat safety.
  • Newborn care and infant stimulation/development techniques.
  • Community resources and programs that support new moms and dads.

Childbirth education can be the perfect complement to the prenatal care parents receive from their healthcare provider. Although childbirth classes may vary in their specific philosophies and curriculum, expectant parents can be assured they will have the opportunity to ask questions and gather valuable information that may not be found in books, videos, and online.

Additionally, many couples who take a class build stronger bonds with their partners and develop new friendships with other expectant couples. Regardless of how a couple intends to deliver their child – whether in a hospital, birthing center or at home – childbirth education classes can help lessen their worries and fears, boost their confidence, empower them to make informed decisions, and ultimately help them provide their baby and themselves with the healthiest, happiest start as a new family.

Understanding the importance and value of childbirth education and the current economic environment, the Childbirth Education program at Northern Arizona Healthcare is proud to introduce a new sliding fee scale for classes. The sliding scale can be applied to all individual and packaged course fees.

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