I just spent 8 hours, over 4 weeks and $45.00 on a Labor/Lamaze/Baby class at the hospital where I will be having baby in just a few short months. Now normally I would freak a little over that amount of money for skills I am sure I could pick up out of a book or manual, but in this one case I made an exception. Plus it was good for Steven (maybe) to actually go to the class and re-familiarize himself with the environment we will be spending at least two days in. I’ve been in and out of a lot of hospitals in my life, both as a patient and as a visitor. However I find that perspective drastically shifts when you are about to be a patient in a hospital with a newborn. Here are the pro’s of birth class as I see them:
- We got a tour of the Labor and Delivery wing
- We got to interact with a few actual nurses that work in Labor and Delivery and might possibly be helping deliver our baby
- I got to ask questions about things like can the baby stay in the room, what is the cord blood donation policy, how to deal with visitors, etc
- I got a good dose of reality about the other sorts of people having babies right at this moment, in my home town, that my child might have some reason to interact with in future. Frankly Florence, AL is not that big. I saw the other couples out and about in town after meeting them in class and one my mother even worked with.
- I was forced to watch childbirth videos whether I liked it or not.
- While pregnancy is mostly a solo thing (sorry partners and spouses) this class was something couples could do together.
- Going to the hospital every week, learning about pre-registration, going to the L&D floor and spending time there takes a lot of anxiety away from not knowing what to expect or where to go. I know what the room I will deliver the baby in looks like. I know that I should never have to leave the 4th floor even for a Csection.
- I know that the hospital has security measure in place to make sure no one can take my baby off the fourth flood without a lot of planning.
All of this knowledge I might have been able to gain other ways, but this class was very helpful for what it is. It is not an end all, be all of birth knowledge. If you want to be empowered by knowledge, understand the biology of birth, read several books, keep up with what is supposed to be developing on baby every week and read, research and gain practical knowledge of what it is like to care for a baby. I didn’t like the cost but in the end it was probably worth it. I didn’t particularly care for the other parents, but this is a phenomenon I should probably get used to. It was not as in depth or scientific as I personally might have liked, but it was advertised for the average lay person about to procreate. All in all Labor class is worth signing up for. Sign up earlier than you think you need to. Go to every class whether you think you need to or not. Ask questions. Gain the knowledge you can from the class and the rest you can go out and find for yourself. Use this experience to frame your questions. If you want to go catch up on the previous posts in this series here they are:
Since I have had a lot of fun channeling my baby and nesting feelings into these posts I am going to continue them for the next several weeks. I will be writing about my baby spreadsheet in greater depth. I will share my own spreadsheet as well as how I determined what was necessary and what was not and my numbers for supplies needed and how I got my baby things for reasonable prices.