I will have two new prenatal education series’ starting in the new year for those expecting a baby between late February and early April, 2013. Classes at the Centre for Social Innovation (Annex) will be on Tuesday evenings, from 6:30 – 9pm, beginning January 8th. Classes at Women’s College Hospital will be on Wednesday evenings, from 6:30 – 9pm, beginning January 9th. Both courses are six weeks in length. You can choose the series that best suits you in terms of day and location.
In taking the role of prenatal instructor at Women’s College, one of my top priorities was that I would be able to use my own curriculum and that there would be no imposition of a hospital agenda upon my prenatal course content. In other words, these two courses will be identical in content and will focus on preparing for birth as a normal, healthy experience that can be anticipated and experienced without fear and in a calm an relaxed manner. We will also cover topics related to the postpartum phase and parenting.
For more info on topics that will be covered, hit the jump!
Topics for the series include (but are not limited to):
-pain management and coping strategies for labour
-relationships and sexuality during pregnancy and in the postpartum period
-the physiology of labour and birth
-positioning for labour and birth
-risks and benefits of common interventions
-newborn care and characteristics
-nutrition and exercise
So, why take a class taught by an independent Childbirth Educator, rather than those taught by public healthcare workers or hospital staff? Here are my top five reasons:
1. While the information provided by public health prenatal classes is useful, these courses often omit a large quantity of information that is considered “alternative” or that is not routine at that particular hospital. For example, while my prenatal classes cover labour coping techniques ranging from massage and acupressure, to self-hypnosis, breathing and vocalizations,to hydrotherapy and heat, to epidurals and other forms of pain medications, a hospital class will generally only cover the epidural with any depth. Even if you plan to have an epidural, there are still many useful options available to you that won’t be explored in a standard hospital course. This is just an example of how public health tends to teach to the norm, rather than to what is possible. It’s understandable given the number of people they have to teach, but not exactly desirable if you want your birth experience to be as satisfying and positive as possible.
2. Public health courses (and even some independent ones) are often two-day “crash courses”. This may seem ideal – get it all done with in one weekend! – but a course that is drawn out over a number of weeks will give you the chance to really get to know other couples in the class (start building up that new-parent social network now, before the baby arrives) and also opens up the possibilities for asking the questions that matter to you, even if they don’t occur to you until four days after class. You’ll also retain more of the information, as you’ll only need to digest two hours of material at a time, with time to reflect in between each class. I also cap my attendance at twelve people so that there is time for more questions and to facilitate group interaction.
3. Many people report being frightened or discouraged by the content/approach of public health prenatal classes. It is important that you understand all of your options and what is happening to your/your partner’s body during labour and birth, but it is not helpful to hear horror stories or to be inundated with negative information. My classes provide clear and detailed, evidence-based information while focusing on the positives – helping you to feel informed and fully prepared, but also excited and optimistic, not afraid.
Final note on discounts:
If you are interested in hiring a doula and would like to talk to me about the doula services I offer, I also provide package deals for doula clients who enrol in my prenatal classes at CSI. Unfortunately, I am not able to extend this offer to participants in my WCH classes.