When we asked our Midwife about pregnancy classes at one of our monthly prenatal visits, she kindly gave us a piece of paper containing all the information we needed about Childbirth and Family classes including Breastfeeding, Prepared Childbirth, Sibling's Class, Infant Care Class, Infant Massage, Super Sitter, Girl Talk, Straight Talk for Guys, Heart Saver CPR and Pediatric First Aid CPR.
The Prepared Childbirth classes we attended was exclusively free of charge for us (we saved $50) and was sponsored by West Tennessee Womens Center-thanks to them. It is designed for expectant mothers and fathers or labor partners. It was divided into two Saturdays, the first session we had lasted for 6 hours with four breaks. The class was scheduled at 9:00 A.M, and though we were 15 minutes late, thank God that when we arrived they were not yet started. Our registered nurse Instructor, Ms. Dawnitt waited for us.
Instead of doing a conventional way of meet and greet, our instructor used two dice and each participant (mother and father) were instructed to throw the dice and summing up the numbers appeared was how many times the person that did the throwing tells something about himself or herself. It was fun! Joshua and I were the last couple who did the throwing.
I am telling you, our first Saturday was loaded of information and tips about giving birth. Aside of informative and helpful reading manuals provided in each class and supported the discussion, sets of video were presented, accompanied by interactive group participation.
First Saturday Learning:
- Danger Signs of Pregnancy- under this Joshua, I and the rest of the class were given information's in lifting a red flag call for Preeclampsia, urinary tract infection and other signs of preterm labor.
- Stages of Labor- As thought in the class is divided into three stages:
- Stage One- Occurring from the time true labor begins until the cervix is completely dilated and the baby can pass out of the uterus through the cervix. This stage is divided into three phases which are early phase, a phase which lasts from the start of labor until the cervix dilates to 3 centimeters. The second phase is the active phase, in which the cervix dilates to 7 centimeters and averages around 4 to 5 hours. The transition phase, the hardest part of the labor within the first stage of labor but the shortest. It can be short as 30 minutes and as long as 2 hours. This phase will dilate the cervix up to full dilation or 10 centimeters.
- Stage Two- is the pushing and birth of baby, at this stage the cervix is dilated enough to allow the baby's head to pass through it.
- Third stage- this is the final part of labor, and the first postpartum hour of recovery. After a few labor-like contractions and a massage of the uterus, the placenta or afterbirth is expelled.
Knowing all these things are empowering, and at the same time overwhelming, mostly when I heard that in general for first time mom the duration of labor lasted to 20 hours. Whew! Dear, God give me strength to go through this.
- Video Presentation- For us to have a brief back ground of actual delivery, we watched two sets of real life compilation of videos of several mothers in labor which are entitled Stages of Labor and Birth Story. The first video presented tackled about the different stages of labor and ways of handling it. The second video is more on encouraging pregnant mothers to remain open minded in different procedures in giving birth.
- Interactive group participation- For me one of the most exciting and fun time moments in the class aside of the question and answer portion in which my husband participated a lot, expecting daddies were asked to wear the "pregnancy symphaty belly" that weighs 30 lbs. I was wondering when I came back from the comfort-room, all of the participants were looking at me smiling and to my amazed it was because of my Joshua who first volunteered to wear it. I was so proud that he became so involved and thankful of course that there is no moment that I felt alone in our pregnancy even up to this writing.
Joshua, wearing the pregnancy symphaty belly
- Storking- A special service provided by Jackson-Madison County General Hospital for baby's special delivery in which expecting parents are encourage to do the pre-registering. This is done during the second trimester or at least five months (20 weeks) pregnancy.
Second Saturday Learning:
In the second and final class, it was shown to us the different tools the doctor may use during labor. At this point, I told Joshua that I was becoming stressed-out seeing those forceps used as assistance when the mother needs help in pushing baby under the pubic bone (good thing its not a routinary used for birth).
We were thought about the childbirth breathing technique. The purpose is to facilitate a restful, non-anxious state; to begin the husband and wife or couple's cooperative efforts and communication skills.
Before the session started, our instructor asked us to get our own bean-bag filed at the corner of the room. Participants were advised to bring two pieces of pillow but unfortunately we didn't bring ours, so we just had two bean-bags for our support in the floor. The instructor turn-off the light while coaching us to be comfortable in the position we chose. As I lay over the bean-bags with eyes closed and begin slow, quiet chest breathing, Joshua who was beside me holding my hands and breathing along with me too. Then we were coached to begin to relax the key areas such as the back, tummy, arms and feet.
Next with the beginners exercise, we were prompted to do the "work" on the inhale and relaxation and exhale like the "he, he ho" and others breathing technique.
|Daddy's getting excited on his childbirth-breathing technique|
Afterwards, the whole class met at the lobby of the hospital and had a tour at the 3rd floor, which is the maternity ward at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital. We were shown rooms for each part of childbirth and afterwards. Joshua and I enjoyed looking at the nursing room and recovery room for it was looking nifty and clean. We got more excited when we heard that the hospital has a centralized WiFi for us it was a blessing (surely most hospital in the US have WiFi) for we can use webcam to connect Abigail, our baby to our family in the Philippines.
The time we spent in attending the entire childbirth class was useful and worth while. We became more empowered and better prepared as a new parents not just that but Joshua and I became more connected in each other and to our baby.
A Certificate of Completion was awarded to us plus tote bags with lots of necessities for baby.
|Priceless Certificate we ever have|
For more information about attending a class visit West Tennessee Women's Center or call 731-541-6448 or phone the classroom at 731-660-8690.