Natasha Russell is the proud mom of a healthy baby girl. But things haven't been easy with 4-month-old Breyah.
“One day I got up, and there was no kick or anything like that. So I called the doctor. They told me I had to come in right away”
Russell was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and needed an emergency C-section six weeks early. So the first time she had a child, mom said she didn't have time to take any pre-natal classes, something she now regrets.
“When I had the baby, I was having a hard time, struggling to feed the baby. So, next time, I'm going to make sure I go to breast feeding classes.”
Christina Lewis is the pre-natal education coordinator for Catholic Health. She'll oversee 200 classes this year alone, and next year, Catholic Health is expected to offer 370 pre-natal classes on everything from child birth to sibling classes to high risk pregnancy education.
For first time expecting moms, the choices can be overwhelming. Lewis said if you're trying to prioritize what classes to take, consider starting with a child birth class. “Not only does it let you know what to expect, but it makes you a more active part of your labor because so much of labor happens at home.”
She also suggests taking a car-seat education class. “Really, they are showing that so many kids are not safely buckled up. So I suggest that for any new parent or grandparent and those classes are free.”
Of course, these are just suggestions. Ultimately, you should consider what's best for your own needs. Lewis said that can also mean skipping classes altogether. If so, she recommended at least taking a tour of the hospital.
“They aren't 100 percent necessary because your body is going to know what to do. You’re going to go into labor. You're going to contract. This is the birth of your baby and it's amazing.”