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5 Classes to Prepare You for (Almost) Everything
A rolling list of classes to take while you're pregnant
Welcome to the WTF lists. Being pregnant and being a new mom is super confusing. People tell you that you need a million things. You don’t even need most of those things. Let’s explore what you actually need and what’s a giant waste of money & time.
5 Classes to Prepare You for (Almost) Everything
A few months after getting pregnant, Adam got lost inside a Reddit thread for first-time dads and came out of there spending $150 on books.
WTF, are we starting a book club? I yelled as I opened up the Amazon box and pulled out 10 different books.
I love reading. He doesn’t. My brain was too scattered to sit down these days and actually read stories and data, research and tips, on how to be someone’s parent.
I couldn’t understand what he was thinking.
But I was in no mood to start a fight.
So I took the books and I shoved them in a deep, dark, hole in the back of the closet.
It’s been 6-months. They haven’t been touched.
Every time I thought about the books, I thought about the point Adam was trying to make.
We had no idea how to be parents, take care of a newborn, even get through the impossibleness of giving birth. These books were supposed to help us, prepare us, teach us what we needed to know.
But our anxiety, excuses, and constant feeling of being overwhelmed by everything, made us unable to stay accountable and read any of them.
So instead, I figured if I signed us up for classes, blocked off those classes on our calendars, and paid money for them (more than a $10 book), we would show up and learn what we needed to learn.
I picked (5) classes only. Any more would just be too much for our brains.
Here are the classes I signed up for and why I picked each one:
A class to teach you about birth
I knew nothing about giving birth except that it sucked and was painful and for many people - the hardest thing they’ve ever had to do. But I needed more. I needed specifics - like how to prepare, what to expect, and what actually happens when the baby is sliding down your cervix. I wanted to take this class in person because (1) I hoped I’d meet some other people who were pregnant and make friends (2) being in person would allow me to stay focused, ask questions, and hopefully retain this super important information.
Check if the hospital / birthing center / or if the birth care team you’re working with for a home birth offers any classes. Sometimes, these classes are completely free and you can meet other preg people who are in the same neighborhood/city as you are.
Find a class that covers what you want to know. I did a 2-day one through Birthsmarter because it seemed to cover everything from what to expect days before going into labor, to the car ride there, how to stand up for yourself, ways to deal with pain, and so much more. I loved it so much and met three friends in the class who I now group text with every single day. The class was expensive (around $400) but that included a ticket for me and Adam and I thought it was worth every penny. They do offer alternative pricing as well.
A class to help you figure out how to care for a newborn
Okay after I learned what prostaglandin was and what 4-1-1 contractions are, I thought it was time to learn how to actually take care of a newborn. I have NO IDEA how to change a diaper, swaddle a baby, use a nasal aspirator. This isn’t something I wanted to learn from a boring book. I wanted to see these things with my eyes and practice in front of a professional who could critique how well I am able to wipe a baby doll’s butt.
I signed up for an in-person class to learn this because I wanted to make friends and it’s hard to do that virtually. I paid $120 for two tickets to this class. The only problem is, I’m taking it in mid-Feb which is super close to my due date - so fingers crossed I make it to this class or else I might be royally screwed.
A newborn CPR class because that’s important
I wanted to cross off taking a newborn CPR class off my mental to-do list because it’s something I need to know so why not learn it now. The mistake I made with this class was that I did it virtually on a Tuesday night. While it was super interesting and the teacher was great, I fell asleep halfway through the class. Adam had to show me what i missed and well, It wasn’t a good enough recap to make me feel confident. I’ll retake this class when the baby is born, before she starts eating solids. This time - IRL.
I took this class for $50 but you can find free ones online.
If you have the time and budget, go IRL. They won’t let you fall asleep.
A lesson in lactation so I can understand WTF is happening with my boobs
I want to breastfeed - if I am able to and if it’s something I feel like I can do - but I also did buy some formula in case breastfeeding isn’t for me or the baby or my body says nooooo way, not today.
But how do you actually breast feed? It can’t be that easy, can it? Maybe it is. But I wanted to learn and find out so that when the baby arrives, I am not sitting in a hospital bed with bulging eyes trying to figure out how to feed this newborn. I heard some hospitals will send over a lactation consultant once you give birth to help you, but I assume they are busy and cut throat with their information. I assume this because my friend from birth class told me that her consultant, in the hospital, made her cry.
So I signed up for a class on lactation ($120 for two tickets) and because I don’t want to fall asleep again, I’m doing this IRL in February and making Adam come too. He needs to know. He needs to help. He needs to understand all that goes into this baby thing.
Find free versions of this class or sign up for a paid one through a school that you are already taking classes at that you like. Because I loved my birth class, I signed up for two more classes through that school just because I know what to expect and like how they run their classes.
Pick a class that settles a fear
I’m trying not to go over the top and take a million classes before this baby arrives. I just know that it’ll stress me out. So I’ve decided I will pick one more class from these topics below. But pick a class that helps you understand a fear that you have. Knowledge doesn’t solve your problems, but it allows you to know what to expect and how to handle what is about to happen. Here are some of my fears / options for classes
Sleep - There are a lot of “sleep specialists” that offer online courses. The problem with recommending on is that everyone’s sleep method and style is different. Let the baby cry it out? Help the baby the second it cries? Up to you. I decided not to take this class before the baby arrives and wait to see what’s up with the baby and her sleep patterns first.
Painful labor - I haven’t taken any of her classes yet but I love how she has classes for people who want to do medicated births and unmedicated births. I actually might end up taking both.
Push prep - Considering a class about how to push during labor because apparently it’s not as easy as just pushing like you’re pooping. If I do this, you’ll be the first to know all the details about this class.
Being someone’s mom - There has to be a class out there for people scared to be moms. I’ll keep looking for us….