I’m sad to say, I was extremely disappointed with our birth prep/parenting class. I was excited to go at first because Jake doesn’t have too much experience with babies. Even to this day, he does not like to hold babies.
We had talked about going to one and I had thought it would be cool if we got around to it. Jake talked to some coworkers and they said that it helped. So, we found one that a few of his coworkers went to and one of my girls went to.
It was from 10-5 at Regions in St. Paul. A long day! The class was provided ( I mean, we paid $180 for it through Amma Parenting Center).
[on our way to the class]
The Good (ish) Part: Preparing for Birth
I’m not looking forward to birth. Don’t get wrong, I’m so excited about the baby and our family, but ya, the Birth part. Not so much. But I want to be a little prepared for it. Luckily, I have some great friends that have shared their experiences and given me things to think about. I actually told my friend Kristen that I want her in the room with me. I’m serious girl, ha!
It was good to learn about the 5-1-1. Which is basically when to go to the hospital. I had been wondering when to go in, and since I plan on working up until birth, I wanted to know some warning signs.
Let me also say that it’s not always nice to know everything. You know when they say to stay off Google and stop researching, that’s what I felt like.
You can judge all you want, but I’ve already opted for an epidural. I don’t need to prove anything to myself because I already know I’m a strong warrior. I overcame months of painful daily shots, I know my body would be just fine with a natural birth. But, I still want to the drugs.
It was good to learn what to expect with my body before and after labor. Good to learn, but again, not really something to be super excited about.
Jake and I learned a lot and I do think it was important for him to be aware of what my body will go through. And it will be a lot. I’ve been pretty lucky that Jake still finds me beautiful even though I’ve changed. He doesn’t like change, so this is all hard for him too. But I know he’ll love every minute of being a dad. I can’t wait to see Jake hold that baby. His baby. He has no idea how much he’ll change too.
It was good to learn a little bit more of babies hungry signs or what to expect. Jake got to change a fake babies diaper and learn to put a halo sleep sack on it. I learned that I can hold a baby in a breastfeeding position like a pro. Although, with a moving baby, not sure how easy that would really be.
Wilder moved in my belly the entire class. I was so uncomfortable in those chairs and he was kicking away all day!
The Bad: Mostly everything else
Can I start with lunch? First, I knew I had low expectations because the class was at a hospital. We only had about 45 mins, so it didn’t leave us much time to leave the hospital to grab something else. We hit up the cafeteria and they only had 4 options for lunch: bacon burger, chicken strips, chicken sandwich, salad bar. I wanted pizza. No pizza. So I got the chicken strips (no french fries either) that were cold and super spicy. I was not happy.
Next part of the class was about what to expect with your new baby. Feeding, daily schedule, sleep.
Where I was disappointed:
- Gender Roles – much of the talk was about how the daddies go back to work and mommies are at home. I get that. I get that most of the people do not have the same lifestyle as us. However, I felt a lot of stress and anxiety about it.
- I plan on going back to work slowly after 4 weeks.
- Why can’t Dad help with the feeding?
- It was very much one sided and overwhelming
- It really seemed to me like it was dated and stuck in the 50’s with the mommies at home.
- I felt much more stress about having a baby than I ever did before.
- Breastfeeding – Very Very pro breastfeeding. I do want to try this method. Since my body is built differently than most women, I’m not sure what I’ll be capable of. I’m not stressed about if I can or can’t – but the class was very negative on formula and bottle feeding. Fed is Fed to me.
- Skin to Skin – yes we will do this but you don’t need to shove it down my throat
- Breastfeeding again and again and again and a video
- Added stress from her friends/family talk
- She mentioned having a support system. We do have one, but unfortunately, not all here.
- It just made me wish we had more friends or family that lived closer
- Daily Activities
- I of course know the first month we won’t sleep much and be really focused on the baby. But I do plan on getting out every once in a while. Again – dated
- Some insensitivity
- Our instructor mentioned “be lucky you only have one and not multiples” while talking about some other classes offered. I do understand that she is being general, but it kind of hurt and brought up something painful for me.
- One sided about things
- Assuming everyone had a normal pregnancy this far
- And maybe we were a little behind on some things:
- baby proofing
- car seat
- crib mattress
- nanny/childcare – the instructor thought basically everyone was a stay at home mom.
- Circumcision – we thought this was normal. Apparently only 50% of males in MN are circumcised?!
I know that the class is to cater to all new parents. It’s not specific. I knew to expect some of that. I just didn’t expect it to be so one sided and dated.
Both Jake and I felt more stressed after the class than we did before. Of course babies are stressful and our life is about to completely change, but instead of feeling excited about it, we weren’t. Only for a brief moment.
Where it could have been better – if the class cut out all the breaks and lunches and had it in 3-4 hrs. It was beneficial to learn more about birth and what we’ll go through, but maybe just update the info a little bit more. To me, it wasn’t worth the $180 and time.
I’ve been a little stressed lately about car seat and the big things we need for the baby – but last night, my girl Kirby came to the rescue. She was at Babies R Us (15 mins from our house) and found a brand new car seat on sale! It was $350 and we got it for $99! I called the store after she left and had them hold it for me. We did the research on it and Jake said it was a good deal. It even has leather! Styling! Now, we just need to get another base for the Jeep.
[Lincoln barked at it and Jake read manual and played with it]
For all new moms – I did think the birth class was good to learn about our bodies and what to expect. The rest, I just felt like Jake and I would be fine figuring out on our own.