Preparing for the arrival of your first child (or second or third) can be an overwhelming process. Between preparing your home for your little one, taking care of your personal health during your pregnancy, and learning all about the basics of baby care, there are so many little details to worry about before your baby makes their big debut. Take a lesson from me and remember that you do NOT need to go through this process alone. In addition to surrounding yourself with supportive loved ones, it’s so important to take advantages of the resources in your community. I’d highly recommend seeking out the advice and guidance of the medical professionals who are monitoring you throughout your pregnancy and registering for parent education classes before your baby arrives.
I’ll be going into more detail on this topic in a future post, but in a nutshell, taking parent education classes during my first pregnancy could’ve potentially saved me from quite a bit of stress and anxiety during the birth of my first daughter and the first few months of her life. I had a difficult labor experience and a huge amount of trouble with breastfeeding, and I truly believe that both of these issues (along with many others) could’ve been avoided or at least substantially reduced if I’d had more knowledge before childbirth. Even though we’re no longer first-time parents, my husband and I have made a huge effort during this pregnancy to be fully prepared for our little girl’s arrival.
During my labor and delivery hospital tour of AdventHealth for Women Orlando, I learned all about the parent education courses offered at the hospital and asked for recommendations from my Birth Experience Coordinator. Today I’ll be sharing my experience with two amazing parent education classes along with the best classes you and/or your support partner can take during and after your pregnancy. I’ll also give you all of the details about the amazing classes offered at The Baby Place Academy at AdventHealth locations in central Florida. If you’re an expecting mom looking for the best parent education classes, keep reading!
The Best Parent Education Classes to Take During Your PregnancyPreparing for the arrival of your baby can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to do it alone. In addition to the support of your loved ones, I urge you to take advantage of the parent education classes in your community. Sometimes these classes are even covered by your health insurance, so it’s important to call your health insurance provider and check to see what benefits you’re provided throughout your pregnancy. Even if parent education classes are not included in your insurance benefits, they’re well worth the small investment. Instead of wasting time and money looking into pregnancy books that you probably won’t read before baby arrives, use the same time and monetary investment to get hands-on instruction from trained, caring, and experienced professionals in your area.
If you live in the Orlando area, you can find a wide variety of exceptional parent education courses through The Baby Place Academy at AdventHealth for Women. They have four locations in central Florida, so you’ll be able to find a supportive team of experienced instructors close to your home. Today I’m sharing my experience with two of the classes I’ve taken so far, but I will absolutely fill you in with details on more of the classes as I take them! I’ll also be sharing a full schedule of parent education classes offered by AdventHealth in case you’re interested in a particular topic. Based on the advice of my Birth Experience Coordinator (learn more about how to get one for yourself here) at AdventHealth for Women, the first two classes I attended were Comfort Measures of Labor and Birth and Dancing for Birth™. Keep reading to learn about my experience with both classes.
Comfort Measures for Labor and BirthDuring my first childbirth experience, I was offered an epidural as soon as I was admitted to the hospital. While I am definitely not opposed to receiving an epidural in the future, I don’t believe receiving an epidural so early in the active labor process was my best decision. Since I was only halfway through the dilation process when I received my epidural, I spent most of active labor confined to my bed with a peanut ball in between my legs. While I absolutely don’t blame any one decision for causing me to require a last-minute C-section, I am absolutely interested in learning as many tips and tricks about childbirth to hopefully prepare me for a successful VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) this time around.
If you’re a soon-to-be mom who’s not sure what to expect throughout your delivery, Comfort Measures for Labor and Birth is an amazing class to take. You’ll learn about different techniques and options to deal with pain associated with labor, and your support partner will learn different ways to support you throughout the entire process. It’s a information-packed class, and I truly wish I’d taken it during my first pregnancy!
Throughout the class, our instructor covered a comprehensive list of various ways you can relax during labor. We learned calming breathing techniques, pregnancy ball exercises, soothing partner massage techniques, and various relaxation techniques to help with the pain associated with childbirth. Our instructor gave us information about epidurals and answered each and every question that my classmates posed. This class is open to expecting moms and/or their support partners, so be sure to bring the loved one who will be with you throughout your delivery! You’ll learn so much information that will help you to make an informed decision about pain relief during your hospital stay and a multitude of relaxation techniques to help you through labor. I highly recommend this class to any mom – new or experienced – who’s looking for ways to improve their experience with childbirth.
No matter where you’re choosing to deliver your baby, you can take the Comfort Measures for Labor and Birth at any location that’s convenient for your schedule. I’m delivering at AdventHealth for Women Orlando, but the Winter Park location was slightly more convenient for my schedule during the week I took this class. This course is offered at the Orlando, Winter Park, and Celebration locations of AdventHealth.
Dancing for Birth™As I mentioned earlier, I had a difficult childbirth experience with my first daughter, Summer. She was in a posterior (OP) position AKA “sunny side up” as my nurses described it, which means that she was head down but with her face towards my abdomen instead of towards my back. This position caused her to get caught behind a bone in my pelvis and lead to over four hours of pushing and ultimately, a last-minute C-section delivery for my daughter’s safety. While it’s never guaranteed that babies in this position can be born vaginally, I do wish I would have had the chance to be up on my feet and potentially get the baby to move. That’s why I was extremely interested in taking the Dancing for Birth™ class.
Dancing for Birth™ classes include aerobic dance movements with techniques to help you have a safer and easier birth experience. Dancing For Birth™ uses dance movements from around the world that have been found to make childbirth shorter, easier, and safer. The curriculum shows you how to use gravity to your advantage during labor, and you’ll learn various movements that can help correct your baby’s breech or posterior position (if applicable). The course also shares pushing positions that can double the size of your pelvic outlet!
So what’s a Dancing for Birth™ class like? FUN! We learned easy and entertaining dances from all regions of the globe (salsa, hip-hop, belly dancing, African dances, and more), and all of the moms in the class were smiling throughout the entire class. You absolutely do not need any dance experience to take this class, and all fitness levels will enjoy the movements. In addition to getting a great aerobic workout, we also learned so many things about childbirth that I truly believe will help me have a more positive labor experience this time around!
Unlike some of the other classes detailed below, Dancing for Birth™ is not a one-time course. You can take it as often as you’d like because it’s great exercise, and it’s an amazing way to help your body remember the movements that will aid in your delivery. While I’ve only taken one class so far, I will definitely be back for more classes throughout the remainder of my pregnancy and beyond! My instructor said that new moms can also bring their newborns to class with them and wear them in a baby carrier or wrap throughout the entire class. If you’re looking for a fun and informative class that will truly make a difference in your labor and delivery experience, click here to learn more about this course and register for a session in Orlando, Celebration, or Winter Park.
The Best Parent Education Classes in Central FloridaIf you’re looking for the best parent education classes in central Florida, head to The Baby Place Academy at AdventHealth for Women. They offer a wide variety of parenting classes at four different locations (Altamonte, Celebration, Orlando, and Winter Park), so you’re guaranteed to find the classes you need at a location that’s close to your home. I’ve had an excellent experience with their parenting classes, and I’m excited to try even more courses over the next few months.
I’ll be sharing a brief summary of all of the classes they offer, but the categories range from childbirth to infant CPR to prenatal yoga. Once your precious baby arrives, you can continue learning with The Baby Bunch, which is a weekly gathering of moms that’s offered at all four AdventHealth locations. If you’re not sure which class is right for you, check in with your Birth Experience Coordinator to get suggestions on the best courses for your particular situation. See a full list of The Baby Place Academy parenting education courses here.
Classes to Take Before Baby Arrives
PREPARING FOR LABOR AND DELIVERY
The Gift of Motherhood Childbirth Class: This class covers everything you need to know about childbirth in an easy-to-understand and supportive format, so you and your support partner can bring your baby into the world with total confidence. In addition to the in-class instruction, you’ll receive videos, educational articles, and a copy of the course book to take home. This class is also available in a one-day course or a series of four classes. Click here to learn more about this course and register for a session – one-day version here and four-class version here.
Epidural Anesthesia: If you’re interested in learning more about pain management options for your labor and delivery, this class is for you. The course covers everything you need to know about epidurals (anesthesia given during labor to reduce pain), including the different types of epidurals available and the actual facts vs. common myths surrounding epidural anesthesia. Click here to learn more about this course and register for a session.
Cesarean Section (C-Section) Class: If your doctor has recommended a C-section delivery, this class is a great way to learn all about the process of a C-section and what to expect during your recovery. The instructors can also address any concerns you may have, so you can go into your delivery with confidence. Click here to learn more about this course and register for a session.
Comfort Measures for Labor and Birth: This class teaches you and your support partner relaxation tips to help you through labor. You’ll learn various breathing exercises, how to use a birthing ball, relaxing massage techniques, and information about the labor and birth process. It is recommended that you take The Gift of Motherhood Childbirth Class before attending this course. Click here to learn more about this course and register for a session.
Prenatal Yoga: With all of the changes your body goes through during pregnancy, it’s important to take time to relax and take a deep breath. Prenatal yoga classes are an excellent way to increase your strength and flexibility while simultaneously learning breathing and relaxation techniques that can help you stay more comfortable during labor. Click here to learn more about this course and register for a session.
Dancing for Birth™: Dancing For Birth™ is an amazing class that combines aerobic dance movements and parent education. You’ll learn dance moves that help make labor shorter, easier, and safer, have a great time connecting with other moms, learn techniques to help with labor, and increase your confidence for your baby’s delivery. Plus, you’ll get 90-minutes of aerobic exercise! Click here to learn more about this course and register for a session.
Breastfeeding Class: Breastfeeding is a beautiful and amazing experience, but it does require a bit of education and hard work at the beginning. I wish I had known more about nursing before my daughter arrived, so I always recommend that new moms attend a breastfeeding class before baby arrives. In this class, you’ll learn different ways to position your baby along with how to get the perfect latch. The classes also covers various pumping tips and easy ways to relax, feed, and bond with your baby. Click here to learn more about this course and register for a session.
The Basics of Caring for Your New Baby: Taking a baby home for the first (or second, or third) time can be a nerve-wracking process. This course gives you a solid foundation of knowledge about basic baby care, so you’ll know exactly what to do when your little one arrives. This class is also a great course for grandparents or anyone who will be taking care of your baby. Click here to learn more about this course and register for a session.
Happiest Baby Class: Calming a newborn can be a tricky process. This course will help you learn exactly how to comfort your baby when they’re crying or fussing with this helpful Happiest Baby Technique. You’ll learn about the five S’s, the calming reflex, the missing fourth trimester, and the cuddle cure. A DVD and soothing sound CD are included with this class. This class is open to expecting mothers and moms with babies who are 3 months old or younger. Click here to learn more about this course and register for a session.
Sibling Class: Every parent dreams about the moment their new baby meets the other children in the family. This class will help make the transition for older siblings easier by preparing them for the arrival of your little one. This course teaches all about becoming a great big sister or brother, and your children will get a chance to learn how to hold, wrap, feed, and diaper a baby doll. This is a great fit for children between the ages of four and ten. I personally took a class like this as a child when my mother was pregnant with my younger brother, and I still remember it to this day. I’d highly recommend this course for your children! Click here to learn more about this course and register for a session.
Safe Sitter Class: If you have older children or family members who want to learn safe babysitting techniques, this class is a great fit. Pre-teens between the ages of 11 to 14 will learn safe practices to care for babies (including newborns) along with how to prevent accidents and what to do in emergency situations. Click here to learn more about this course and register for a session.
Meet Fido – Introducing Baby to Dog: There’s nothing cuter than the bond between a child and a dog, but it’s important to introduce your little one to your dog in the correct manner. This course covers the best ways to introduce your baby to dog, so you’ll have a smooth transition when you come home from the hospital. Click here to learn more about this course and register for a session.
Classes to Take After Baby Arrives
Little Music Makers: Once baby arrives, he/she will love participating in fun mommy and me activities with you. The Little Music Makers classes offer a relaxed environment where you and your baby can sing and play to music while developing language, movement, and social-emotional skills. This class is offered for three different age ranges: 0-6 months, 6-12 months, and 12-18 months. Click here to learn more about this course and register for a session: 0-6 months, 6-12 months, and 12-18 months.
Happiest Baby Class: Calming a newborn can be a tricky process. This course will help you learn exactly how to comfort your baby when they’re crying or fussing with this helpful Happiest Baby Technique. You’ll learn about the five S’s, the calming reflex, the missing fourth trimester, and the cuddle cure. A DVD and soothing sound CD are included with this class. This class is open to expecting mothers and moms with babies who 3 months old or younger. Click here to learn more about this course and register for a session.
Whether you’re about to become a first-time mom or an experienced parent expecting another baby, I highly encourage you to look into parenting education courses in your area. Even after two years of parenting my first daughter, I still learned an enormous amount of information from the classes I’ve taken throughout this pregnancy. Medical advances are made so often that the information you received for your first pregnancy may have already changed, so these classes are absolutely applicable to parents of all experience levels. Between the information you learn from the experienced instructors and the community you form with other moms in your classes, I guarantee that parent education classes will help you to embark on the journey of parenthood with a firm foundation of knowledge and confidence.
If you’re an expecting mama in the central Florida area, be sure to read my post on my labor and delivery hospital tour of AdventHealth for Women Orlando. You’ll get an inside look at what happens when you head to the hospital for labor and delivery and learn about one of the best hospitals in the area.