I distinctly remember when I was RIGHT where YOU are (or where your friends and family are) right now!
It was 2008 (okay, I’m old) and I was expecting my first baby. I didn’t know what I didn’t know but Oh man, if I only I had! I would have DEFINITELY taken a Newborn Course so I had much more information on what to expect once my little girl was born.
I took the birth classes. I read the birth books. I hired the birth doula. These are all VERY valuable, don’t get me wrong! BUT, there was a BIG piece missing! Birth is life altering. I firmly believe this and am NOT discounting preparing for birth (I did so and I offer this in my business after all), BUT birth is also one experience - maybe 1/2-3 days. Your baby is coming home with you for much longer!
Let's go back a few steps to a line: a pink one or maybe a blue one or perhaps a + sign. Whatever your test result looked like, it was confirmed that YOU WERE PREGNANT. Like me and most people, once you got over the shock, you started focusing on you, your pregnancy, your body changes, your diet, the cans and cannots etc.
I like to refer to it like this: I'm Having a Baby.
First, we focus on the "I'm" part of the phrase - we read all the books on the pregnant body, what changes to expect and how we're feeling (and why). All of our doctor's appointments highlight the pregnancy too.
I'm Having a Baby.
As things move along, we start to pay attention to the fact that we're "Having" a baby. We buy all the birth books, sign up for a birth class or classes, talk to our friends about birth, hire a birth doula (good idea, btw) and think a LOT about how this baby is going to come out of us!
I'm Having a Baby.
This usually gets us pretty far along in our pregnancies. And what do we sometimes forget!? We forget to focus on the "Baby". They are, after all, the WHOLE POINT. We are not pregnant to BE pregnant. We are not giving birth to GIVE birth. We are pregnant and giving birth to HAVE a BABY.
Reacting this way is SO common. After all, pregnancy and birth are HUGE life changes and they DO deserve focus. AND, the Postpartum Experience, the New Parenting Experience, the Newborn Experience, these ALL deserve a LOT of your attention too.
Back to me for just a second. My Postpartum experience was EYE OPENING. I STRUGGLED, especially those first few days and weeks. I knew I wanted to breastfeed and though I'd learned all about giving birth, my class spent about 1 hour on how to breastfeed. My husband had to teach me to change a diaper before he went back to work at Week 2. I cried and cried those first several days and I had NO idea why. I sat on the couch all day, paralyzed, not feeling like I could put my baby down for fear of not bonding with her. I didn't master the Baby Wrap until my SECOND child was born. Because I never learned how! All that to say, I WISH I had known then what I know now. But, I've got great news for you, YOU CAN!
I highly recommend investing in a Newborn Postpartum Prep Course. Details covered in a comprehensive program will vary but typically start with postpartum planning and setting up support, what to buy, what resources you need that you didn’t know you needed, how to make sure your nourished etc. This is often followed by what to expect immediately postpartum - those first few minutes and hours after baby is born. Next, it’s really helpful to learn about the first few Days in the hospital and what it’s like to bring baby home. Postpartum healing and what to look out for physically and mentally/emotionally are also super important. Many courses take you deeper into what PMADs (Perinatal Mood Disorders) are, what to look for, how to identify, how to get support etc. Finally, let’s not forget about the baby! Classes will cover things like all of the basics in newborn care - diapering, swaddling, bathing, caring for nails and skin, etc. Also, it’s helpful to learn about what’s normal for a newborn. They have, after all, unique characteristics, reflexes and cues and it’s so helpful to know these ahead of time so you can easily identify what’s normal. Finally, many classes will spend a lot of time on infant feeding - both bottle and breast/chest, how to soothe your baby, how to engage with and play with your baby and the most coveted information? What is NORMAL for infant sleep and how to make sure you and your partner are getting adequate rest.
Sound like a lot? Just imagine NOT learning all of this ahead of time!
I am a Certified Postpartum Doula and Breastfeeding Specialist. I am also a trained Birth Doula and Childbirth Educator.
I offer a ONCE QUARTERLY Newborn Class that covers ALL THE THINGS about Postpartum and Newborns that you’d ever want to know. We go over Postpartum Planning and Setting Up Support, Immediate Postpartum, The First Few Days in the Hospital, Bringing Baby Home, Postpartum Healing and What to look Out for, Newborn Characteristics, Infant Feeding, How to Soothe, Engage with and Take Care of Your Baby, and of course, Infant Sleep.
All of this PLUS SO MUCH MORE! My class doubles as a Parent Group. Because COMMUNITY? Well, that’s priceless. There is NOTHING like having friends in your corner who GET WHAT YOU’RE GOING THROUGH RIGHT NOW. We spend 2/3 of the time focusing on learning (with interactive, hands-on participation) and 1/3 of the time Building Your Village.
So!? Back to our initial question. To Take or Not to Take a Newborn Class? Well, I think you know that answer now.
....If you don't, it's yes. Take the class. :)
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Look forward to seeing you soon!
I've got your New Family Needs covered.