Pre pregnancy classes are becoming increasingly popular as a way of helping adults to learn the skills that they need to confidently take care of young children. In a pre-pregnancy class, you will usually learn about things like planned parenthood, how to stay healthy during pregnancy, nutrition and weight management, as well as how to take care of a newborn child.
These classes will cover basic first aid, breathing exercises, swaddling, and more. You will learn how to make baby food, how to do CPR on a child (the techniques are a little different to the CPR you would use on an adult), and how to take care of your child if you think they are sick.
These classes can be taken at any time, but it is common for people to take them when they are trying for a child, if they are planning to adopt, or if they are already pregnant and feel that they need a little education in how to take care of kids.
Being responsible for another life can be a little intimidating, but it doesn’t have to spell the end of your normal life. It is possible to have a good parent-child relationship, foster a good relationship with your significant other, and still maintain an identity other than ‘parent’. These classes won’t explicitly teach that skill, but by giving you the confidence that you need to feel secure in your parenting – and that alone will make a massive difference.
Pre-pregnancy classes are something that some families scoff at the idea of taking. If you have younger siblings then you may have picked up some essential skills just from being around to see what your parents did for them – but there are some ‘best practices’ that have changed in recent years. It makes sense to find out what doctors, nutritionists and developmental experts consider to be the best way to do things, just so that you can give your child the best start in life.
There is certainly no requirement for a would-be parent to take a course, but learning how to bond with a child, work with special needs children, and understand what kids are supposed to be able to do at certain ages will go a long way towards helping you to feel more comfortable as you raise a child.
There are a lot of common misconceptions about pregnancy, and about things like cot death, and even breastfeeding. A good pre-pregnancy class will put your mind at rest about those things, and work wonders for helping you to cope with the challenges of raising a baby.
Another thing that it can help with is preparing the whole family. You will be told what to expect, and will be able to sit down and think about the concerns you have as a family, and what you want to do about them as well as how to address them. Sometimes, you think that you are on the same page as your family members, and don’t find out until an issue comes up that the other person has a view that seems alien to you. Taking classes together is a good way to address this.
If you are interested in taking a class, speak to the family planning association in your area. They will likely have a database of people that can help you, and may know of affordable or even free sessions for low income families, and options for those where both parents work in full time jobs as well. Accessible support is out there for everyone.