The birth of your child is one of the most significant events you will experience. It deserves careful thought and advance preparation. There are many things you can do as a responsible parent to have and prepare for a healthy pregnancy and childbirth. These include eating well, getting good prenatal care, strengthening and protecting your body as it progresses through pregnancy, and learning all you can about pregnancy, birth, and parenting.
Learning all you can includes taking prenatal classes. Prenatal classes can increase your enjoyment of pregnancy and giving birth by helping you become a more active participant. Attending classes gives you a chance to share knowledge and experiences with other mothers also having a baby. The knowledge you gain about pregnancy and birth can reduce the stress than comes from the fear of not knowing what to expect. Attending classes with your partner can help you strengthen your relationship with each other and your families, and begin building a support system. Your increased knowledge will help you communicate better with your doctor, certified nurse midwife, and other members of your health care team.
Also, the more you know the more flexible you will be if your pregnancy doesn’t go exactly as “you planned”. Your knowledge will allow you to make the choices that are best for you, your baby, and your family. As you go through pregnancy and begin making choices, either about lifestyle or breastfeeding, it is important to keep in mind the real goal ~ a healthy mother and healthy baby!
Our Healthy Mother~Healthy Baby Pregnancy Guide is a collection of topics and information put together by maternal/child health educators, lactation consultants, birth coaches, and labor-and-delivery nurses based on what they have heard mothers want to know most about pregnancy, labor, delivery, cesarean and VBAC. Most of this information has been used in childbirth classes. Refer to the guide as you go through your pregnancy and use it to help you have better talks with your doctor and nurses as you go through this wonderful experience.