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Prenatal Course - What Should It Include?

As a doula and childbirth educator, I take great pride in offering the very best private prenatal course Norfolk County has to offer. As a first time parent, it's hard to know what a "good" prenatal course includes, so I've created a list of "must haves" and other important things that you will receive when you book a prenatal class with The Doula Tree. First things first:

1. Flexibility: Registering for a private prenatal class should include the flexibility to schedule your course when it is convenient for you. That means, you book the day of the week (including weekends) and the time. Ideally, this means that you can also have your birth partner attend as well. Which brings me to my next point.

2. Partner/Spouse Welcome: This might be your husband, partner, mother or friend. It is the person that will be with you during the labour and delivery portion of this journey and it is equally as important for them to learn about prenatal education as it is for you. A portion of your class should be dedicated to instructing that person how to support you in the different stages of labour i.e how to apply counter pressure and a hip squeeze, when and why they are doing it etc.

3. Customizable: Because every pregnancy, birth plan and family is unique; your class should be unique too. Typically before your prenatal class I would request information such as your choice of birth place (home or hospital), the care provider (OBGYN or midwife) and your goals around infant feeding (breastfeeding, formula feeding or a combination of both). I support and respect all choices and customizing your class ensures that the information is both relevant and important to you.

4. Workbook: There is A LOT of information being shared over 2 days. It would be ludicrous to assume that you will be able to digest and memorize all of it. That is why you will receive a workbook that you can make notes in during the class and take home to review throughout your pregnancy. I also suggest that you pack it in your hospital bag as reference for your partner. There are some key pages including labour positions, comfort measures and breathing techniques that will come in handy.

5. Realistic: I don't sugar coat labour and delivery and I don't sugar coat life with a newborn. Yes it's beautiful and magical, but it's also damn hard. I am a firm believer that education is power and the more REAL information I can share with you, the better. I share the normal, the variations of normal, the potential struggles, the warning signs and where to seek help. We talk about how to cope with painful contractions with and without pain medication and what your options are at the place you are planning to deliver. It's okay to be anxious about labour and parenting but let's remove the fear together.

6. Postpartum Information: So, you've delivered your baby! Now what? The process doesn't stop here, and at The Doula Tree the learning doesn't either. On day two of your prenatal course, we talk about all things postpartum. We will discuss your recovery, breastfeeding, baby's first bath, baby wearing and newborn sleep. This section usually comes with a lot of questions, and I will be there to answer them all.

The Doula Tree will travel to your home for this two day course in the following areas: Norfolk County, Brant County, Haldimand County, Oxford County and surrounding. We also offer a 1 day "crash course" for both labour and breastfeeding at our home based office in Waterford, Ontario.

Topics included in your class:

- Anatomy

- Birth plan/birth preferences

- what to pack in your hospital bag

- pregnancy changes and discomforts

- common prenatal testing

- fetal positions

- the labour process

- the stages of labour

- non-medical and medical pain relief options

- positions for labour and birth

- interventions

- the welcoming hour

- breastfeeding (or feeding option of tour choice)

- paced bottle feeding

- postpartum care (for mom and baby)

Interested in scheduling your class? Please click here!

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