Advertisement

Childbirth education classes are recommended for families

January 26, 2004|by Christine L. Moats

Preparing for the birth of a baby is one of the most important steps to take toward becoming a parent.

According to Jody Bishop, clinical manager of Washington County Hospital's Family Birthing Center, childbirth education classes provide pregnant women and their families with information regarding pregnancy, labor, delivery, and pain control options. Family participation in these classes is recommended and beneficial.

In addition to preparing a pregnant woman for childbirth, prenatal classes include information on newborn care, breastfeeding, infant safety and infant CPR. Most of the classes are offered free or for a minimal fee. Classes are even offered on weeknights and on weekends to accommodate different schedules. Experienced labor and delivery nurses certified in childbirth education will provide the information needed to prepare for the childbirth experience. For more information on prenatal classes, call 301-790-8214.

You and your family may find it helpful to take a tour of the birthing center prior to your due date. At Washington County Hospital, tours of the family birthing center are available at 4:30 p.m. Sundays. Families with other children also can participate in the sibling class to help prepare the child or children for their new baby brother or sister.

Advertisement

Another important part of preparing for a birth is choosing a pediatrician. Most pediatricians encourage you to make an appointment before the baby is born. This visit helps you and your pediatrician establish your relationship. A pregnant mother will want to discuss her family's medical history and any pregnancy complications or concerns related to the baby's well-being. The pediatrician can provide information regarding circumcision, plans for feeding, immunizations and other general information about caring for a newborn.

- Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, "Guidelines for Perinatal Care" (2002); American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (1998);

Texas Medical Association (2001); Journal of the American Medical Association (May 1998)

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|