Before baby: What now after reading the book


What to Expect When You’re Expecting was most likely the No. 1 selling book for pregnant moms when I had my daughter 23 years ago. Once you’re done reading a book like that, you might wonder what you should do next.

Well, for me, the only other way to obtain information about what was changing and happening to my body was by taking a childbirth class. I received information from my OB provider in a large packet during my first prenatal visit and thought, “This is mandatory, right?” The class was held over a few weeks, teaching the different topics related to pregnancy, birth, pain control and breastfeeding. Thank goodness my 18-year-old self made the decision to attend those classes (I did think they were mandatory, like reading a manual to a new car). I was in for some real surprises, even being the oldest of six children.

Many years later, I became a labor and delivery nurse and upon admission I asked arriving patients if they attended any childbirth classes per the hospital policy. I was surprised at the answers I received.  “No, should I have?” was a common response. I thought, “Sure, I did, and the hospital must think you should. They have us ask everyone.”

Classes seemed to become less attended since I went during my pregnancy, especially after the internet and Dr. Google seemed to have the right answer for everything. There are a few aspects, however, the internet cannot replace, such as human interaction with caring trained professionals, the ability to ask questions and obtain an immediate answer (even hearing some answers to questions you were too afraid to ask) and the potential for relationships with others in your same scared, soon-to-be-parents’ shoes. There are strong and supportive relationships that form from the bonding between new parents.

This brings me to today and how classes are making a well-deserved comeback. I am thankful for the move back to the class for learning about this life-changing event, back to human interaction, familiarity and support. There is comfort with this, and could there be any better time for comfort than the birth of a child or the growing of a family? Currently, at Baptist Beaches, we are offer eight different types of classes related to growing families. We offer Childbirth Prep (different formats/timing available), Sibling Classes, Baby Care Basics (two sessions), Family and Friends CPR, Becoming Grandparents, Breastfeeding 101, Dad To Be Class and a monthly Breastfeeding Support Group. The class atmosphere helps calm fears and answer questions you did not even realize you had.

Becoming a parent is a big deal the first time or the tenth. There is always something to learn for this milestone, and it is just as important as putting together the crib. Our classes are open to anyone even if they are not delivering with us (some have a small fee). I look forward to meeting you during your journey to parenthood and witnessing the new relationships you form.

You can find information about our classes at