Thursday, October 8, 2009

Our First Birth Preparation Class at LIJ

We attended our first Preparation for Childbirth class last night at Long Island Jewish and it was pretty much what I expected it to be--a mixture of both really great info and a really scary birth video! Our class leader, LIJ nurse Brenda, was great, though, and turned a blind eye to the many groans and giggles coming from the four couples in her class.

We started off by discussing how far along we were and our greatest birth fears. We then went over some of the discomforts of late pregnancy and what we and our partners could do to alleviate them (massages please!)

We also discussed the three things we all needed to do before we reached 36 weeks:

  1. Pack TWO hospital bags. The first should be a small bag with only the things you will need while in labor--a toothbrush and toothpaste, hair ties, a lollipop to keep your mouth from getting too dry (no tootsie roll pops allowed!), things to occupy you between contractions (an iPod, book, etc.), cell phone, your focal point for Lamaze, etc. The second bag should contain your overnight items and baby's first outfit and should be kept in your car until after delivery.
  2. Find a pediatrician. Ask your friends, OB/GYN, or insurance company for recommendations. You'll want to have a pediatrician before you go into labor so that you can take the baby in for his first checkup soon after.
  3. Get a car seat and learn how to install it properly. LIJ hosts free car seat check-up events. Click HERE for more info. The next sessions are 10/17, 11/8, and 11/14. You can also call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 888-327-4236 or visit their website HERE to find a certified car seat technician nearby who can help you out.
Following a quick snack and restroom break, we headed back into the classroom to watch the first 20 minutes of a video about childbirth, which scared the pants off of everybody! Our instructor then discussed the signs of labor and had us finish up the class with some deep breathing on our floor mats (you should bring a mat and two pillows).

Next Wed, we are going to take a tour of the maternity ward, which I'm really looking forward to. All of the labor and delievery rooms are private, but the recovery rooms have 2 to 5 beds (unless you want to pay $565 out of pocket per night for a private suite!) You do get to stay in the L&D for at least an hour after birth, though. Also, your baby stays with you 24/7 at LIJ, unless you want to send him to the nursery. I am very pleased about this!

Next week we'll also watch more of that darling video and discuss medical interventions (epidural, c-sections, etc.)

While the class costs a pricey $190 for 3 sessions and a breastfeeding class, I would definitely recommend it if you can't find something cheaper in your area. We had a good experience and while my husband may be a bit more nervous, I"m feeling a bit more at ease! :)


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