This weekend was an eye-opening one to say the least! Eric and I signed up for a parenting class called The Gift of Motherhood at St. Vincent’s. We learned a lot of things I didn’t know and we learned a lot of things where I had the thought, “Sometimes ignorance is bliss.” HA! I have to say that overall the highlight may have been watching Eric try on the sympathy belly though…too good not to share!
First of all, I have to say that our instructor Mary did such a great job explaining everything and making herself readily available to answer any questions we may have in a group setting or one on one. I was super thankful they gave us a reference booklet chock full of information, notes for after baby, logs to record feedings and more. Just in case you can’t make it to a parenting class, I’m sharing some of the things I wrote down in my notes that I learned that either fascinated me, shocked me, or were just super helpful.
20 things you should know before you have a baby:
1. You should be active throughout pregnancy unless you are on pre-term labor watch.
2. At 30 weeks+, you’ll begin to feel lots of popping in your back and hips as your body continues to loosen in preparation for baby’s delivery.
3. 8 cm is the tipping point for whether you want an epidural or not.
4. The breathing pattern they teach for labor is 3, 2, 1, 2, 3. I’m still slightly confused on this but I’m sure I’ll figure it out before then!
5. It’s considered normal to feel the baby around 10 times during a 2 hour span. If you are not, they want you to check with a doctor.
6. You should call the doctor to go in for delivery when: contractions are 5-7 minutes apart and have been that way for an hour or if you are spotting. I learned that contractions are counted from the start of 1 contraction to the start of the next contraction.
7. You can go to the bathroom every 30 minutes during labor and change positions to help labor progress. (I had NO clue you’d be up to the bathroom and back)
8. One of the most helpful parts of the class was seeing the tour of the birthing suites and floor. We now know where to report when going into labor.
9. In general, you’ll take a break from exercise, work, and be considered in post-partum recovery for 6-8 weeks.
10. Night sweats are normal to get out extra fluid after baby is born.
11. You will breast feed within 30 minutes to an hour of having baby.
12. Apparently breast feeding in the beginning produces cramping? (Again, who knew?)
13. Baby blues “normalcy” is considered 2-4/5 weeks postpartum.
14. When baby is born, the white substance on him is called vernix and nurses rub this into their skin like lotion. Truth be told, the looks of it kind of freaks me out. Not as much as the video of the birth did though. Eek.
15. If you are breast feeding, your period may not start again for 12 weeks+. On another breast feeding note, it usually takes about 4 weeks to create a routine and regularity. After this point, you can offer pacifiers. If you offer them earlier, they may delay breast feeding regularity.
16. It’s not a big deal if you don’t have a pediatrician picked out until after baby. You can ask your doctor for recommendations.
17. Figure out your blood type and how that could affect your baby. The mother and baby need to be compatible. If they’re not compatible, mom needs a rho gam shot. The shot is normally given if the mother has a negative blood type and at around 28 weeks.
18. You don’t have to bathe your baby every day. And in the beginning, you can just use water.
19. If baby is looking away, has fists up and seems to be pushing arms and legs away, it may mean baby is overstimulated by whatever you are doing and you should stop.
20. Baby’s true eye color won’t develop for several weeks and baby’s eyes tend to be closed a lot because they aren’t used to bright lights. If you shade their eyes with your hand, they may be more likely to open their eyes.
Another thing that was pretty crazy to me was feeling the weight of these bean bags that represent each part of a woman’s weight gain during pregnancy. No wonder healthy weight gain is considered between 25-35 lbs at minimum! That’s a lot of growing things going on pictured above…
If you are local and interested in checking out St. Vincent’s classes on a range of topics from breastfeeding to parenting multiples, make sure you check out their variety of parenting classes!