What are my birth class options?

You asked and you shall now receive. It’s only fair for us to share all of this stored up knowledge about having a baby and what is going on with your body during those nine (really ten) months. We now will answer, in a very public forum, all of those burning questions about having a baby. Each Monday, we will tackle a commonly-asked-question from the point of view of an expectant parent. Chiming in to give her feedback will be three women who have been there and done that: an expert (you know someone who does this for a living), a mom from our community (for the “best” friend advice you need) and a babybites’ team member (someone who will promise to give you the REAL deal and no fluff). Earmark, share and add your own input to today’s question; it’s good karma.

What are my birth class options?

Expert: Renee Sullivan

For those among us who have never changed a diaper, or for those “pioneers” being the first of your friends to have a baby, getting support and education around all things baby is a must. In our expectant moms groups, we touch on all four of the birth class categories – Newborn Care, Infant CPR, Childbirth Class, and Breastfeeding Essentials. All are extremely helpful in preparation for your pending arrival. Depending on your choices (formula or breastfeed?, epidural or natural?) there are great in person classes offered by childbirth educators in your area and local hospitals to support your ideal path. Some gals choose to educate from the comfort of their own home. One of my faves? For those moms short on time, and short on cash, the Laugh and Learn DVD series is a great bet!

Mom: Andrea Reid

A great thing about living in the New York area is that there are a multitude of birth class options available to the expectant mom from different types of classes to the variety of facilities/individuals that offer them. Hypnobirthing, Lamaze and The Bradley Method are just a few of the childbirth class options one can explore and many are offered through the hospital where you will be delivering (talk to your OB or look at your hospital’s maternity home page for details). St. Luke’s Roosevelt offers a large number of expectant parent courses that I have heard great things about from friends. There are also an abundance of group or private classes offered through other organizations such as Birth Day Presence, Stork & Cradle, the Prenatal Yoga Center, Rosie Pope’s “Mom Prep,” and Tribeca Parenting. I found a simple search online of “childbirth classes NYC” will yield lots of great results that will help you decide what’s best for you.

babybites’ team: Elise Jones

There as many different options when it comes to giving birth as there are different women. Generally your OB will give you a list of his/her recommended classes when you are into your second trimester. I also did a little research online and found some more options. After reading about Lamaze, Bradley Method, Alexander Technique, Hypnobirthing and more, I discussed the pros/cons with my husband. We also looked for some other advice from friends and family. There are also tons of resources online now too and I know a friend who took her class via DVD. I think it is extremely important to research the instructor, method and recommendations from former class participants before taking a class. Also make sure the class covers the important questions you are looking to have answered: pain management, signs of labor, stages of labor, what to expect at the hospital, post-delivery recovery and how your partner can be a part of the experience.


About our team:

Renee Sullivan
Renee Sullivan, parent coach and Mommybites support group director, works with moms each week to create their own personal parenting plan that is right for them, while making sure that each mom gets the support, resources, and community they need for their parenting journey. Drawing from her experience as an birth coach and educator, she guides moms – new, seasoned and expectant through the never – ending array of decisions that come with having a child. Before joining Mommybites, she narrowly escaped the trenches of Corporate America where she was a Senior Project Manager for The New York Times, Morgan Stanley, and Pfizer. She lives in New York City and is the mom of one happy kindergartener.

Andrea Reid

Andrea Reid is a expectant mom awaiting the arrival of her first child (a boy!) around January 20th, 2012. Andrea moved to NYC from Chicago in May and started attending expectant moms groups organized by Baby Bites right away to learn as much as possible about becoming a mom. After participating in four cycles of expectant moms groups, she feels very fortunate to have gained a ton of insight and knowledge from facilitator, Renee Sullivan, and fellow participants on all things related to having a child. Prior to moving to the Big Apple, Andrea worked as a Senior Clinical Specialist with Genentech. She continues to volunteer as an alumni recruiter for the University of Michigan and enjoys exploring the city with her husband, Dustin, and Yorkshire Terrier, Zeus.

Elise Jones

Elise is the social media director and blog editor for Mommybites. She is responsible for engaging and investigating a variety of parenting topics found on Mommybites’ social media channels: parenting videos (webbybites), blog, Facebook, Twitter, and BlogTalkRadio show. The Mommybites’ blog is an outlet for moms who are in search of information to support them in their role as a parent. Prior to working with Mommybites, Elise was a teacher and worked in corporate PR. She is a wife and loving mom of two lovely girls and currently resides in New Jersey. In her spare time (HA!) she performs in the theater and is an active member of her local public arts council as well as blogs at Here in This House.


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