Prior to becoming pregnant, and when I was still working at the public library, I had always planned on taking a prenatal course. Twice a year the multiple branches would partner with the Prairie Birth Collective group and offer these classes for a period of six weeks. For four years I would watch expecting couples quietly come in, find the meeting room, disappear for a few hours, and eventually emerge looking happy and hopeful. Although we had not yet planned on having children, I thought that it looked like such a nice ritual, all the while being incredibly educational for first-time parents. It was then that I had decided that one day, we would attend these classes as well.
I ended up getting pregnant less than one month after leaving my position at the library. Five months later, I was back on a weekly basis taking the Birth Prepardness Class with my husband. By then, everyone was well aware that we were expecting, not only because I would visit the branches a few times a week, but also because gossip there spreads like wildfire. Yet, I didn’t mind in the slightest. I adored each staff member that I had ever worked with.
We began the classes when I was 23 weeks pregnant, and they went into week 28. What I didn’t foresee was gaining the vast amount of knowledge that I did. My sister jokes that I didn’t know that I had a placenta prior to taking the course. That’s not entirely true. I knew that pregnant women have one (since she encapsulates and consumes hers), I just didn’t know what it did or what it looked like. I ended up Googling it one day, which is something that I still regret doing. Luckily, we only had to look at a stuffed fabric placenta in the class!
Placentas aside, I now feel so much more comfortable in being pregnant, knowing what to expect prior to and during birth, and having a rough guide on breastfeeding afterwards. I am also having one of the teachers, who is a doula and birth photographer, photograph the birth (given that most of my family has recently moved away). My sister is going to be in the delivery room as well. These are all big changes. Prior to taking the class, I wanted multiple drugs, a C-section, and only my husband to be present. Now that I am informed, I want a natural birth with no drugs or intervention, and my husband, sister, and doula to assist me. I am also planning on encapsulating my placenta as well! I just won’t look at it until it comes back in pill form. ;-)))
I strongly believe that everyone should take a prenatal class. Especially so if it is through the library. However, I am biased on that last point.