Worth It?

I realize that I’ve been writing a lot about baby stuff these days, but what can I say with our first little one on the way it’s hard to think about much else! I was wondering if anyone had thoughts on the value of baby care and/or birthing classes.

Everyone I know seems to say they aren’t worth the time or money. I feel confident in the baby care area, but I think my husband would feel a little more comfortable if we took a class together. He’s only been around a few infants, mainly my niece and nephew, but he’s never changed a diaper or really had to care for one so little.

I’m not sure about the child birth classes and I’ve heard mixed reviews. Most people I know say they’d skip them if they had it to do all over again. A good friend offered to send me a birthing video and the rest said each birth situation is so unique that the classes can’t really help you prepare for it anyway.

I would like to take a refresher CPR class, so we know how to handle emergency situations. I took a class eight years ago before my nephew arrived, but to be honest I don’t remember too much of what I learned.

I feel like we could watch a few you tube videos and save ourselves quite a bit of time and money. I’d love to hear from anyone who has been through the process and feels strongly one way or another. I want to be prepared, but I don’t want to waste time or money if the classes won’t be valuable.

8 thoughts on “Worth It?”

  1. I took 3 classes: 6 week birthing class, CPR class, and infant care class. I used to be very frugal, but after the birth of the little one, I started spending a lot more.

    For us, the birth class was worth it. We took a 6 week class, about $400 for us. We were able to use FSA dollars for it. We still get in touch with the friends we made from the birth class (my baby is already 14 months old). My goal with the birth was to have a less invasive birth and no C-section. I didn't want a C-section since those take longer to recover from and I want to have 3 kids. If you have a C-section on the first birth, some hospitals won't let you for for a VBAC. So it was important to me to have a vaginal birth if possible. I think the birth class definitely helped with that.

    CPR class – I guess it was worth it. Haven't had to use it and hope to never need to use it.

    Baby care class – not worth it. But helpful if you freak out at little things.

  2. When I get pregnant, I'm going to take the classes. I've mostly been around babies….but I don't think I'm ready though. I'm 30 and have two nephews (13 and 6). I only changed diapers with the second one. I know how to do it, but I'm sure I'm doing it wrong.

    DH on the other hand, has 3 nieces and nephews, and never once babysat, nor changed a diaper, so for him at least, he WILL need it….and I'd highly recommend for your DH as well since he's had minimal time with kids.

    Although people say it comes natural…I'm just the type of person (seems you are too from your posts) that you like to plan and be the best prepared you can be….so if you can afford it, I would take the classes.

    As Melissa even says, she is still friendly with the people from the class which is good because you can plan playdates and the such.

    Now I want to have a baby šŸ™‚ lol

  3. We took Infant CPR, a baby care basics class, and a prepared child birth class (all were free and offered through our insurance provider except the childbirth class – which was $98 per couple). I went alone to a breastfeeding class (thought I'd spare DH 2 hours of that since there's not much he can do in that department!)

    Neither of us have had much experience with babies, so for us we got a lot out of them. I liked the baby care class because we learned things like how to take care of the umbilicord stump, which I never even really thought about before.

    I have a friend who skipped the birth class and watched the "Laugh and Learn About Childbirth" DVD. I have the DVD but haven't watched it. She was planning on having an epidural and felt that was all she needed. As for me, I'm hoping to go as drug/intervention free as possible so I found the class valuable for the various breathing and coping techniques the instructor (who is also a doula) taught us.

    But in my opinion, the best class that we took was the CPR class – I've asked my parents to take it since they'll be spending a lot of time with baby as well. I think being as prepared as possible for possible emergencies is priceless!

    Since the baby isn't here yet I can't report back on how much I was actually able to put to use but they seem like a good thing if you can swing it financially. If not I think there are a lot of other great resources out there in the form of books, DVDs, La Leche League meetings, etc. šŸ™‚

  4. My kids are now 5, 4, & 4 and I have to say that I was glad I took the classes. I had been around kids before but taking home a new born infant was a different story. They mostly prepared us by telling about various options that are available in each area … for example, all the benefits there are with bottle feeding as well as the benefits of breast feeding.

    I think the best thing I learned from the classes was that no one way is right or wrong. Something different works for each family … bottle or breast, to swaddle or not, carseat types, different cribs types, etc.

    Our instructor was a nurse turned doctor (OB/GYN) who was now retired. Her advice was to relax and try to enjoy the journey. Her opinion was that so many women are trying to control every aspect of the birth and they forget to just be in the moment. Nature will take it's course and every birth will take it's own path. She also advised that your birth plan be no more than "Baby and mom are safe and healthy".

  5. A birthing class can be helpful but look for one that is not affiliated with the hospital. We loved Hypnobabies and I had a pain free birth (really!). Find something that fits your personality… Prenatal yoga helped, too.

  6. My husband and I signed up for birthing classes at a hospital, but we dropped out after the first one. It just seemed like a waste of time to me, and I didn't really like the nurse who was teaching. I'd already read a ton of books, so there was no new information. This sounds awful, but the other couples in our class were not the type of people I'd want to socialize with. A few mothers took smoke breaks!

    As for baby care, neither of us had much experience, but the nurses at the hospital after the birth were so helpful (different hospital than birthing classes). My husband asked tons of questions and everyone was really helpful. They were also very helpful with breastfeeding. It seems like that is something that can't really be taught before you have the baby.

    The hospital classes we signed up for were free, so maybe if they were paid, they would be better. I have to say I don't regret quitting at all, and my 5 month old daughter is doing just great.

  7. We did the Bradly method of childbirth before the birth of our first child. It was, I believe a 12 week course. We kept no contract with the people in our class. I did natural childbirth with both pregnancy's. My husband and I had no idea about children. I read a lot and we learned has we went. So it worked for us.
    Take the CPR class. It is very helpful to know what to do. Our first baby got something caught twice in his throat when he was beginning to eat solid foods. Scary!! What we learned in CPR saved him.

  8. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of the comments. After talking it over one more time with my husband we decided to sign up for a two and a half day course which includes CPR, baby basics and birthing. I think my husband will feel more confident after we attend and although I've watched enough birthing stories on A Baby Story to have a general idea of what's going to happen I don't think it'll hurt to be better prepared!


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