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Unread 05-05-2006, 11:37 AM   #1
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Default Childbirth Class?

Please share your opinions!

My dh and I are signed up for a childbirth class next week (I'm due in 10 weeks with our first) and I'm wondering if its really worth our while to take the class or not. Partly, its expensive, and also its a whole day so it will be very overwhelming for dh (he's not looking forward to it) and tiresome for me. We are registered for a detailed hospital tour soon, so they'll be covering proceedures and medications and the like, so I'm wondering if I need to have another full day of it in a class?

So what I'd like to know is:

Did you take a childbirth class, and was it useful? If you didn't, do you wish you did? I'd also be much more comfortable with a great book or two (or any DVD's - they'd be great for dh) on the subject, from which I could ask my doctor any questions that arise - does anyone have some great recomendations?

Thanks soooo much!

Nikki
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Unread 05-05-2006, 11:48 AM   #2
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We *did* take the childbirth class and it instilled more fear in me than it relieved - the questions those people would ask!!! (complications are the doctors problem, I will just do what I'm told!) I took pages of notes and when the moment comes, honestly everything went out the window!

All I remembered was when your water breaks, even if there aren't contractions, go to the hospital...and we did! (Of course we were sent home and told to come back in the morning...)

JMHO (and in no way should it be taken as medical advice )

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Unread 05-05-2006, 11:53 AM   #3
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Honestly? I took one about 5 years ago and thought it was a huge waste of time and money. To make matters worse, it was like a 5 or 6 week thing one evening a week. I felt it was too broad and the questions I really wanted answered (even when asked) were not really answered satisfactorily. If I were to do it over (as a 1st time mom) I would look for/take SPECIFIC classes or even just schedule an appointment with a Doula or baby nurse. That way I would get any specific info I was looking for about the birth, meds, baby care, etc. BTW, if you're going for the whole breathing thing, make sure your husband is into it, and assertive enough to make you do it. Mine never really heled much with the breathing part, but was great at getting the nurse so I could get the epidural

Also, Congratulations & Good luck....no matter what you do, whatever choice you make will be Perfect!!!
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Unread 05-05-2006, 11:56 AM   #4
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We were Pre-natal class dropouts. It was cheap for us($15), and it was 2 hour evenings once a week for 6 weeks. We went to the first together and I went to the Hospital tour by myself (hubby was on nights). I found it great to know what to expect by seeing the delivery room. But other than that I did just fine without it.
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Unread 05-05-2006, 11:57 AM   #5
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I have 3 kids and never took a child birth class. I thought it was a waste of time.
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Unread 05-05-2006, 11:59 AM   #6
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i would go. i felt like i learned important info from the class my dh & i went to. i know there was stuff i didn't remember, but our teacher gave out literature & i did refer to it as i got closer to my due date & when i went into labor. i read TONS of books when i was pregnant w/my dd- as many as i could get my hands on, but i definately learned more about labor, coping w/contractions, when to go to the hospital, what to expect, etc from the class. she taught us what to do with ourselves & how to cope with contractions before we got to the hospital (they generally won't admit you until you are dilated to 4 so sometimes that can be several hours!). our teacher taught us different positions to help with different pain (ie if you have back labor try this position). she had us actually do the positions & our husbands help with the positions that required another person. she taught us different breathing too & how to breathe as you push (which as i did start to push in labor i started doing it wrong, but with some advice from the nurse i rembered how we did it in class & it did help).

the class we took was an all day class too, but wasn't too bad- the teacher broke it down into segments & we had breaks. my husband is usually the type to fall asleep or get nervous while sitting through boring things he has to go to & he did fine. it was also kind of neat being around other pregnant couples expecting their first babies. we did the hospital tour as well, which was useful, but in a different way. it was more what to expect once you get there & what the procedures are.
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Unread 05-05-2006, 12:11 PM   #7
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My midwife told us not to bother. I'm glad I didn't. I just read up on what I wanted to know, and did what felt right to me during each of my births. As for baby care stuff, I already knew all that after nannying, babysitting, and teaching preschool for so many years.

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Unread 05-05-2006, 12:22 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the input

I think we'll just cancel then. I have a friend who is a doula, so I can ask her specific questions, and I think I'll do fine with a few books and advice from my doctor. I just can't see spending $130 on this class when only part of it seems to be useful for us. And its starting to look like I might be getting a cs as the baby is measuring quite big (but we won't find that out for 2 weeks, so after paying for the childbirth class that we might not even need!).

Maybe I'll take some of the refund and go get a pedicure At the moment, that sounds like time better spent!

Nikki
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Unread 05-05-2006, 12:25 PM   #9
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I took Bradley Method classes and they were extremely helpful. They prepared me for every situation possible. I think a lot of it depends on the teacher. Our classes were for 6 weeks and were tiring, but useful. I also took the hospital tour. At the hospital tour, two of the expectant parents had to go get fresh air because they were turning green after seeing some contraption (forgot what it's called, but it monitors the baby by doing something to its head?). They hadn't taken any classes are were very freaked out. The rest of us already knew about the contraption through our birth classes and weren't alarmed.
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Unread 05-05-2006, 12:26 PM   #10
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I took the classes when I was PG with my first child. Informative, but all that breathing went right out the window when labor hit.

Honestly, I learned more from asking my doctors & reading books.

You're never prepared for childbirth!
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Unread 05-05-2006, 12:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stampin'nik
Thanks for all the input

I think we'll just cancel then. I have a friend who is a doula, so I can ask her specific questions, and I think I'll do fine with a few books and advice from my doctor. I just can't see spending $130 on this class when only part of it seems to be useful for us. And its starting to look like I might be getting a cs as the baby is measuring quite big (but we won't find that out for 2 weeks, so after paying for the childbirth class that we might not even need!).

Maybe I'll take some of the refund and go get a pedicure At the moment, that sounds like time better spent!

Nikki
Nikki,
How big a baby are we talking here? Talk to your doula. Most doulas do not recommend c-sections for babies because of size. You also have to remember that the sonograms are not accurate on determining size. They can be off by up to 2 lbs. For example, my ds was supposed to be 9 lbs and he came out at 7 lbs 11 oz. Now if you are diabetic, having a big baby can be dangerous because diabetic babies carry their weight in the shoulders and can get stuck. If you have a doula with you while giving birth, you can probably get away with not taking classes. The doula can explain it all to you.
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Unread 05-05-2006, 12:30 PM   #12
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I took no birthing classes, but I read everything I got my hands on!!!

I also did not tour the hospital. Everything went very well. When it was over, I thought, "Cool, I wanna do it again!" Haha. I had an epidural, btw.
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Unread 05-05-2006, 12:33 PM   #13
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Skip the class and get the epidural!!

In all seriousness, I took the class, but found it a waste of time. There were enough knowledgeable people in the delivery room that knew how to keep me calm, focused, and ready and they were better than any class I could have taken.

Oh boy, can those ultrasounds be off by two pounds! Mine was off in the other direction - my supposed 7 pounder came out weighing 9 lb. 1/2 oz.
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Unread 05-05-2006, 12:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sassybee
Nikki,
How big a baby are we talking here? Talk to your doula. Most doulas do not recommend c-sections for babies because of size. You also have to remember that the sonograms are not accurate on determining size. They can be off by up to 2 lbs. For example, my ds was supposed to be 9 lbs and he came out at 7 lbs 11 oz. Now if you are diabetic, having a big baby can be dangerous because diabetic babies carry their weight in the shoulders and can get stuck. If you have a doula with you while giving birth, you can probably get away with not taking classes. The doula can explain it all to you.

My friend (who is a doula) is not involved in my pregnancy, but she's there if I have questions when I can't get ahold of my doctor. My family has a history of very large babies and difficult births, which is why my doctor is thinking about a cs (only thinking at this time). Neither my doctor nor I are ready to jump to that conclusion yet, but its a strong possibiltiy, so we'll just see how the next few weeks go. I fully expect this baby to be well over 9lb by the time its ready to come out - and while many women deliver large babies just fine, we're just on the concerned side because of mine and my family's medical history.

Nikki
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Unread 05-05-2006, 12:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stampin'nik
My friend (who is a doula) is not involved in my pregnancy, but she's there if I have questions when I can't get ahold of my doctor. My family has a history of very large babies and difficult births, which is why my doctor is thinking about a cs (only thinking at this time). Neither my doctor nor I are ready to jump to that conclusion yet, but its a strong possibiltiy, so we'll just see how the next few weeks go. I fully expect this baby to be well over 9lb by the time its ready to come out - and while many women deliver large babies just fine, we're just on the concerned side because of mine and my family's medical history.

Nikki
Nikki,
I am glad that you and your doctor aren't jumping to conclusions yet and that your doctor is considering your family history. I just think sometimes doctors push c-sections too much when they are unnecessary. But it sounds like it could be necessary in your case. Please let as know when the baby is born and be sure to post his/her photo! I wish you the best of luck.
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Unread 05-05-2006, 01:08 PM   #16
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Along the same lines, I would highly recommend taking a breast-feeding class, if you are planning to nurse. It helped me *so* much to have a better idea of what to expect, especially since I didn't feel comfortable talking to my mom or mil about it, and none of my friends had experience with it yet. And yes, the hospital tour was nice, but honestly, I saw very little of the wing before, during, or after our girl was born!

As far as the classes go, they were semi-informative, but I don't remember using anything I learned there! Dh and I still have fun though, remembering the bunch of crazies that were in the class with us and some of the off-the-wall questions they asked/comments they made. Our personal favorite was the guy freaking out at the suggestion that moms freeze breast milk in ice cube trays for easy measuring and thawing. His concern was that he would get confused and what if he put them in his drink?! Dolt. LOL...needless to say, if/when we have another, we will be skipping the refresher course.
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Unread 05-05-2006, 01:19 PM   #17
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We took the class that our hospital offered. It helped us understand the process the hospital takes depending on the birthing scenario. The techniques probably would have helped, but I had to have a c-section at 36 weeks due to complications.

My suggestion is that you take it. It could help in some way you may never have thought.
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Unread 05-05-2006, 01:21 PM   #18
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I took childbirth classes the first time around and I remember nothing from them. We got a tour of the hospital but it's really not that big of a deal. They're going to tell you where everything is when you check in anyway. And I remembered nothing in the delivery room either.

We won't be doing it this time. Just a waste of time and money to me.

Also, please think long and hard about the c-section. I know it seems a lot easier than a vaginal birth but the recovery is a LOT longer. And once you have a c-section, you might have a hard time finding a doctor that will let you deliver vaginally next time.

It's a good thing your doctor is considering your medical history but I've had two different doctors tell me that there's really no way to accurately guess how much the baby is going to weigh. My son was over 9 pounds and it was long and hard. My doctor was considering a c-section if I had to push much longer. But a lot of the problem was his head. You can have a 7-pounder with a huge head and have a harder time than a 9-pounder with an average size head.

Good luck with everything! I know this is an exciting time for you. Take good care of yourself and sleep as much as you possibly can!
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Unread 05-05-2006, 02:01 PM   #19
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I just remembered the BEST thing we learned at our birthing class...if you park in the parkade and leave the hospital after 10:30pm you won't have to pay for parking (because they only pay the attendants until 10:30, at which point they open the gate and go home) That probably save us at least $50 over the few days I was in...LOL!

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Unread 05-05-2006, 02:36 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljwil
I just remembered the BEST thing we learned at our birthing class...if you park in the parkade and leave the hospital after 10:30pm you won't have to pay for parking (because they only pay the attendants until 10:30, at which point they open the gate and go home) That probably save us at least $50 over the few days I was in...LOL!

Les

That is good to learn! LOL! Thats why I'm looking forward to the hospital tour and info session - I think it will be much more specific for our needs than the general childbirth class offered out of the local college. Then I can also find out if they have lactation specialists who meet with you, etc. But I'll be sure to find out about the parking situation now too!

Nikki
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Unread 05-05-2006, 04:09 PM   #21
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Before determing whether or not to take a birthing class, you might want to decide what kind of delivery you wish to have. If you want an unmedicated birth, I highly recomment the Bradley Method. I wouldn't have made it through my son's unmedicated birth without it. I attempted an unmedicated birth with my daughter (my first child), but took a crappy childbirth class that did not help me at all. I ended up with a medicated birth because I couldn't deal with the pain. It really helps to research the different types of classes to see what is best for you.

Good Luck!
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Unread 05-05-2006, 04:16 PM   #22
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I took one when I was pg with my dd and it was a waste of time. I missed almost the ENTIRE 1st season of ER!!! No but seriously, they started out on the first day saying that yes they could teach us breathing techniques but the only thing we really needed to remember was to not forget to breathe in the first place. Everything else didn't matter. If I had to go back and do it again I wouldn't take the class. I ended having a c-section anyway but that is besides the point. Labor is a long thing and So you may want to take movies with you (if your room has a TV/VCR/DVD in it that way you can keep your mind occupied in between contractions and it will help pass the time. Take games like cards or something that you can do. I know that is what I did for my SIL with her last labor and the time went by fairly quick. Good luck and congratulations! cherish every moment!
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Unread 05-05-2006, 04:40 PM   #23
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We spent $175, after much debate about whether or not we should, took a whole day for the class, learned a WHOLE lot about dilation, contractions, water breaking, pushing, crowning, etc. Then we had a c-section.

If I had it to do over again, I would not. What To Expect has a great section at the end, and essentially I got the same stuff at the class. Definitely do the tour though! If for no other reason, it gets you really excited and the delightful reality smacks you in the face.

Also, I have this hospital advice: take everything you can! Our hospital's baby blankets were plain white, unmarked, and I think we got away with about 10 of them. They're still our favorite multi-purpose blankets.
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Unread 05-05-2006, 05:57 PM   #24
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Default I actually liked my childbirth class.

I liked the class that My DH and I took. I covered topics to consider from birth to 6 months. It was called Lamaze I but they changed the name of it now. I worked in the Womens hospital where I delivered so I got the class at half price and I took it more for DH than me, but she covered alot in 2- 4 hour sessions. We did CPR, Basic baby care, Delivery options, child proofing, and post partum issues. I liked because they gave us alot of contact info (like a 24 hour breastfeeding hotline in my area) that I didn't know existed. I would see what is covered, if you feel it's a waste then it would be.
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Unread 05-05-2006, 11:01 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jocelyn1224
Also, I have this hospital advice: take everything you can! Our hospital's baby blankets were plain white, unmarked, and I think we got away with about 10 of them. They're still our favorite multi-purpose blankets.
Are you really advocating stealing?
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Unread 05-05-2006, 11:02 PM   #26
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we didnt opt for it. And every thing went fine. They told you what to do as i went along. I think that the class would have made me stress out more.
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Unread 05-06-2006, 02:52 AM   #27
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well back in the day... ok WAY WAYYYYY back in the day
we took lamaze classes with dd once a week for six or eight weeks. I ended up "failing" and having an epidural BUT there were issues and they TOOK AWAY my epidural and (23 yr later I still remember the nurse saying "we are going to let you go back to your nice lamaze,,," so those breathing tricks really come in useful at the oddest times.
DH just had surgery and a difficult IV insertion and out of my mouth I Heard" breathe ., breathe"

with ds (only twenty years ago) I tried "bradley " and was able to have a completely unmedicated birth. (we were at the hospital for twenty minutes actually..) those relaxation techniques were some of the ones I was just sharing with somebody on another list asking how to sleep when you are enourmously pregnant..

So I feel like any kind of prenatal education is a good thing to get you ready for the big day and to start you on your new journey as new parents.
Maybe your doula friend knows of a class that is more suitable to your needs.

Even if you DO end up with a c section I think it helps to know every little thing that is going on and what your options are for each stage. To map out your own birth plan and have some strategies for YOUR labor and delivery. (dd ended up with a cesearean< but had several hours of hard labor at home and was at the hospital thru a full shift change before that decision was made.. so she was glad to have had some child birth education (And dr mom!) including the breathing techniques, the medication info. the internal monitor pros and cons. and the c section movie.(Yes she went for the full service delivery get your money's worth)

Hopefully you will have an uneventful labor and delivery and your baby will be half as cute as my darling g/daughter

good luck!

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Unread 05-06-2006, 03:25 AM   #28
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i just had a baby in jan, so let me tell you my experience. our hospital had 3 classes at a special price: breastfeeding, caring for your newborn, and childbirth. i went to the 1st two alone, but insisted dh went w/ me to the childbirth class. like yours, he was not thrilled. i think he thought it was a big waste of his valuable sat.

well, he went...what sane husband would argue w/ an 8th mo pregnant wife?? we discussed the process of childbirth: labor, methods of incuction, recovery period, and ways to give the mother as much comfort and all as can be. we talked epidurals, episiotomies, the whole bit. we also talked about breech babies & what the dr may/may not do in that instance. in addition to all that, she divided the men & women & then had us list what we were most concerned w/ about the birth of the baby.

women had things like pain, tearing, bf'ing concerns, recovery, caring for the baby...stuff like that. Men? there list was financial burden, conflict w/ hobbes (eg, hunting), change in sex life, how to pay for college, etc. it was very eye-opening (and baffling) to me that those would be his concerns!!

we did the breathing exercises & ways dh could help me ease some of the pain of the weight i was carrying as well as ways to massage your preg & birthing wife. i had read a few books, but dh had read nothing. in the end, i felt he had a better understanding of what i was about to go through. he didn't think it was a waste of time at all. he reminded me to practice my breathing & massaged my back more often!!

my 40th wk came and guess what? evan was breech!! the dr gave me the options & i chose a scheduled c-section. totally not what i thought was going to happen.

all in all, i felt it was worth our time--even if i did have a c-section. but the lady who taught the class was very good (as i guess you can tell), so i didn't feel it was a waste of time at all! plus, i got some good prenatal massages out of it!

i'm up feeding by little one, so i didn't read what the others posted, but that was my experience. i got a more understanding dh out of it--not that he wasn't supportive & comforting before, but he was more so afterwards.

now my little one has gone back to sleep, so i'm going to follow suit. you may be very uncomfortable now at 30 wks, but do all you can to get sleep--it's so true that you don't get much after the birth!!!

congrats & good luck!
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Unread 05-06-2006, 03:48 AM   #29
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The hospital that I was delivering at offered a free 6 week long class. It was one evening a week for 2 hours and was great. I loved it. We got to know the nurses before I had to deliver (I'm very shy so that was a big help as I was in labor for 26 hours and it helped to know the people I was with), had a tour of the delivery ward, and got to meet other couples that were pregnant at the same time as us. I loved the classes and dh endured them.
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Unread 05-06-2006, 04:08 AM   #30
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Hi there,
I am on baby #5 and still remember what was taught in the Lamaze class 11 years ago! Although DH was a little mad that he was missing football games on Saturday mornings for a month, I thought they came in handy as far as breathing and focusing. That was probably the biggest help when it came time to deliver.
Everyone can give you their version of labor but to experience it firsthand is quite different! I thought it was especially comforting to be in a roomful of women who had the funniest questions (since they were all first time moms as well). I liked the fact that we were a little more mentally prepared. I think I liked the experience so much I continued to have 4 more kiddos. heehee!
Good luck on your pregnancy! I am right behind you by about 3 weeks!
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Unread 05-07-2006, 06:44 PM   #31
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I went to pre-natal classes, they were held once a week for 5-6 weeks. I found it was great to talk with other people and I still see them quite regularly at baby class and at the pool now. I would definitely recommend going, you can read most of the information in a book if you'd like but it's the social aspect that is really great. I would recomment the book "what to expect when you are expecting", I 'm sure you either have it or have heard of it, it is a great book (along with What to expect the first year!)
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Unread 04-24-2014, 07:25 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScrappinAubrey View Post
Are you really advocating stealing?
LOL...yes.
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Unread 07-09-2014, 08:43 AM   #33
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The only good the breathing exercises did for me was to help me keep still while they inserted the epidural.......LOL.
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