Congratulations, you are expecting! Preparing for your little bundle of joy is one of the many highlights of pregnancy. We prepare the nursery, we buy baby toys, and purchase more clothes than this little human could ever possibly wear. We research all the things we can, or should I say, cannot, do while we are pregnant. We create a birth plan and review it with our provider. We check in with our partner a thousand times to make sure they know the birth plan. We eat healthy, we exercise, and we prepare ourselves mentally for the adorable addition we can’t wait to meet.
Many moms find themselves anxious about the final trimester and giving birth. We seek out mom blogs and ask questions in mom groups. “What hospital should I deliver at?” “Should I get a birth photographer?” “Tell me about your all-natural delivery, can I really do this?”
We ask for book recommendations, doula referrals, and birthing classes to help us get prepared for the day when we will experience the highest degree of pain, and most rewarding joy of our lives.
But what do we do once we have this little baby in our arms? Everyone knows there is no manual for parenting, and everyone you talk to will have a different opinion on what is best. And let’s be honest, you will not have the energy to read through parenting books once your baby is here. You are in survival mode.
Once again, we turn to the mom groups on Facebook to ask: “is this normal?” “What should I do?” “What is this?” “Does anyone else’s baby do this?”
What if we prepared for parenting the way we prepare for pregnancy and birth? What if instead of worrying about if something is normal, or if we are doing this parenting thing right, we prepared ourselves?
Luckily for Nashville area moms there are many ways to do just that! Below are some of the great learning opportunities that are available to local new and expecting mothers.
Great Bigs! Sibling Class
Learn about what new babies look like and how to safely interact with them, talk about all of the things that Great Bigs can do that babies can’t, and learn how they can put those Great Big superpowers to use so that they can help out. We’ll also discover that as the family grows, so does the love, so there is plenty for Great Big and baby, too.
Understanding Your Newborn: From Birth through the First Days
Covering a range of topics, including normal newborn appearance and behavior in hours and days after birth, swaddling, diapering, bathing, routine tests and preventive care for newborns, arranging to have the support you need in the early weeks postpartum, and working with baby’s pediatric provider
Thrive: Your Journey into Motherhood
Part class, part support group for moms of babies 2 weeks to 6 months old. Each class addresses a specific topic, but it also provides an opportunity to deeply connect with other new moms navigating the ups and downs of the postpartum period, and to discover the new and developing aspects of yourself as a mother.
Infant Massage Class
Learn how to give you and your baby the wonderful benefits of infant massage! This special nurturing and bonding time will help you relax, feel close to your baby, release your own stress and produce your own “feel-good” endorphins.
Attached at the Heart Parenting Class
Discover how the evidence-based principles of attachment parenting can work with your family’s unique dynamic. The Attached at the Heart curriculum provides insight into child rearing with specific tools to help parents learn more about child development, neuroscience and positive discipline, to trust the intuitive knowledge of their child, and ultimately build a foundation that will strengthen parent-child attachment.
Solid Start: First Foods for your Growing Baby
Learn how to confidently and safely select and prepare healthy foods at home. You will learn how to navigate the guidelines and safety recommendations for starting solids, the differences between baby-led weaning and traditional pureed foods and discuss meal planning.
Information provided on positioning, milk production and coping strategies that will help you to breastfeed successfully.
Just About the Baby
Covering topics including safe sleep, new guidelines for breast and bottle feeding, coping mechanisms for the baby and parents, and general infant care and safety. This class will discuss challenges you may face the first few weeks at home with the new baby.
Breastfeeding and Baby Basics
Information on positioning, correct latch, milk production, and coping strategies that will help you to breastfeed successfully will be included. Baby care basics (bathing, diapering and soothing) will be covered through demonstration and practice.
Brothers and Sisters To-Be
Emphasizes the sibling’s new role as a big brother or sister, for families (ages 3-10 and parents) expecting a new baby. The class gives tips to make the transition easier for everyone.
Covering information on how to successfully breastfeed your baby, breastfeeding options for returning to work, pumping, and management of common breastfeeding problems.
Newborn Care 101
Learn practical information on how to care for your newborn during the first month of life. Topics include: family adjustment, bathing, diapering, signs of illness, safety, newborn characteristics and behavior.
With all these options Nashville area moms can put their worries aside. Selecting one, or a few, of these classes can help you feel prepared, knowledgeable, and empowered to be the best parent to your new baby. Goodbye doubt, moms group question posts, and anxiety; hello informed, prepared, and confident mama!