Prenatal Classes Make Me Feel Like I’m in High School Again


Welcome to Pregnancy Without a Filter, my weekly series in which I chronicle my life as a first-time mom-to-be. Read along for insights, outbursts, ups, downs, and the real deal about the crazy adventure of making a person.

Week 31

I feel like I’m rounding the corner toward the end of my pregnancy, and with that comes the final countdown of things to do. We’re making a list of things to pack in a hospital bag, washing baby clothes, and starting a series of classes for new parents. Last week we attended our first class: Newborn Care.

I’m not sure about what I expected, but when Ryan and I walked into the room where the class was held, I was immediately catapulted back to my first day of high school. A completely quiet, unfamiliar room, filling up with silent people who were all looking around surreptitiously sizing each other up. Naturally, nobody wanted the front row. We chose strategically — second row on the end, in case I had to use the bathroom a million times (which I obviously did, but so did every other woman in the room). When the teacher entered the room and instructed us to get up and grab a bunch of pamphlets and a baby doll, I immediately jumped up because I knew the rest of the women would send their husbands or partners to do the job. It just felt too weird to sit there and watch a line of silent dudes shuffling around the room picking up stuff for their ladies.

So I grabbed the first doll I could and sat back down, after which I realized I had gotten a 6 month girl doll with no blanket to practice swaddling. Not to worry, though, because we immediately set the dolls aside and got mired down in a Power Point presentation, which had a date stamp of 2004. Warning sign number one. As we worked our way through the presentation, the teacher would try to coax answers out of the class: “And so skin-to-skin contact after birth is important because of… anybody? anybody?” Silence. We all knew the answer, but just like in high school, nobody wanted to be the one to say it. We’re all adults here. Let’s just do this. We moved on. The teacher cued up a video, saying, “Just a heads-up that this video is a little… dated.” Warning sign number two. No joke, it was straight out of 1989, with Cosby sweaters and teased bangs and the whole deal. 

All of that being said, we’ll be heading back next month for a childbirth class and a breastfeeding class. At this point I’m all about getting as much information as I can, because once baby’s here I’m sure it’ll be like getting thrown in the deep end. I’m hoping the next few classes feel a little more hands-on, and that we leave with more than a few pamphlets — I’d love to walk out feeling like I have a handle on some new information, and not just a review of 1980s hairstyles. Although some of those bangs were really impressive.

Moms, did you have good experiences with prenatal classes? I’m sure they all differ greatly, but I’d love to know if you had any takeaways that you found priceless. Leave a comment and let me know!

Photo: Chelsea Foy