13 things they really should teach in prenatal classes

Posted in Birth.

Did you go to prenatal classes when pregnant? I confess – I am a prenatal class drop out. My partner and I went to the first two classes and then skipped the rest. It wasn’t that we thought we were experts – it was just that they were pretty late in the evening and TV, my purple onesie and a cuppa always won. But had our prenatal classes taught these things, well, perhaps we would have put down the remote….

1. How to tell the difference between a contraction and indigestion.

Sometimes chicken can taste so good one minute and then ruin your life the next. Sure, there is a big difference between a poorly-cooked dinner and a uterus full of a baby plotting an escape, but sometimes it’s hard to tell which is which.

2. How to find a parking spot close enough to the hospital so that you don’t have to walk three blocks while in labour.

Why is it that every single person in the city wants to visit the hospital at the same time you go into labour? Walking any more than 200 steps while more than eight centimetres dilated should be illegal.

3. How to successfully walk to the toilet with an epidural in.

The cord gets wrapped around your belly and pulls at the IV. And you need to bring your big bulky machine friend with you. It takes a pretty coordinated person to pull this one off.

4. How to work the vending coffee machine.

My husband couldn’t figure this out if his life depended on it.

5. How to nicely explain to visitors that you are tired and need to sleep. So please exit the premises.

Visitors are always welcome, except when you haven’t slept in three days, the baby is actually asleep for once, your breasts are in desperate need of a pump and your bladder is about to explode.

6. How to change a newborn’s nappy in the back of a car.

This seems to be the place that most newborns like to do their first big bowel movement. Keep a towel in the back of your car for such occasions. And possibly a hose.

7. How to cook a three course meal with one hand.

Bonus points if the course also explains how to do it while simultaneously breastfeeding.

8. How to deal with a number three… on your clothes, in the bath, on the car seat…

There should be an entire class dedicated to the Number Three.

9. How to change a boy’s nappy without being spurted in the face.

It’s the law of baby boys – take nappy off, expect baby to pee.

10. How to eat dinner while standing up and rocking at the same time.

This is a skill that all mums will most likely have mastered by week four.

11. How to load a baby into the car in the pouring rain.

You will most likely need all body parts to master this skill – your teeth to hold your keys, your hips to hold the carrier, your arms to shield baby from the rain, and your inner thighs to balance the nappy bag.

12. How to completely abandon all sense of spontaneity in favour of routine.

Your world will revolve around baby awake and sleep time. This may require you to schedule dinners out for 4pm so that you can be back for a 7pm bedtime. It may mean you need to have your one glass of wine at 3pm because baby will need to be fed again at 6pm. And it most certainly means that any “alone” time with hubby will take place during the twenty minute REM cycle when baby is in a deep sleep (most likely between the hours of 4am and 4:20am).

13. How to open baby toys without the need to use scissors, a knife or your teeth.

You may not need to open any toys just yet… but there will come a time when you will. And there’s got to be an easier way to open packaged toys than tearing into them with your teeth – right?

Did you go to prenatal classes? What do you wish you were taught about labour, delivery and the first few weeks with a new baby?

prenatal class one



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