Baystate’s Parent Education Department Offers Classes for Expectant Parents and Families

SPRINGFIELD — Baystate Medical Center’s Parent Education Department offers a wealth of education and support for expectant parents and families through every stage of pregnancy, childbirth, delivery, and beyond.

For safety’s sake, due to the coronavirus pandemic, all face-to-face childbirth and parent classes and groups have been suspended in favor of live, virtual sessions and online learning. Among the many preparatory classes offered are:

Virtual Childbirth Education Class Bundle: A four-class series taken via Webex. The series includes stages of labor and delivery, basic comfort techniques, medications, medical interventions and cesarean birth, basic baby care, and prenatal breastfeeding. The series is held in four two-hour sessions and includes interaction and questions and answers with a childbirth educator throughout the class. Infant care and breastfeeding can also be taken as standalone classes.

Online Multiples Childbirth Education: Using a combination of online education and the opportunity to interact with a parent educator, online multiples is geared to expectant parents in their second trimester of pregnancy who want education that is specific to having twins or triplets. The online portion of the class is taken at home at one’s own pace. Parents will then be invited to a virtual session via Webex to have their questions answered by a knowledgeable instructor, who is also a lactation consultant and mother of twins.

Online Childbirth Education: Offered in Spanish or English, the eight-chapter program — ideal for those expectant parents who enjoy learning on their own — is an interactive, web-based class that uses videos, personal birth stories, animations, activities, and games to teach all the essential information parents need to know to prepare for the birth of their child. This class does not provide face-to-face interaction with a parent educator.

Basics-Breathing, Massage & Positions for Labor Virtual Class: A one-session class ideal for those parents who want a more in-depth preparation for the use of advanced comfort and support techniques during labor and delivery to avoid medical interventions if possible.

Virtual Keeping Baby Safe: Participants will learn how to keep the baby safe with topics such as infant CPR, first aid, choking, poison prevention, baby-proofing the home, and carseat safety.

Baby’s Home! Now What?: Taken along with the new baby, the newborn class provides postpartum support for new parents and provides information on newborn behavior in the first few weeks of the infant’s life. The class includes feeding cues for breast and bottle feeding, infant sleep patterns, comforting a crying infant, information about returning to work, continued support for breastfeeding moms, pumping techniques, and storage of breast milk.

Virtual Prenatal Yoga Class: Pregnant women will learn postures, breathing techniques, and meditation to help ease pregnancy aches. The class will prepare the body for delivery and improve chances for a smoother recovery while creating strength, focus, flexibility, and awareness through a gentle practice designed especially for the pregnant woman’s needs.

Virtual Postnatal Yoga Class: The virtual class provides an opportunity for moms to bond with their babies, strengthen muscles that were affected in pregnancy and labor, and stretch all of motherhood’s new aches and pains. Babies up to 1 year old and crawling are welcome to surround mom during the class, which offers breathing techniques to calm the mind and bring energy to the body, while strengthening the pelvic floor and abdomen.

For more information and to register for any class, visit baystatehealth.org/parented.