Please jelp with "new mom" class

by babynursingrn babynursingrn (New) New

Hi all . . . I am an L&D nurse and in addition work in an OB/GYN office. The OB/GYN have asked me to put together a basic, "1st time parents" class that briefly touches on what to expect from the 2nd trimester to am I in labor.

Can anyone direct me to some sort of "rough outline" so I know what to discuss? I thought I would start by showing the video "the miracle of life" and then I would have another hour to keep them interested.

I don't have a problem getting the info, I just need the "skeleton" to get started.

Thanks so much to anyone who can help.


Has 18 years experience. 8,343 Posts

I don't know the right phrase for it, but tell them to trust their instincts and avoid too much reading and comparing with others. I've seen women freaked by the stories they hear. Tell them to relax and enjoy their first pregnancy.

And stress that they don't have to lose all their weight in six weeks post partum. It takes nine months to grow a healthy baby, give them permission to take nine months to get their bodies back.

Give them permission to be themselves.



1 Article; 162 Posts

I would definitely cover the following: Braxton Hicks contraction vs. real contractions, how to tell, when to call, etc. My hands and feet are swelling, what does this mean? What is a mucous plug, when does it pass, etc. Breast changes in the last trimester, leakiness, preparing breasts for breastfeeding, What should I include in my hospital bag? Basic supplies needed in a nursery (be sure and include and emergency kit), What do I need to have at home when I come home from the hospital (i.e., pads, tylenol, etc) Suggestions on how to "survive" the initial post-partum period, i.e. setting limits with visitors/grandparents,etc. be sure and have a few easy to fix meals in the fridge and freezer,

These are just off the top of my head...I'm sure there are many more...I'm not sure I'd show the video simply because by the second/third trimester, they are pretty much past that and if they've done any reading on their own have already gathered the info....I would think that a class such as this would/could pretty much run itself, especially if you could get some interaction going. Good luck to you, this sounds really interesting.




326 Posts

I would throw in a little ditty about PPD, as well. Not that I'm a nurse or anything, buuuuuut, I was a PPD sufferer. And, although I was somewhat familiar with the condition, my husband WAS NOT! So, he wasn't trained/prepared to recognize the signs, and sometimes the mom can't recognize it in herself.




Specializes in OB. 171 Posts

That sounds like stuff that is covered in any decent childbirth least it was when I took one a few years back, and it's covered in the classes that our OBs office puts on...Is there a demand for this kind of class, and then a separate childbirth class? Just curious!


Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 25 years experience. 20,958 Posts

EXCELLENT materials, even a complete childbirth class on PowerPoint there. We use this for our childbirth class series. It has build-in movies that cover everything from postpartum blues/depression, shaken baby syndrome, breastfeeding to normal behaviors/appears of the newborn. VERY good materials on which to base a class.

Also IF you are going to teach classes, you really should look at gaining certification so you can be recognized and compensated well. There are several certifying bodies that not only do so, but from which teaching outlines and materials are available. Among them are: (but not limited to)



Lamaze International

I am personally certified with CAPPA (Childbirth And PostPartum Association).

You want to cover at least, as above, Postpartum changes, normal and what to report, breastfeeding/bottlefeeding, sexuality after baby, normal newborn behavior and appearance, diapering/clothing/bathing baby, life in the first week (what to expect---sleep pattern changes/maternal exhaustion etc ), nutrition, Shaken Baby Syndrome, SIDS prevention, Postpartum Blues and Depression, Postpartum Birth Control and Family Planning, Infant/Child CPR----at the very least.

I hope this helps! If you are going to make this a separate class, you will have to make it count for people to want to come. It is hard to get people to make time for classes, trust me! CPR would be a good idea.


NurseNora, BSN, RN

Specializes in L&D. Has 53 years experience. 572 Posts

In this class, you want to discuss pregnancy mostly, or so it sounds. Discuss pregnancy changes. Tell they why 9months X 4 weeks in a mont =36, but the doctor says pregnancy is 40 weeks long. Discuss the roll of estrogen and progesterone (estrogen makes us happy and horny, but progesterone gives us PMS). Progesterone also is responsible for the relaxed muscles of pregnancy--that's why some women get a belly long before the baby is big enough to show. It also causes the varicose veins, dizziness when arising suddenly, and bloating many women feel.

Many women feel much more sexual in this trimester now that the nausea and vomiting is gone and there is more blood pooling in the pelvic area, but the dads may not. Now dad can feel the baby moving when they have sex and it's like there's a third person in the room watching. Or he might get hung up on the fact that his wife is becoming a mother and that's a wierd thing for some men to think about. Use charts or a model to show the position of the cervix in relation to the vagina and that the penis doesn't push directly into the cervix. Many men worry about hurting the baby or the mother. Discuss the protection against bumps offered by the amniotic fluid, the mucus plug. Discuss different position that can be used if the male on top becomes uncomfortable. I rarely had any questions from my class when I talked about sex, but the evaluations often mentioned it as one of the most useful parts of the class (an early pregnancy class).

For those at risk of PTL, remind them that semen contains prostaglandins (that's where the name came from, it was first identified in prostate secretions) and that we use prostaglandins to induce labor. Brest stimulation promotes the production of oxytocin as does female orgasim (Pitocin is our friend). That's why "vaginal rest" is sometimes prescribed for those at risk for PTL. But for those not at risk, sex is OK. How did they show affection to one another before their relationship became sexual? In these days of sex on the first date, that may require some thinking on their part, but that's not your problem.

Constipation, hemmorhoids... Why they happen and how to deal with them. Varicose veins, leg cramps, bloating, all the discomforts of pregnancy. They don't all show up in the first trimester. The urinary frequency often diminishes in the second trimester because the uterus becomes an abdominal organ not a pelvic one, but in the third trimester, it returns as the baby's head settles into the pelvis. How to avoid a UTI. Dietary changes as there is less room for food in the stomach as the baby squishes it. The wierd and scary dreams many people have. S/S of problems, PTL, PIH, etc.

I used to teach an Early Pregnancy class that was intended for 1st Trimester couples. The majority of the couples who came were in the second trimester and often were older primips or G2P0. Usually if a woman had had a miscarriage, she wanted to come to this kind of class to see if there was anything she could do carry to term with this pregnancy. These women wouldn't sign up for the class until after the gestation they were when they miscarried. So I talked about miscarriage a little bit. This was a long time ago, before U/S were done. Don't know it this will be an issure with your group.

My understanding of your class from your post is that this is a pregnancy class, not a Birth class. So focus on pregnancy. A little about how to get ready for the baby, but I've found that many women have trouble absorbing much information about PP while they're still pregnant, especially in the middle months. If most of your clients will be going to childbirth classes, focus mostly on what they're experiencing now. I found lots of people were relieved to discover that they weren't the only ones having nightmares and such.



10 Posts

Thanks to all who responded. Yes, the class is about pregnancy, not going into labor and birth and the first few months. Please keep the ideas coming!


Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 25 years experience. 20,958 Posts

Great ideas outlined here!

I still say, if you are going to teach pregnancy and postpartum/newborn care classes, please do get certified! It's a really good idea. My certifying organization provided taped classes and workbooks as well as lots of information and ideas on what to teach in my classes. I was able to do this via distance-learning, which was convenient for me. They also provided ideas for games and fun activities in the classes to spice them up. I learned I need not reinvent the wheel. The information is out there and very available, in writing, books, on DVD, etc., and very easy to use-----and readily accessible for instructors already.

Additionally, any certifying body will support you in so many ways from helping you get started to availing you of actual teaching materials for your courses such as handouts and pamphlets. It's really the way to go and sometimes, certain insurance companies and/or other payors will not compensate you without certification.

One often-overlooked resource are formula companies and the like. Yes, often people are not happy with these, and baby-friendly hospitals do not accept materials from them. But if yours does, I know the major companies provide some excellent breastfeeding and first-year baby care books. See if you can get your hands on some of these to hand out to your clients. They are amazing resource books and very popular with our patients.

One last recommendation. Make sure whatever you do teach is in line with what your physicians' group wishes and recommendations are---perhaps they already have handouts and materials they provide in the first OB visits you can avail yourself of. Again, no need to reinvent wheels!!!

I wish you the best of luck.



Specializes in ICU. 22 Posts

"One often-overlooked resource are formula companies and the like. Yes, often people are not happy with these, and baby-friendly hospitals do not accept materials from them. But if yours does, I know the major companies provide some excellent breastfeeding and first-year baby care books."

Oh please do not do this. It's just the formula companies way of getting their voice in the discouraged mom who wants to breastfeed's mind.

"Excellent breastfeeding"- I strongly disagree. They just have that tempting little container of formula to "bail" the mom out when they are distressed in the middle of the night.

Yikes, I really hate those things.


Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 25 years experience. 20,958 Posts

The books we receive have no labels from the formula companies---nor are they published by them. One is actually published by the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics)-----also, the books come separate from the bags themselves. They are a wonderful resource that many of our patients use and when they are not available (we run out)----they ask for them, as they know friends or family members who got them and they liked them. I have read the books. Neither promote formula.

Here is one of them:

The New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding



Specializes in ICU. 22 Posts

Okay, sorry I may have misunderstood. I thought you were talking about the "breastfeeding diaper bags" sent by the formula companies.

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