In the series "Different roles", who started with this entry , I'll talk today about my new parent classes. A couple of times each month I walk downtown to the public health center, where I teach two different classes. The first one is for parents-to-be, and I talk about those first days and weeks of parenthood. I share tips and advice about caring for a newborn, and I teach about breastfeeding and babywearing.
I believe it's an important job, helping these couples to navigate through the enormous mass of information that is available these days, and I keep telling them to trust their own parental instincts. This is part of a series of several separate classes. There is the physical therapist talking about how the body changes, the midwife showing them the delivery rooms and talking about birth, the dad educator talking to the "pregnant" dads, and then there is me talking about what's going on afterwards, when birth is over and life as parents has begun.
The fourth class is held a couple of months after delivery, and the group return to the health center, bringing their babies. This time they get to talk about the experience of childbirth and life with baby. I answer questions, but mostly I try to help them talk, share their experiences, their feelings, and hopefully make friends with the others in the group. Networking for young parents is important too, and realizing that they're not alone in their sleep-deprived world of diaper changes and feedings.