Classes & Support Groups for Parents to Be
Preregistration is necessary. Each registration includes two people in the class. Partners are encouraged to attend all classes.
Please call (319) 369-7166 or visit our online calendar for more available dates, information and to register.
All classes (except Empty Arms and Heart Saver Baby) meet in the lower level of the Center for Women's & Children's Health.
For Childbirth Preparation
Labor & Birth
This class is for expectant parents during the last 12 weeks of pregnancy. You will learn about the signs and symptoms of labor, the stages of labor and what to expect during the process of labor and birth for a vaginal birth. This class includes a birth video. This class is required before taking the Comfort Skills Part 1 and Part 2 classes. Click here to register online.
Preparing for the Unexpected: Induction, Cesareans and More
Each birth is a unique experience. This class provides information on the variations of vaginal births, inductions, as well as cesarean birth. Methods of monitoring the status of the baby will also be discussed. Labor & Birth Class must be attended before taking this class. Click here to register online.
Comfort Skills Part 1
This childbirth preparation class is designed to teach pregnant women and their birth partner skills to use during labor. These skills are helpful to learn even if an epidural is planned.
Topics included in Comfort Skills Part 1 are breathing techniques, various positions to use during labor, pushing positions and using birth & peanut balls. This is a hands-on practice so each mom-to-be needs a support person to attend this class with her. This class is required to attend before taking Comfort Skills Part 2. For this class:
- Bring 3 bedroom size pillows for comfort while practicing various positions for labor
- Wear comfortable clothing as you will be on the floor for some position
Labor & Birth class is required to attend before taking Comfort Skills Part 1 class. Click here to register online.
Comfort Skills Part 2
Comfort Skills Part 2 class is builds on what was learned in Comfort Skills Part 1. Comfort Skills Part 1 Class is required to attend before taking Comfort Skills Part 2. In this second “hands-on” class, you will learn various ways to apply counter-pressure, massage techniques and how to use a scarf, bed sheet or rebozo for support and relaxation in labor.
During this class you will also have the opportunity to have a practice labor rehearsal with your partner before your actual labor & birth. There will be a lengthened opportunity to practice breathing skills, positioning, using the birth and peanut balls, and various comfort techniques learned in Comfort Skills Parts 1 & 2 classes during a mock labor scenario. This is a completely “hands-on” practice so each mom-to-be needs a support person to attend this class with her. For this class:
- Bring 3 bedroom size pillows
- Bring your “Labor Support Bag” to class—this is a bag of items you plan to use during labor (massage tools, Chap Stick, tennis balls, foam noodle, your focusing object, washcloth, etc.).
- Wear comfortable clothing as you will be on the floor during the labor rehearsal
Click here to register online.
Medicated Birth Options
This class offers expecting parents the information needed to make decisions regarding medicated pain management during labor and birth. You will learn about "positive pain" that is experienced throughout the labor process. The class will cover the benefits and risks of medicated pain relief for labor & birth. The choices available for medicated pain relief, which includes analgesics and epidurals, will be discussed.
Please take Comfort Skills Parts 1 and Part 2 classes which cover non-medicated pain relief techniques before attending. Click here to register online.
Attend all five of the classes covering the birth experience in a five week series: (1st) Labor & Birth, (2nd) Preparing for the Unexpected, (3rd) Comfort Skills Part 1, (4th) Comfort Skills Part 2 & (5th) Medicated Birth. Your classes will be on the same day of the week in the evening for 5 weeks in a row – as an example, every Wednesday evening for 5 weeks in a row. You will be with the same instructor and class participants during the series. Class size is limited.
Partners are strongly encouraged to attend all 5 classes but moms-to-be need a support person to attend BOTH Comfort Skills Parts 1 & 2 classes with them. For these 2 classes, moms-to-be needs a support person to work with them as both classes are primarily "hands on" practice.
Please note: When you initially register for the series, that one registration registers you for all 5 classes in the series. Click here to register online.
Childbirth Block Class
The Childbirth Block Class is designed so you can take both Labor & Birth and Comfort Skills classes together on one Saturday rather than as three separate evening classes. Because class size is limited, make sure to register early.
Labor & Birth is from 9 - 11 a.m. and Comfort Skills is from 12 - 2 p.m. This Comfort Skills class is a "condensed" version of Comfort Skills Parts 1 & 2 classes. You must attend both of these sessions and each mom-to-be needs a support person to attend the Comfort Skills afternoon class with her.
There is a one-hour lunch break "on your own" between the two classes from 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. There are a variety of restaurants close to the hospital and we also have a full cafeteria in the main hospital building. There are also vending machines in the hall outside of the classrooms. Click here to register online.
Expecting more than one baby at a time? This three week series of classes (same day of the week in the evening for three weeks in a row) is designed for parents expecting twins, triplets or more. You will learn about nutritional requirements for multiples, amazing fetal growth of multiples and also how a multiples pregnancy differs from a pregnancy with a singleton. Labor & birth variations will also be discussed, including cesarean births. Caring for more than one baby at a time is a unique experience with different demands and pressures. You will learn how to prepare for multiples and how to care for more than one baby at a time. Plan to attend this series before the seventh month of your pregnancy. Click here to register online.
Preparing & Caring for Baby
Birth to Home
Many new parents are surprised how busy they can be after their baby's birth at St. Luke's Birth Care Center. Attending the Birth to Home class will help parents better understand what will take place during their hospital stay. You will learn how to care for yourself and your baby while at the Birth Care Center and at home. We will review necessary hospital paperwork and common hospital routines topics to make your first days together at the Birth Care Center more restful. Click here to register online.
Many women believe that breastfeeding comes naturally for both mother and baby. However, breastfeeding is actually a learned art. This class helps you learn about how breastfeeding works and what to expect during those first few weeks nursing a newborn. Plan to attend this free class during the third trimester of pregnancy.
Just a note: Dads-to-be, and support people in general, are really encouraged to attend this class with moms-to-be. They are a vital part of the breastfeeding experience and are important part of the breastfeeding team. Click here to register online.
This prenatal class provides information about caring for your newborn and is very “hands-on learning." You will learn and practice a special way to bathe your newborn called a “swaddled bath”. We will go over safe sleep practices, feeding newborns, diapering, comforting and ways to hold baby, and many other helpful topics. You will also learn how to do a full infant massage and practice massage techniques on weighted baby dolls. Click here to register online.
Please note: This class is 2 hours and 15 minutes in duration.
Car Seats 101
Motor vehicle injuries are a leading cause of death among children in the United States. But many of these deaths can be prevented. Child safety seats can greatly reduce the risk of a potentially fatal injury, especially for babies but also for toddlers.
Before the big day arrives, you want to choose the safest, easiest-to-install infant car seat. Yet many safety seats are used incorrectly as car seats can be confusing. Rear facing only infant car seat or convertible car seat – which seat do I choose? Is the baby securely positioned in the car seat? How do I install it properly in my vehicle? When do I have to transition my child to another type of car seat?
In this class, these questions and more will be answered by a certified child passenger safety technician along with general car seat safety guidelines that will help ensure a little one’s safety. This class will also take a look at the most common mistakes parents make and how to avoid them.
This class is an overview of car seat basics and is not a car seat check! Please do not bring your car seat to class. Click here to register online.
A new baby means preparing a safe home before your baby is born. Topics covered in class are childproofing your home, safe sleep practices, baby equipment safety, general safety tips, helpful safety devices as well as seasonal safety concerns. This class is for expectant parents and grandparents. Click here to register online.
Heartsaver CPR/AED Classes
American Heart Association Heartsaver courses are intended for anyone with little or no medical training. Those who need a course completion card (AHA certification card) for a job, regulatory (e.g., OSHA), or other requirements will need to register for the AHA certification card course.
This is a three hour course that focuses on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and training of how to use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator), and foreign body airway obstruction (FBAO) for all ages (adult, child and infant).
Class Fees (2 options):
- $25 per person for non-certification training
- $55 per person for a certification card from American Heart Association
There is no refund after you have registered. Click here to register online.
Diapering With Cloth
Diapers without pins? Diapers that don't go the landfill? Diapers that save hundreds of dollars? What are diaper liners, diaper covers and inserts? What are AIO and AI2 diapers? What do Bum Genius, Fuzzi, Happy Heiney and Smartipants have in common? They are just a few of the many new types of cloth diapers! These are not what your mother and grandmother used!
Come and learn about the pros and cons of cloth vs disposable diapers. See various new products that are available for cloth diapering. Practice using different types of cloth diapers. Learn how to wash and care for your cloth diapers. You make take this class either before or after your baby is born. Adults only please! Click here to register online.
Boot Camp for New Dads
This class is for new dads-to-be to learn about babies from experienced dads. At this three-hour class, "rookie dads" will learn from "veteran dads" and their babies with trained facilitators who are fathers themselves. Class size is limited.
Crash Course for Dads-to-Be written by the Greg Bishop (founder of Boot camp for New Dads & Dads Adventure) is available for purchase at time of online registration for $10.
This is a great resource for dads and is full of charts, checklists and cheat sheets to help dads connect with their babies. This book is completely optional.
Veteran dads and their babies are welcome to attend anytime the first eight months. If you would like to attend Boot Camp for New Dads as a veteran dad with your baby, please call Andi at (319) 369-7611 or register online.
Brothers and Sisters Class
Brothers and Sisters Class is designed especially for the younger members of the family (age 3 & older) who are about to have a new brother or sister. They will spend an evening learning about the miracle of childbirth through discussions, a video, picture books, and hands-on-experience. Correct terminology will be used and all questions answered. The class includes a "mini" tour of the Birth Care Center.
Make sure to bring along a baby picture of your child(ren) as close to newborn age as possible to share when we talk about how they have grown; you will get the picture(s) back. Also, feel free to bring your camera to the class as pictures can be taken freely throughout the class to help capture memories of the evening. Children attending must be three years of age or older and should be accompanied by their parent(s). Please make sure the child is not ill or recently been exposed to an infectious illness. Children should attend the class during the last month of mom's pregnancy. Click here to register online.
Becoming a grandparent brings new joys and new challenges. This class is designed for both expectant and established grandparents. The class includes updates on current birth practices & hospital policies, tips for grandparents and discussion of current baby care practices and safety issues, including safe sleep practices. Click here to register online.
Coping with a crying baby can be stressful whether you're a new or experienced parent. This class will help you understand the 4th Trimester and learn amazing techniques to soothe your baby to sleep in those early weeks. Learn about the 5 S's, based on research by Dr. Harvey Karp, author of The Happiest Baby on the Block.
Cost of the class is $15, a pre-payment that is payable by credit card. This is for the required Parent Kit participants receive in class which includes a copy of The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD and a white noise CD valued at more than $35. Plan to attend this class before or after your baby is born, but please do not bring infants to the class.
A 42 inch square blanket is also available for purchase at time of registration for an additional $15. This is completely optional. Please remember to mark your blanket color choice of blue, green or pink. Again, a blanket does not come with the class & is not included as part of the required pre-payment class fee of $15.
Click here to register online for this class. Purchase one of these swaddling blankets for $15 at the class (cash or check only) or prepay when you register for the class.
Breastfeeding questions and concerns often arise as baby grows the first year. This weekly support group is for all breastfeeding moms and babies, no matter the age. Meet with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant along with other mothers to share experiences, ask questions and find solutions to common problems. There is also a weekly topic discussed and a scale available to have your baby weighed. Feel free to stay for the full group session, come when you can, or stop by for your baby’s weight check.
This support group meets weekly on Tuesdays from 4 - 5:15 p.m. Class is held in Classroom C in the lower level (basement) of the Helen G. Nassif Women's & Children's Center. Click here to register online.
Parents With Empty Arms Support Group
This group serves families grieving a loss through an ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, stillborn or death of an infant. Monthly group meetings are available. This group meets on the third Monday of each month from 6:30 - 8 p.m. in the Formal Lounge in the UnityPoint Health St. Luke's Resource Center.
Preregistration is not necessary. For more information, call Andi at (319) 369-7166.