Options for Childbirth Classes at Mayo Clinic
The Perinatal Education program at Mayo Clinic offers a variety of classes related to childbirth, breastfeeding, and infant safety. Registered Nurse Christine Baker manages the maternal child parent education program based out of Rochester, MN. Baker was recently interviewed about the class offerings available to patients and their families locally and available virtually for patients all over the world.
What are the benefits of attending childbirth classes?
BAKER: Becoming a parent is one of the most important events in a lifetime. We believe that Perinatal Education empowers families to develop confidence as they welcome and care for their new baby. That confidence is an important part of giving babies an environment that really supports their growth and development from the very start.
What are the most frequently attended classes for first-time parents?
BAKER: Many first-time parents take a "Childbirth Preparation Prenatal" class, which is offered in a four-week series, weekend format or a virtual live option on a digital platform. Other classes that many families find helpful include "Comfort Strategies," "Baby Cares," "The Art of Breastfeeding and Breast Pumping," “Infant CPR” and "Infant Passenger Safety." We also offer Family Birth Center tours, which are a wonderful way to get acquainted with the Rochester facility and our practices prior to your delivery. And don’t forget our Grandparenting class for those soon-to-be new grandparents!
What classes do you recommend for subsequent pregnancies?
BAKER: I would recommend focusing on a specific area for education. The Perinatal Education Program has many supportive classes for subsequent pregnancies, including "Childbirth Preparation Review," "Vaginal Birth After Cesarean," and even classes for older siblings. Some parents have also mentioned they found it valuable to revisit classes such as "Breastfeeding", "Comfort Strategies" or "Baby Cares."
When should families take prenatal classes?
BAKER: We recommend taking childbirth preparation classes around month six or seven of a patient's pregnancy. A good rule is to try and have your chosen classes end about one month before your estimated due date. The sooner that you register, the more flexibility you'll have in terms of class dates and times.
What are the qualifications and experience of childbirth educators at Mayo?
BAKER: All educators in the Perinatal Education Program are registered nurses trained in childbirth education. They dedicate themselves to supporting the educational needs of each unique family while delivering information based on best practice. Some educators have additional certifications, such as child passenger safety technicians, certified lactation counselors or lactation consultants, mindfulness facilitators, or hold certifications in infant massage.
Are the classes partner-friendly?
BAKER: All classes are inclusive and welcoming to partner participation. Childbirth is an important shared experience for families, and the prenatal class environment is aimed at supporting and benefitting all those in attendance.
Are there classes for families in the postpartum period?
BAKER: Yes. Currently there are five class offerings for families in the postpartum period. These include Postpartum Connection, Mindful Parenting, Infant Massage, Breastfeeding – Returning to Work/School, and Infant CPR.
Do you have to be a Mayo Clinic patient to take advantage of the courses?
BAKER: No. While most of our families are seen by Mayo Clinic's Obstetrics and/or Family Medicine teams, we do get participants who are receiving their prenatal care at another facility. With our move to virtual classrooms on digital platforms in 2020, we now serve patients from all around the United States and even patients from around the world! This has also been a great opportunity to serve our own Mayo Clinic staff across the Enterprise.
Learn more about classes
For class descriptions and availability, and to register online, visit the Mayo Clinic Perinatal Education website. For more information, questions or assistance with registration, contact Perinatal Education at (77) 6-7473 or 507-266-7473.