All of our Mama’s took some sort of class before they birthed their little poop machines, and most took them at one of the Boston area Isis locations. Our Mama’s say it is 100% worth becoming a member if you live close to one of their locations (you will receive a discount on tuition if you are a member). It allows you a great opportunity to socialize with other expectant moms (and dads) in your area.
No matter where you take them, we highly recommend taking a Newborn essentials class, where you learn everything from how to use a car seat to how to stop a baby from crying. Also helpful are the Natural Childbirth classes, even if you plan to have an epidural: “you don’t get the epidural until you have already been in labor for a number of hours so you will still want information on how to deal with the pain and the natural CB class will give you that.”
Breastfeeding classes have mixed results. Some Mamas feel they were helpful (those that breastfed for months) and others didn’t (those that breastfed a short period of time): “unless you want to rub your boobs in front of other people’s husbands, and have a woman walk around showing your husband how to properly rub hers – skip the breastfeeding class – the real thing is NOT even comparable.”
If you can, our Mamas highly recommend taking an Infant CPR class as well. And even if they don’t like it, Dad has to come along with you!
“Just beware – you take the class with your husband and they make you watch a video of a woman having natural child birth – I had to convince my husband the movie was fictional in order to get him to go back to class the next day.” MAMA S
“Baby Matters through Beth Israel. I honestly think this is more for the husband (hubby spent a good portion of his time chatting with his friend about the Red Sox, trying to “deswaddle” the practice baby by throwing it into the air, and then conveniently not listening when they mentioned “this is when you go to the hospital” and then had the balls to ask me the question…) than the mother. It’s a rite of passage – you have to do it, but honestly, you don’t learn a lot.” – MAMA E
“Took class at MGH and found it helpful on learning ways to deal with labor pains. Found it helpful to see hospital, birthing rooms and post-partum area. What I wished they talked more about was how to push – all of a sudden you are at that point in labor and they say push and it’s like, how? I never read about it anywhere either and I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing. It may have felt this way because ultimately my baby literally didn’t fit and I had to have a c-section but I would recommend asking about pushing.” – MAMA C
“We took the class at the hospital where I was delivering. It was taught by one of the Neo-Natal Nurses there. Very informative and I actually learned more than I thought I would. (We kind of figured it would be a joke). I felt like I was more prepared for labor, as that was one of my big fears that I wouldn't know when I was "really" going into labor. (Everyone says "oh you will just know..." - but how the hell are you supposed to know if you've never gone through it before?!!!) Definitely take a good class.” – MAMA P