Adults make difficult decisions constantly, from retirement to first homes, which job to take or which car to buy, but nothing is quite as overwhelming as preparing to be a parent. Every step is full of often unsolicited advice and new changes with an endless stream of decisions to make. Minnesota’s best expecting parent classes are designed to alleviate that pressure, educating families about everything from pregnancy to postpartum, no matter their planned approaches.
Abbott Northwestern Hospital
800 E. 28th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Price: $105 for childbirth preparation weekly series
Abbott Northwestern is a well-known name within the local healthcare industry, and its on-campus education building offers a wide range of classes to support everything from that little, blue plus sign to the screaming infant keeping you up at night. Free classes include a meet-the-midwives and birth center tour session — which are both highly recommended no matter where you deliver — while sessions with nominal fee include topics for new siblings and dads to prepare the rest of the family for the big transition as well. It offers traditional childbirth preparation classes in a weekly series and a weekend express format. The express class offers an overview of everything childbirth and new baby, with supplementary classes for a deeper dive into any of the topics, such as its coping with labor class, which covers breathing and relaxation tips. The weekly series offers more extended coverage of a variety of topics, including labor and birth and the options available, relaxation and breathing techniques to help you cope with labor, the tasks expected of your labor companion (be it spouse, partner, or other designated individual), how and when to use medications, emergency and regular procedures, Cesarean birth, recovery, newborn care, and your baby’s safety.
AMMA Parenting Center
3511 Hazelton Rd.
Edina, MN 55435
Price: costs differ per class ($125 for New Mama class)
The AMMA Parenting Center offers an excellent range of focused classes with topics ranging from child birth education to caring for your 6 month old, and everything in between. It even hosts a dogs and storks series, helping dog owners prepare their pet for the arrival of a baby in the house. Of particular interest is its selection of new parent classes, which includes four classes for moms and babies up to 6 months old. It also offers play and learn classes for babies 6 to 8 months old, and a whole host of seminars on topics including infant sleep, massage and exploring music with your child. Playgroups here help foster your baby’s sense of exploration and companionship, and small group gatherings allow moms to share with and learn from others navigating the path of first-time motherhood. AMMA even offers a regular time to stop in to have baby weighed or for moms to work with lactation consultants. If you have a question or need a little guidance, odds are pretty good AMMA has a workshop or an expert in house to help you out.
Everyday Miracles, Inc.
1121 Jackson St. Northeast, 121
Minneapolis, MN 55413
Everyday Miracles is a charitable group dedicated to supporting at-risk mothers throughout their pregnancy experience. Experienced and certified doulas are available, and its cornerstone class, expecting miracles, is a peer-driven, six-week course offered in English, Spanish and Somali. It allows participants to dive deeper into topics that interest them most. High-level topics for each week include introduction to pregnancy, labor birth basics, comfort measures, interventions and birth plans, mom and baby care, and breastfeeding. Other services to the expectant mother include prenatal yoga, belly casting and donated maternity clothing, while postpartum services include lactation classes, a bi-weekly support group, infant massage and child-seat safety classes. From the start of your pregnancy to the first year of your baby’s life, Everyday Miracles is there with support.
The Childbirth Collective
3919 44th St.
Edina, MN 55410
The Childbirth Collective is a Minnesota-based non-profit organization dedicated to supporting expectant mothers and families throughout the childbirth year. Whether you are looking for more information about the role of a doula or midwife, hoping to track down a birth photographer, or even finding a massage therapist to help you get through your pregnancy as comfortably as possible, this collective of heathcare professionals aims to support your every need through a wide variety of available resources. Regularly scheduled parent topic nights cover everything from doulas to choices and planning, even a session on your baby’s active role in birth. Whether you are looking for referrals, or to simply learn more as you approach the birth of your child, The Childbirth Collective provides as many resources as possible to help make this year as stress and surprise free as possible.
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Rich Rein, previously featured in magazines like Midwest Outdoors and Outdoors Weekly as well as a contributor to MyBuckStory.com and covering the Minneapolis fishing scene for Examiner.com, is a Minnesota transplant doing his best to enjoy the state’s multitude of fishing opportunities while holding down a career as a software developer by day and a firefighter/EMT by night. His work can be found at Examiner.com.