Childbirth Education – Guest Post with Deb Vigness

childbirth ed photoOur blogs usually deal with child development and parenting topics. Parenting actually begins before your child is born. We have invited Avera McKennan’s Childbirth Education Coordinator Deb Vigness, RN to share some information about opportunities for expectant parents.

People rarely feel fully prepared for a new situation, and childbirth is no exception. Childbirth education can help parents better understand the physical and emotional dimensions of this experience. Many people feel they can find all the information they need on the internet. But the reality is that this information is not always accurate and up-to-date. At Avera McKennan, there are many options to help you prepare for the birth of your child. The newest is the Online Prepared Childbirth class, which is geared for expectant parents whose schedules don’t accommodate attending a face-to-face class.

Online Prepared Childbirth Classes

Avera McKennan’s Online Prepared Childbirth class allows you to work at your own pace and in your own home while still getting expert information. Once you have finished the online portion of the class, you can participate in one face-to-face meeting at your convenience to answer questions, practice breathing and positioning, and tour the Women’s Center. Parents who choose this option may also want to attend a newborn care class. The online childbirth class is a great option for those who have attended a class with a previous baby and need a refresher course, or for expectant parents who are unable to commit to a four or six week session of classes.

Traditional In-Class Options for Prepared Childbirth

  • The six-week Prepared Childbirth class meets in the evening for two hours per week for six weeks and covers late pregnancy topics, labor, delivery, after birth care for mom and baby, and baby’s first weeks of life. It also includes a tour of our Women’s Center.
  • The four-week Prepared Childbirth class meets in the evening for three hours per week for four weeks. It covers the same topics but with fewer meeting nights.
  • The weekend Prepared Childbirth class meets from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. for one Saturday session. This is a great option for parents who aren’t able to commit to several evenings. This class doesn’t include information on caring for your newborn.
  • Hypnobirthing is a specialized class for those who want to maximize their focus, breathing and relaxation techniques to minimize need for a medicated birth. This class is taught by a certified hypnobirthing instructor and meets from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. for one Saturday session. This class focuses specifically on labor and can be taken in addition to other childbirth classes.

Caring for Your New Baby

Along with preparing for the birth of your child, you will need to prepare for the care of your new little one. Avera McKennan has classes to help with that, too!

  • In the Caring for your Newborn class, you will learn about baby care skills, newborn physical and behavioral traits, dealing with crying and after-baby care for mom. You have the option of attending two evenings or one Saturday morning.
  • The American Academy of Pediatricians recommends breast feeding as the optimal feeding choice for the first year. Avera McKennan’s breastfeeding class will provide information and support to encourage new moms and partners and increase success with breastfeeding. This is a one evening, two-hour class taught by certified lactation consultants. Partners are encouraged to attend.

In addition to these classes, Avera McKennan offers many additional options for education.

  • Early Pregnancy class will get your pregnancy off to a good start with information on growth and development of the fetus, emotional and physical changes, nutrition, self image and self esteem, pre-term labor, and partner involvement
  • Grandparent class is a fun class to share ways in which grandparents can support and encourage new parents.
  • Multiple Blessings will prepare parents for the special challenges of twins, triplets and beyond.
  • A New Baby in Our Family will help the youngest members of the family learn what babies are all about and how to be the best big brother or big sister a baby can have.

Avera McKennan has a wide range of classes to meet your need for expert information as you await the birth of your baby. For more information about classes, fees, or to register, visit or call (605) 322-4481 to talk to the childbirth education coordinator.

The journey to parenthood is one of the most exciting times in life. We want to thank Deb Vigness for providing this valuable information!

By Betty and Doniese

Family Life Instructors at Avera McKennan

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