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Childbirth Education & Baby Care Classes

It is an unfortunate fact that many pregnant women spend more time and effort on preparing the nursery for baby, and less time on preparing physically, emotionally and mentally for the challenges that birth (no matter how it happens) and early mothering/parenting will bring.

Too much emphasis is placed on “the stuff” in our culture that we tend to think of preparation in terms of a shopping trip (or ten!), or getting discounted nappies. We are proactive about providing a special place for our babies to sleep, get changed, or ride in a car, and that is important, but babies need so much more than that. Often, not enough thought or knowledge is given to encouraging baby to settle into an optimal position for birth, lining up appropriate support for birth, how to ask questions of your caregiver, getting fit and able to take on birth and post-partum, and ensuring mom has the necessary knowledge to help herself prepare on every level for labour and birth and what comes in the months after.
Tina Otte takes pride in providing the highest standard of education and support to both childbearing couples and childrearing families. The courses run from the centre focus on helping you explore your own feelings about birth and parenting.

If caesarean birth has been advised we can accommodate your needs.

Refresher sessions offered for second/third time moms.

Courses offered on selected weekends only.

Online courses are now available.


Module One: Birthing Hormones and the Effects of Fear on Labour

This popular class is based on the belief that mental and physical health are interrelated, and should be conditioned together. All of the classes at Tina Otte's Family and Child Centre attempt to coordinate breathing and physical movement, improve focus and concentration, and help participants regain control of their body and mind.


Module Two: The Process of Labour & Birth
The Five ‘P’s’ of Labour – Passage, Passenger, Powers, Position (maternal and foetal) and Psychological impact

Women’s bodies are perfectly designed to birth their babies. Just how does it all work? We will cover basic anatomy and physiology of labour and birth and walk you through the signs of impending labour, the stages of labour, and when to go to the clinic or birthing centre. We can reduce fear through understanding and appreciation the body’s purposefulness. This is your basic core information class on the natural birth process. Did you know that most of labour is pain FREE not pain FULL? All will be revealed when we discuss the gift of labour pain and how to work with it and not against it. Labour pain is the most misunderstood of all pain.

Woman getting ultrasound

Module Three: The Mother’s Experience & Needs in Labour - Practical Class

What is the experience of labour and birth like? What are the mother’s needs—mental, emotional, and physical—as she moves through her labour? How can she best respond to contractions to minimise pain? How do her needs change as the process unfolds? How can partners and supporters help? We’ll answer these questions and more!

This class builds on information presented in The Process of Labour & Birth class.
Coping with Pain in Labour—Natural Approaches to Pain Management.
There is a difference between pain and suffering. Labour pain need not overwhelm the birthing mother; it can be managed. Suffering is, by definition, not okay.

In this class we present non-pharmacological approaches to pain management.

We will:
•Demonstrate positioning and rhythmic movements that encourage good progress through labour, using the birth ball, chairs etc.
•Practice conscious relaxation.
•Explore the use of your breath and vocalisation as a tool.
•Discuss the use of visualisation and affirmations.
•Practice acupressure and massage techniques.
•Discuss the use of aromatherapy and music.
What is the job of labour support? How can dads/partners best support the labouring mother? We will help partners explore and define their preferred level of involvement at the birth. This class also provides tips for how to take care of your own needs through the process!

Expectant Couple

Module Four: What Parents need to know about medicated forms of pain relief: Epidurals, Spinals and Caesarean Birth

The number of expectant couples who have experienced a caesarean delivery in the past few years has greatly increased.
The need for a class devoted to the special needs of the couple who expect a caesarean delivery is steadily rising. Caesarean parents often have a great many questions, fears, and anxieties about birth. Many times caesarean couples do not feel they are allowed to participate fully in their birth experience.

Knowledge of what to expect and the opportunity to exercise some choices enables parents to feel more in control. A caesarean delivery is not just a surgical procedure, but the birth of a baby and a new family unit.

Fortunately there is a growing awareness of the need to improve the caesarean birth experience and make it more participative for the parents. Skin-on-skin is highly recommended, and parents need to know the benefits, the procedure and what is involved. It is not done routinely in many hospitals and in most cases parents have to request skin-on-skin with their caregiver. This is discussed in detail in this session. Medicated forms of pain relief will also be discussed.

Mother's Kiss

Module Five: Your Amazing Newborn & Your Post-Partum Adjustment

Incorporating the latest research on the abilities and behaviours of the new-born, we hope to increase your understanding of your baby from birth and even before. From variations on the appearance of the newborn, to newborn reflexes, sensory capacities, and states of consciousness, parents will become familiar with what is normal for newborns. The nine instinctive phases a newborn goes through will be highlighted and the importance of skin-on skin contact will be shown.
We will deal with emotional adjustments, physical adjustments, lack of sleep, crying (yours and baby), contraception, resumption of sex, caring for your post-natal body, looking after your relationship, and post-natal depression – recognising it, why it happens and getting help.

Mother Breastfeeding Baby

Module Six: Breastfeeding Basics 101

This class focuses on the first critical weeks of your baby’s life and provides basic information and resources to prepare the mother-to-be for a satisfying breastfeeding experience. The breastfeeding relationship combines instinct and learned skills. Research shows that generally moms are not prepared for the reality of breastfeeding and the difficulties they may encounter. If moms start out right in the beginning, breastfeeding will be easier in the months that follow. Many of us think that breastfeeding ought to be easy, because after all, it is natural. Honestly, this a fallacy. Yes, breastfeeding is natural: milk naturally "comes in" and oftentimes it is easy, but not until mom and baby learn "the dance".
Learning to breastfeed is like learning to dance. When you start out, you will be a bit clumsy (stepping on each other's feet). It’s normal to trip up a bit, stop, and then start over again, laughing and not giving up. It takes a while to figure out each other's moves. You try it, and try again, maybe using a different technique or hold, having patience, and seeking out the additional help and support you need. Eventually mom and baby figure out the "moves" to make breastfeeding an enjoyable experience for many months ahead.
Learn the basics of breastfeeding and how to get off to a great start. How often should you nurse your baby and how do you know that the baby is getting enough? Topics include understanding your baby’s instincts and hunger cues, positioning and latching the baby, and how to overcome common obstacles.
Top tips:
•Find a lactation specialist before baby is even born. (This is the dance instructor.)
•Encourage breastfeeding within an hour after birth. (Get on the dance floor right away.)
•Encourage lots of skin-on-skin. (Stay on the dance floor.)
•Education on how to obtain a good latch (Learn the dance steps correctly.)
•Encourage feeding when baby shows huger cues. (Follow the lead)
•Encourage nursing frequently. (Enjoy dancing)

Mother Breastfeeding Baby

Module Seven: Baby Bath and Baby Care Class

Demonstration baby bath, bath aids and tips on happy bath time and advice on practical baby care. Demonstration of reflexes and also some baby massage strokes. Discussion on baby care products.
A newborn baby will be bathed and the new parents will answer questions on what life is really like going home and living with a new baby.
Guest Chiropractor and CPR expert to talk in this session.

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