You are growing a new little human and soon you will be bringing them home. It is an exciting and nerve-wracking time. Whether this is your first baby or your third, we’ll help you learn some of the practical skills as well as help you to prepare mentally and emotionally for becoming a parent.
This 9 week program is delivered in two series with 5 antenatal sessions (also available as one full-day session) and 4 postnatal sessions covering topics such as communicating within your relationship, taking good care of yourself and practical skills to care for baby. The course focuses on your mental and emotional preparation for becoming parents by asking you questions and facilitating discussions that are important to parenthood.
Led by an experienced Midwife with a background in Occupational Therapy and a Masters in Women’s Health, the course allows continuity of support from pregnancy to postpartum where you can build friendships and share experiences in a small group setting. The workshop series is not a replacement for your hospital antenatal classes, it is designed to complement them and build on them.
Week 1: Parenting and Expectations
In this session we talk about your expectations of parenthood. Are they different to your partners? How was your own childhood? What are the traditions and rules that are important to you? We will also touch on important topics in pregnancy such as sleep, food, mood, selfcare, body changes exercise and medication. We finish off with some practical lessons on nappy changing and building a mindfulness practice.
Week 2: Preparing Yourself and Your Home
What do you really need at home to care for baby? We cover everything from cots and bassinets to pram and car seats, baby bags, clothes and more! We breakdown all the must-have, good-to-have and don’t bothers! You may have heard that it takes a village to raise a child, well in this session we work on building your very important support network. You’ll also learn some practical skills in swaddling, nursery rhymes and some more mindfulness.
Week 3: Becoming a Parent
Let’s talk about routines and habits and how they might change! This week we touch on how babies work and what they need, what your partner can do to support you and introduce you to some handy tools and resources.
Week 4: Navigating Big Changes and Hot Moments
Communication will be vital after the baby is born, that’s why week 4 is dedicated to discussing your communication styles and love languages.
Week 5: Practical Parenting
Some basic moves for your parenting playbook are discussed and practiced this week. Learn some practical skills including bathing your baby and we talk about the activities of daily living with a baby and all the different ways it can look for each family.
Week 6: New Parent, New You
Congratulations you are a newly minted parent! This week we discuss birth stories and how you are coping so far, reminding you of all the coping skills you’ve learnt over the past few months.
Week 7: Looking After Yourself and Your Relationship
Who are your support networks and are you communicating your needs? This week we talk about honest communication and self care, as well as some practical tips about your baby bag.
Week 8: Roles / Identity / Success
What does your identity look like now? How are you feeling about this? Do you have new or different roles now? What about your parenting styles? We discuss some tough questions and feelings that are sometimes a difficult part of the mental transition to parenthood. We also share some gentle techniques for settling your baby.
Week 9: Parenting Skills
Sleep, feeding, settling, routines, helpful/unhelpful advice and much more this week! Our final session will set you up for what to expect in the coming months with your baby and we revise all the important things we’ve learned together. Often this isn’t the end though, because we have more parenting and health workshops on offer!
Preparing for Parenthood was carefully designed by Belinda McLean Phd (Occupational Therapy), Belinda Coumo Phd student (Occupational Therapy) and Midwife Emma Atkinson with the purpose of creating a unique course that properly prepared parents, not just for childbirth, but for parenthood.
This course will make you uncomfortable at times. It will ask questions of you and your partner that will spark discussion and maybe even disagreements about the way you were parented and how you’d like to parent. It will take you on a journey to prepare you mentally, emotionally and practically, not just for a new baby but also for the transformation of becoming a parent.
A huge focus of this course is building your village and providing you with the skills and supporting your confidence to ask for support and meet other new parents. Throughout the course you will also meet a group of parents who, like you, will be expecting a baby and sharing this journey with you.
Many parents say talking to other people in a similar situation and sharing experiences over the 9 sessions is one of the major benefits of this class and some lasting friendships have been formed.