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The Importance Of Prenatal Education For Expectant Mothers

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Healthy pregnancy has always been a concern to everyone including the expectant mothers, their caregivers, family, and friends. The pregnancy period is an important because it is the time when all the activities involved will determine the baby who will be born. It is during this time when the expectant mother needs to be cautious with all the activities that has impact on the growing infant. It is therefore necessary for an expectant mother read more information that will enable proper healthcare of the infant. This education can be achieved through parental education. It is a very critical part of supporting a healthy pregnancy. PE focuses on stress management, healthy lifestyles, healthy diet support, harmful chemicals, recognition of warming signs and symptoms, and preparation for labor and delivery. By so doing, PE ensures the preparation of expectant mother into becoming responsible parents by providing all the necessary cautionary and advisory information. This paper presents a PE design with the topics that can be explored in a typical PE. Furthermore, the paper will provide a description of the activities and resources that I would use in order to come up with the most effective PE program.

Introduction to Baby Basics

When one is expectant, there are a number of things that they would need to be aware of for the greater good of their future newborns. This topic would deal with explaining the simple essentials that every expectant mother need. They include

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  1. Exercise
  2. Exercise is an essential part of in any pregnancy. As Ball & Bogaert (2018) put it, stabilization exercises play a vital role in reducing low pelvic and low back pain. Domenjoz & Boulvain (2014) also acknowledge that exercise during pregnancy reduces the risk of caesarean delivery. Exercise will make the mother fit and prevent some diseases that that comes as a result of lack of exercise. The expectant mother will be active and mare flexible. This is important during delivery. The muscles will be fit and this can reduce instances of complications that may arise during the delivery.

  3. Nutrition and Healthy Eating Habits
  4. Eating a balanced diet and adopting meaningful and healthy behaviors can be the savior here. Warren, Rance, & Hunter (2017) suggest that eating dairy products for proteins and calcium. Legumes are also good sources of proteins, fiber and iron needed by expectant mothers. Proteins are important because it plays a vital role in growth and development of the baby. Calcium will help the growing foetus in the formation of bones. Lack of calcium giving birth to a baby with weak bones. Fruits and vegetables are a vital source of vitamins needed for the protection of both the mother and their child against infections. During pregnancy, the pregnant mother will be vulnerable to several infections. It is at this time when vitamins are required in a large quantity. The pregnant mother is responsible for her health and the health of the infant. It is therefore advisable to take vitamins in large quantities that will be utilized by the development of the child and the pregnant mother. The mother also require iron because it is responsible for the formation of blood cells.

  5. Labor and Delivery
  6. This topic would focus on teaching when to go to hospital, the various stages of labor, false vs. active labor, and the various options for pain management. Other matters of concern in this topic would be general hospital policy (e.g. videotaping, number of permissible admissions in the room, and stay).

  7. Breastfeeding
  8. Breastfeeding is essential because the young baby is only dependent on the breast milk for survival. The milk is able to provide all nutrition requirement of the baby at birth. It is also easy to digest. On breastfeeding, the course would focus on the benefits of breastfeeding to the newborn. Attitudes and beliefs about breastfeeding would also be explored and elaborated. Besides that, the topic would offer more information on breastfeeding positions and the dietary requirements for the best milk production for the newborn.

  9. Postpartum Care
  10. Burping. Mothers ought to understand how to facilitate their babies to burp after every meal since it helps to get rid of the excess air taken in during feeding. Air, if left in the stomach, could make the baby satisfied sooner making them eat less than they can actually hold. Babies can be burped through three different positions; looking over one’s shoulder facing down, sitting upright, or facing down over one’s laps.

Diapering. Newborns tend to have a tender skin that is vulnerable to irritation. Packaged wipes should thus be kept a distant for some time as the baby grows, until it is around one month old. Cotton balls or washcloth soaked in warm water. A dry towel should be used for drying. Powders and lotions used to make the body dry should be avoided for some time as they can be irritative to the baby’s skin.

Cord Care. The umbilical cord should be kept clean and dry at all times. Exposure to air should be facilitated during the day. To facilitate drying, rubbing with some alcohol is recommended. Proper sanitation should be observed because the baby still has low immunity system. the materials used to rub it should be sterilized to avoid infection.

Skin. The baby’s skin often grows white pimple-like projections on the skin. Mothers are advised not to try and squeeze them but rather leave them to disappear on their own. Pimples should be cleaned regularly and patted dry. It is essential to apply body oil recommended for infants. This will protect the skin of the baby from irritation. Drying up of the baby skin can make it to have scratches making the baby vulnerable to infections.

Sleeping. Mothers should be keen to place their babies on their backs when sleepy as this helps them sleep faster without help. During night feeding, mothers should be sure to keep lights low and ensure the feeding is relatively quick. Making it so comfortable may end up encouraging the behavior.

Prenatal Education Activities

  1. Ice Breakers
  2. According to Martin (2017), ice breakers make class members more comfortable with each other. Martin (2017) continues to say ice breakers are that important as they help reduce tension in the environment especially when talking about sensitive matters.

  3. How to Know When Labor is Starting
  4. In this activity, Martin (2017) suggests writing a fact about labor. The fact can either be true or false. After that, pass cards to class members and let them tell if it’s true or falls. In this section, the topic should cover what is expected of the other partner during labor and how they can help the expectant mother. The topic would teach how to time contractions using a mobile phone app or a watch.

  5. Pain Management
  6. Pain management is a concern for every woman in the maternity ward, especially the one who have not had a child before. Pain is very dangerous. The mother should do anything possible to avoid it. The activity would deal about explaining the difference between pain tolerance and pain threshold. The activity would also involve showing of visual material of pain management such as pictures and videos. In the class set up, the pregnant woman and their husband can practice such activities as breathing, focusing on a certain object, and breathing as ways of pain management.

Resources

There is a huge range of resource available for the purpose of prenatal education. Collecting and comparing many of these resources can make one to come up with the best resources for teaching and learning. These materials will equip the parent with adequate knowledge that is important in taking care of the baby and for personal benefit too.

  1. Educational Resources
  2. Educational resources like books and other published resources can be obtained in various libraries around the world. Hard copies can be bought from vendors like Amazon.com Inc. while online copies can be accessed via the web.

  3. Web Content
  4. The internet contains huge caches of data. While there are some sites that are just amateur and useless blogs, there are those that are well arranged and very resourceful. Government institutions and parastatals often have their data stored online so that it can be accessed by the public.

  5. Videos
  6. Prenatal education videos are available online in large quantities. They can, therefore, be compared and the best chosen to supplement the available leaving materials. The best site for tutorial videos is YouTube.

  7. Pictures and Presentations
  8. Pictures depicting how people are dealing with pain, and slide showing how people are getting involved in the activities can be used for teaching. This would help bring a visual image of what is taught in class, making it easier to comprehend and understand.

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