What is Prenatal Counseling?
While pregnancy and birth can be unpredictable in many ways, there is definite benefit from knowing your options surrounding pregnancy and birth. Some of the most important decisions may come at you right from the start--where to birth (hospital or home) and who your birth team will consist of (choice of provider, etc.) For those desiring a natural birth in the hospital, pregnancy is a time for developing a strategy to help you achieve these goals. Every decision you make will have consequences--which could bring you closer to your path--or it could leave you drifting further away from your goals--without your even realizing it.
If you are a first time parent, it may be difficult to envision which effect each of these decisions may have. Assistance in these things lead many couples to hiring a doula to help with this information. However, some couples may wish to have information on local providers, hospitals and practices, and receive assistance in planning their birth without having a doula present at their birth. This is where prenatal counseling offers advantages to expecting couples; in prenatal counseling, the information and suggestions are made relevant to YOUR situation and goals. Prenatal counseling sessions are led by YOU and the topics you want to discuss.
Prenatal Counseling classes are designed for expectant couples to take in their first or second trimester.
The emphasis in these classes is care and decision making during pregnancy. For birth specific classes, see childbirth classes.
Prenatal Counseling topics CAN include information on:
- Choosing an area provider that will be a good match for you
- Where to birth (home vs. hospital)
- Choosing a local hospital that will fit your goals
- Routines/policies differences at each of the local hospitals
- Knowing your birth options in a hospital birth
- Nutrition counseling
- Preparing a birth plan
- Communicating with your provider
- Information on screenings and testing during pregnancy
- Recommendations of books and videos
- Anything else specifically that you want to discuss!