prenatal classes,

Heather Trulen, RN, a certified childbirth educator at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, walks through the procedure to use a bulb syringe at the hospital on Tuesday in Owensboro.

Owensboro Health offers a variety of parenting classes to help new and existing parents alike navigate the process of childbirth and other aspects of parenting with more ease.

Although the classes are currently virtual due to the pandemic, OH educator Heather Trulen said they are just as informative and provide greater access to those who might live further away or expecting mothers who are on bed rest.

“It took a little bit of innovation on the part of some of our educators to switch to virtual, but it has been very beneficial,” she said. “It’s also nice for those who maybe just enjoy the comfort of their own home.”

The classes include childbirth, first trimester, breastfeeding, baby care and safety, a refresher course for existing parents who might be expecting another child, a c-section class, and even a course for children welcoming a new sibling into their lives.

Classes cover what to expect during labor, birth and beyond, as well as coping with labor pains and potential complications.

“There’ a lot of information that new parents can find online,” Trulen said. “It can be kind of hard to sort through all of that information and know what’s trustworthy or not. In our classes, parents will learn up-to-date information about childbirth and newborn care so they can each make the better choice for them and their family.”

Class sizes are typically kept small, Trulen said, with about five couples per class, with the exception of some of the more popular classes, which can handle about 10 couples.

Although the classes are virtual for the time being, Trulen said they are interactive and in real-time so that expecting parents can ask questions and connect with one another.

Trulen said classes are not just for first-time mothers.

“We’ll have second or third-time moms that just want a refresh or they didn’t take classes the first time around, so they felt like they were just missing some of that information,” she said. “Everybody can benefit from attending these classes because the unknown can be kind of scary, so knowing what to expect can help alleviate some of those fears and anxieties.”

Anyone interested in classes can register at OwensboroHealth.org/Pregnancy or by calling 270-417-5303.

Christie Netherton, cnetherton@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7360

Christie Netherton, cnetherton@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7360

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