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Sanford Hospital to offer more options for childbirth classes

WORTHINGTON -- Sanford Worthington Medical Center will be hosting more childbirth classes this year, including six classes in English and three classes in Spanish.

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Sanford Worthington Medical Center Dr. Sohrab Irani (left) and registered nurse Erica Hansen stand Friday in the hospital's Women's Center. (Karl Evers-Hillstrom/Daily Globe)

WORTHINGTON - Sanford Worthington Medical Center will be hosting more childbirth classes this year, including six classes in English and three classes in Spanish.

Starting in February, the classes will cover pregnancy, labor, childbirth, pain relief, natural birth, postpartum period, baby care and all of the potential roadblocks that could come up for parents.

Erica Hansen, a registered nurse and mother who has taught the classes for more than three years, said they’re useful for first-time parents to know what to expect.

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“It’s nice to know what to look for, to know what’s normal versus what’s not,” Hansen said. “It’s a good way to answer questions so people feel more educated about their health care, and can make better choices and feel like they’re more in control. It is a nice thing for first-time parents, no matter what your education level is.”

The clinic increased the number of all-day Saturday classes and decreased the number of Tuesday classes, which run on three consecutive Tuesdays from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

“Most people work during the day, so coming in at 6:30 at night three times in a row can be kind of difficult for people,” Hansen said. “So the Saturday classes are nice for flexibility.”

Maria Flores, formerly a nurse who now works in home health, will teach the Spanish-language classes.  

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All the English classes are taught by nurses at the women’s center, most of whom have had children of their own.

“They're fun, we have fun most of the time; people laugh and enjoy themselves,” Hansen said. “We have great people working here who are easy to talk to.”

The classes usually draw anywhere from two to eight couples. Some people opt to bring friends, parents or siblings to the classes as well.

“It’s nice to see people come in that I’ve taught in the class,” Hansen said. “They’re always very excited and they’ll tell me, ‘Oh, I'm so glad I learned this in the class!’

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“I wish I would've taken them when I had my first baby,” Hansen added with a laugh. “I was pretty clueless, so there’s a lot of things where I was kind of in shock … like ‘wow, no one told me this!’”

Those interested can call the hospital at 372-3106 for a brochure or registration. Brochures are also available at Sanford Worthington Medical Center and Avera Medical Group Worthington.

The dates for English classes are:

Feb. 11: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; April 11, 28 and 25: 6:30 - 9 p.m.; June 24: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Aug. 1, 8 and 15: 6:30 to 9 p.m., Oct. 28: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Dec. 9: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The dates for Spanish-language classes are:

Feb. 9, 16 and 23: 6:30 to 9 p.m.; June 12, 22 and 29: 6:30 to 9 p.m.; Oct. 12, 19 and 26: 6:30 to 9 p.m.

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