ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital offers a variety of classes for expectant parents.  The classes include preparation for childbirth, breastfeeding basics and baby basics. 

The classes are open to anyone who is expecting a baby whether they plan to deliver at Sentara Martha Jefferson or not and the goal is to help educate on what to expect. 

“My hope with these classes is to empower parents and prepare them with the anticipation of what they can expect here at the hospital when they have a baby here with us,” said Laura Salvatierra, RN, BSN, CCE, with Sentara Martha Jefferson Maternity Education.  “We really encourage partners to join moms in their classes, it's just as important for them to be there in order to support her best.” 

Class participants who are new to the whole parenthood process say the information is definitely beneficial. 

“Running through exactly what I should expecting from checking in to checking out, how long labor could go, how labor can happen outside the home and not just in the hospital, was so helpful,” noted Gabriella Morris, a class participant.  “Definitely getting told steps A through Z was helpful.” 

The classes are held at varying times and also different options are offered to try to fit the needs of all schedules.  Most are free, or offered for a very nominal charge. 

“There’s really no reason to not take the classes.  They’re very helpful, and take them twice if you really need to,” noted Morris. 

For more information on this topic, or to register for a class, please visit www.sentara.com or call 1-800-SENTARA.   If you have a question about your health you’d like us to answer, email healthquestions@nbc29.com