We all know that parenting without classes is entirely possible and that many parents with absolutely no parenting skills end up the best parents around. But can you imagine starting any high-pressure job where you’ll be on call 24/7 and responsible for other human lives with absolutely zero skills? Just some ideas? Maybe a few times play acting it when you were a kid? You’d probably be stressed way out and likely that alone would set you up for failure. Luckily for parents in this day and age, we do have a few more options than our parents did. New research has proven that a bit of preparation will go a very long way in providing positive results.
New Research Proves Parenting Classes During Pregnancy Critical to New Parents
In a newly published study by Maternal and Child Health Journal results showed that even just a brief series of parenting classes greatly helped first-time parents. The ways in which these parents benefitted was:
- Smoother Life Transitioning
- Stress Reduction
- Mitigation of Common Post-Birth Depression and Anxiety
And that’s not all. In some cases the classes taken before or during pregnancy actually helped in delivering healthier babies. One of the key researchers, Professor Mark Feinberg at the Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development, created his own set of classes for the expecting parents called Family Foundations. In this program, almost 400 couples who were first-time expecting parents were given random assignments to either the courses – a total of 14 in all, both before and after birth — or to his control group, who simply had information mailed to their homes. The study reflected that those who took the classes reaped large rewards.
“We never thought that a class series meant to help the parents manage the stresses of parenthood would have an impact on birth outcomes as well. We found that the program buffered the negative influence of financial stress and depression on infant birth weight. We also found consistent evidence across all three risk indicators measured—financial stress, depression and anxiety—that duration of both mother and infant stay in the hospital was reduced for intervention couples compared to controls at higher levels of risk.” Feinberg said in comments published by Penn State.
He also went on to share how these benefits to every member of a family also lead to early savings in health care costs. He went on to share that this method proves the power of proactive education and parenting skills, as well as how helping young parents transition into the lifestyle of parenthood provides benefits well beyond just that family. More support and reduced levels of conflict between parents have been shown to benefit greatly the parents’ mental health as well as familial relationships and the child’s well-being from birth to their entry into school-aged education.