Birth, and Beyond
by David Stell
(Article originally appeared in
the Fall 2009 issue of Through Her Eyes,
published by The
Port Perry Star. Reprinted with permission.)
As a natural and logical
choice, a great many parents-to-be
have turned to Lamaze classes to prepare for that special day when
is born. In north Durham an expert many have turned to and trusted for
training is Alba Aguanno.
Registered Nurse brings more than 17 years experience to her training
been teaching prenatal classes since 1993. Ms. Aguanno currently offers
prenatal classes at Lakeridge Health Port Perry hospital. Here she
train classes while regularly working to develop her skills in prenatal
education through advanced nursing education activities.
think for new parents the choice to participate in Lamaze training is a
one, but there are some preconceived notions of this method of
Ms. Aguanno must dispel for those who are unsure of the benefits before
“Perhaps the biggest misperception is
that Lamaze classes are all about breathing techniques,” she explains.
first day of my two-day course, we focus on labour and delivery, we
signs of labour, drug-free coping techniques, pain management using
caesarean birth, inducing labour, etc.”
This all-encompassing approach to
preparing for childbirth also looks beyond the big day when the baby
“On the second day, we focus on the
transition to parenthood, breastfeeding and what to expect the first
or months at home with the baby,” she explains. “We also discuss and
practical session on holding, handling, settling, diapering and bathing
And this information is what makes the
classes so meaningful for the participants. Ms. Aguanno uses her time
classes to offer relevant parenting tools to participants, to set them
success long after their visit to the hospital.
“I would like to make sure that people
have the correct focus,” she says. “Labour lasts just a single day,
parenthood lasts a lifetime. It is very important that parents feel
for labour and delivery, having all the necessary information to make
“However, I feel it is equally, if not
more important, to feel prepared for parenting,” she adds. “I spend
half of the
course providing information on breastfeeding, safety, and the basic
care of an
infant, which allows parents to make informed choices when they take
brings Ms. Aguanno many rewards and she takes pride in knowing Lamaze
make a difference in the lives of the people she instructs.
I truly enjoy
it when couples say
that they feel better prepared for both labour and delivery and
parenting as a
result of my classes,” she admits. “These parents-to-be are out seeking
information and I enjoy sharing my knowledge and experience with them.
also very satisfying to later get pictures of their new babies or
describing their birthing experiences.”
Lamaze is an affiliate of Durham Lamaze Associates. According to their
they teach prenatal classes in Port Perry to assist clients from across
and throughout north Durham. Ms. Aguanno is their principal instructor
also draw from a broad pool of qualified instructors in the Durham
Classes are offered in different formats due to the fact people are
the Port Perry Lamaze organization recognizes. The model of the
six- to eight-week series of prenatal classes is still offered
to meet the needs of local parents they offer a unique service here
with a two-day
prenatal series offered on weekends.
considering at what point
during pregnancy to take prenatal classes they recommend at least one
prior to your due date. They explain that you don’t want to schedule
classes too early in order to keep the material fresh in memory for
birthing day. Yet don’t take chances. To ensure the timing is right,
good idea to register for your class well in advance.
Expect an intimate experience with
small class sizes to provide more one-on-one opportunities to parents
everything and ask everything they need. And look forward to hearing
who have benefited from the classes in thepast.
“I often have couples who have taken
the course return with their new baby as guest speakers to talk to the
class of parents-to-be about their experiences in parenting,” Ms.
“Most couples find it helpful to learn about the realities of parenting
Aguanno has been granted the
Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator designation by Lamaze
has taught for the Durham Region Health Department and is currently a
educator for Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto.
more information on Port Perry
Lamaze and classes, visit portperrylamaze.com.