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Classes and Support Groups

Saint Francis and the Grand Island community offer a variety of educational classes to enhance your pregnancy, create a positive birth experience and help you learn to care for your newborn as he or she grows.  For your convenience, we’ve listed classes in a timeline.

Prenatal Yoga
Learn yoga postures and breathing techniques which will help you through a healthy, relaxing pregnancy and birthing experience. Classes are offered every Monday evening. For more information and to register, please call (308) 398-5888 or (308) 227-9911. Each class is $5.

Doula Services of Grand Island
A doula is a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support before, during and after the birth of a baby.  For additional information, contact Stacy Gonifas at (308) 381-0330 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Fee charged.

 

By your Sixth Month (18 to 24 weeks)


Prepared Childbirth Four-Week Class Series
This traditional childbirth class series is taught privately by childbirth educators, but the classes are at the Saint Francis Medical Center. Please call Sylvia at (308) 485-4627 during your sixth month for registration information. The instructors will notify you of dates and location. A fee is charged.

Hypnobirthing
Hypnobirthing classes focus on using relaxation techniques and self-hypnosis to prepare you for a peaceful, calm delivery. Please call Lana at (308) 384-5793 for more information on the hypnobirthing five-week course, ideally before your sixth month (24th week). Plan early as this class is only offered 3-4 times per year.  For more information on hypnobirthing go to hypnobirthing.com or believeinbirth.org.

 

In Your Sixth, Seventh or Eighth Month (24-32 weeks)


Family Birthing Center Tours
Tours of the Family Birthing Center are offered:

  • Second Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m.
  • Second Saturday each month at 11:30 a.m.
  • Fourth Wednesday each month at 12:30 p.m.

No registration is needed. In the case of bad weather, please call (308) 398-5888 to see if tours are still scheduled. Tours meet in the lobby of the main entrance to the hospital.

Preparing for Breastfeeding Class
This class is for any woman considering breastfeeding her baby. Discussions cover why you should consider breastfeeding, physical and emotional preparation, needs of the newborn, mother and family, working while breastfeeding, support and resources, pacifiers, and breast pumps. Fathers or other support people are welcome to attend.

Classes are the second Monday of each month from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Saint Francis Medical Center. There is a $15 fee to cover the cost of materials. For more information on actual dates, class location or to register, please call (308) 398-5888.

Boot Camp for New Dads
This is a free one-time class for expectant or new dads. Join rookie and veteran dads to discuss topics like infant development, swaddling, sleep, bathing, diapering, child illness and more.

The class is held on the third Saturday of each month from 9 a.m.-noon in Conference Room 5 at Saint Francis Medical Center. Space is limited. Call (308) 381-0568 for more information or to register.

This class is taught by real fathers, in cooperation with Saint Francis Medical Center and Nebraska Children's Home Society.

BabyCare Basics
Learn the basics of caring for your newborn baby. Expectant parents should register to take this class whenever they feel it is convenient before the birth of the baby. Classes are held the fourth Monday of each month, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Saint Francis Medical Center. There is a $15 fee to cover the cost of materials for each couple. For more information on actual dates, class location or to register, please call (308) 398-5888.

Infant CPR will be taught from 8:30-9 p.m. right after BabyCare Basics class (no additional charge).

'Sharing Love' Sibling Education Class
This one-time class is intended for children 3-10 years of age who are expecting a new baby in their family. It includes a short video, a tour of the Birthing Center, viewing a new baby, discussions about mother’s hospitalization and refreshments. Parents need to accompany their children to this class to help promote bonding and acceptance. The class is offered on the second Saturday of each month at 10 a.m. There is a $10 fee per family. For more information on actual dates, class location or to register, please call (308) 398-5888.

Car seat Check-Up Appointments with Child Safety
It’s very important to learn to install your car seat properly before your baby is born. Please call (308) 398-6584 in your sixth month of pregnancy to set up an appointment to get your car seat checked. You will be expected to know how to use and install your own car seat properly once your baby is born.

Cord Blood Donation
If you are interested in donating your baby’s cord blood, we can accommodate this gift.

Call Duke University at (919) 668-2071 or check their website at http://cancer.duke.edu/ccbb. You must register before your 34th week of pregnancy. There is no cost to you and your donation will be listed on the National Marrow Donor Registry.  If not used for donation it will be used for stem cell research.

 

After the Baby Arrives


Lactation Consultant
To support breastfeeding mothers, Saint Francis Medical Center, has a registered nurse who is a certified Lactation Consultant. Our lactation consultant can help mothers start breastfeeding during their hospital stay and can offer support after mom and baby go home. She is available for outpatient or telephone consultations by calling 308-398-6595, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on weekdays with the exception of Wednesday. Please leave a message on her voicemail if she doesn’t answer.

'Eat at Mom’s' Weekly Breastfeeding Support Group
Having problems with breastfeeding, or just want to get out of the house and meet other new mothers? Come to the support group called “Eat at Mom’s” between 10 a.m.-noon every Tuesday.  A Lacation Consultant is available to help with any questions or problems you may be experiencing. The group meets in the club room at HyVee. For more information, please call (308) 398-5888. There is no fee for this group.

Infant Massage Class
Learn about the benefits massage can have for your newborn. Infant massage classes are for parents or any family member of newborns, ideally between 2-6 weeks of age. Daycare providers or healthcare providers are also welcome. The class size is limited and there is a limit of two adults per baby. The class is taught in one session on the third Saturday of the month. A fee is $30 is charges and will be collected at the class. Please bring a pillow, baby blanket and your baby. Massage oil will be provided. For more information or to register, contact Kathy Ripp or Celeste Robertson at R&R Therapuetic Massage Clinic at (308) 389-9177.

 

Other Resources Available


Pregnancy Counseling
If you feel you would like help with difficult decisions of an unintended pregnancy, there are caseworkers and counselors available to help you sort through your options and make a choice that is best for your baby and you. Call Nebraska Children’s Home at (308) 381-0568.

WIC Services through the Central Nebraska Health District
Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is a supplement food and nutrition education program for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or up to 6 month post-partum, infants, and children up to age of five. It is a short-term intervention program designed to encourage positive nutrition and health behaviors in a targeted, high-risk population.

WIC services offer peer counselors as well as breastfeeding support. Call (308) 385-5188 for more information.