Group Class for Expecting Mothers


Preparing for the Birth of Your Baby

Every pregnancy is different for every woman. Our health care providers and specialists are here to help you during your pregnancy and will create a plan tailored to your needs. Your plan may include routine ultrasounds or specialized care from our maternal-fetal medicine team.

Pregnancy is a special a special time, and it is also a time where many changes will take place as you prepare for the birth of your baby. To help you prepare for pregnancy and parenting, Covenant Healthcare offers a variety of in-person classes and eClasses throughout the year. Our goal is to provide and empower you with education and resources, so you feel more confident making choices during labor, postpartum, and caring for your infant.

To learn more about classes offered at Covenant Healthcare visit the Childbirth Education page.

Entering Pregnancy

One of the best things you can do for you and your baby, starting before birth, is to eat healthy nutritious foods. What you eat must supply enough protein, vitamins, minerals and calories for you and your developing baby. Even though you are “eating for two”, that does not mean double the food (one of you is still very small!).

Twins, Triplets, and Multiple Births

If you are expecting more than one baby, you should discuss diet and exercise with your health care provider. Your nutrient and calorie needs are higher than those of women carrying one baby. You should also visit your doctor more often than women who are expecting one baby as you will need to be monitored more closely.

Prenatal Vitamins

Your OB provider may ask you to take extra vitamins or minerals. Prenatal vitamins do not replace healthy eating. You should take the vitamins that your OB provider gives you in addition to eating a well-balanced diet.

Folic Acid

Getting enough folic acid is also important to your baby’s health. Folic acid helps the baby’s brain and spinal cord develop properly. Without enough, the baby could have serious birth defects called neural tube defects. Research shows that, if all women in the United States took enough folic acid every day throughout their childbearing years, up to 70 percent of these birth defects could be prevented.

Watching Your Weight During Pregnancy?

The amount of weight you gain during your pregnancy depends on your weight before you became pregnant. Studies have shown that excessive weight gain during pregnancy increases the risks of complications for the mother including high blood pressure, diabetes, and labor and delivery complications.

Excessive weight gain in pregnancy can affect the baby by increasing the risk of birth defects, premature birth, newborn complications, and death. The risk of Cesarean birth is also higher if you have a BMI > 30. Talk to your doctor about your diet and having a healthy pregnancy.

For more information on recommended weight gain and diet during pregnancy visit:

Keeping Fit

Keeping yourself physically fit is always important, especially during pregnancy. Moderate physical activity during pregnancy is now considered not only safe, but extremely beneficial for most expectant mothers and their babies.

Benefits of exercise during pregnancy can decrease gestational diabetes mellitus, cesarean births, operative vaginal deliveries (such as forceps, vacuum device, or other instruments to assist with the delivery of baby), and postpartum recovery. Exercise can strengthen the muscles you use in labor and delivery. It can improve your posture and relieve discomforts associated with pregnancy including back pain, constipation, and leg cramps. Prenatal exercise can also help prepare you for labor by increasing endurance and building stamina.

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists suggest that pregnant women need 30 minutes or more of exercise on most days of the week. Be sure to check with your OB provider first to make sure that exercise is safe for your particular pregnancy.

Vaccines During Pregnancy

FLU Vaccine - The flu is most common from August to March. The flu shot is made from an inactivated (killed)virus, so it’s safe for both you and your baby. Avoid the nasal spray vaccine, which is made from a live virus. Getting a flu shot can help protect pregnant women from getting the flu. Studies also have shown that getting a flu shot while you are pregnant can lessen your baby’s risk of getting the flu for up to six months after birth.

Tdap-Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis (Whooping Cough) - Whooping cough (pertussis) is deadly for babies. It is necessary for pregnant women 27-36 weeks gestation to receive the Tdap vaccine with each pregnancy to pass protection to their infant against whooping cough since babies do not start receiving the DTaP vaccine until two months of age.

It is also necessary to provide “a circle of protection” around your baby by asking anyone who will be coming in contact with your baby to be immunized against whooping cough. Everyone needs a whooping cough vaccine including parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, childcare providers, etc. You can get a Tdap vaccine at a doctor’s office, local health department or pharmacy.

For more information on vaccines visit

Special Testing

Your OB provider may order special tests for you that help keep a closer eye on the well-being of your baby. Your OB provider may order special tests for you that help keep a closer eye on the well-being of your baby. The two tests most done during pregnancy are the Non-Stress Test (NST) and Biophysical Panel (BPP).

What Is the Purpose of these Tests?

  • If you are overdue.
  • If the baby isn’t growing as much as it should.
  • If you have high blood pressure.
  • If you are diabetic.
  • If you are not feeling the baby move as much as you should.
  • If you have a history of any problems with previous pregnancies.
  • If you have a BMI >30.
  • If you had late prenatal care.

What Happens During the Tests?

During your test we will use a fetal monitor to listen to the baby’s heartbeat. Two belts will be placed around your abdomen as shown. One monitors the baby’s heart rate and the second monitors any contractions you have.

What is a Non-Stress Test (NST)?

A NST is a pregnancy screening that measures fetal heart rate and reaction to movement. During this test, you will be asked to press a button that is attached to the monitor every time you feel the baby moves. Your baby’s movement and heart will be monitored using the belts that are placed around your abdomen. This is to assess that baby is getting good blood supply from the placenta. When the baby moves and their heart rate increases, this is how the provider knows that the blood supply to the baby is good and baby is well oxygenated.

What is a Biophysical Profile Test (BPP)?

A biophysical profile is a painless procedure that checks the health and well-being of your baby before birth. It may be done in the last couple of months of pregnancy. This test combines a non-stress test with an ultrasound.

How Is the Biophysical Profile Done?

There are five parts to the biophysical profile. One part of the profile includes a non-stress test that measures your baby’s heart rate in response to his/her movements (see information for non-stress test). You will also have an ultrasound that uses sound waves to create a picture of your baby. During the ultrasound, the OB Provider will look at the other four parts of the test, which include your baby’s:

  • Breathing (baby’s ability to move lung muscles or hiccup)
  • Movement
  • Muscle tone (flexing of arms and legs)
  • Amount of amniotic fluid surrounding him/her

How Long Will the Test Take?

The tests are relatively quick and easy to complete. Generally, the tests themselves will only take 30-60 minutes.


Because these tests are a very helpful tool for your OB provider, he/she may order them to be done on a weekly basis. This will help ensure the OB provider may order the test to be repeated sooner. The OB provider may also order additional tests for you and your baby that will help him/her determine how the baby is developing.

For more information on routine and special tests during pregnancy visit:

Group B Beta-Strep (GBBS)

Group B Beta-Strep (GBBS) is one of many bacteria that lives in the body. It is a type of bacteria most often found in the vagina and rectum in women. It can cause infection during pregnancy and in the newborn. It is not passed during sex and it is not the Group A Strep which causes throat infections.

During pregnancy, you will be checked for GBBS. A culture is taken from the vagina and rectum usually between 35-37 weeks of pregnancy. If for some reason you did not have a culture done or the results are not on hand, then you are treated if you have a known risk. If you have one of these risks, you will be given antibiotics when you are in labor:

  • Your labor begins before 37 weeks of pregnancy.

  • Your bag of water breaks before 37 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Your bag of water has been broken for more than 18 hours.
  • Fever during labor

For More information on Group B Beta Strep (GBBS) visit

Contact Us

If you have any questions or want more information, please call one of the following areas in the Birth Center:

Labor, Delivery & Recovery - 989.583.4496

Breastfeeding Warmline/Lactation Consultant - 989.583.4429 or toll-free 1.888.848.2229

Register for childbirth education classes - 989.583.4135 or 989.583.4503

Financial assistance for hospital bill - 989.583.6024

Customer Service/Patient Advocate - 989.583.4311

OB Managers - 989.583.7201

email: childbirtheducation@chs-mi