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"I didn't know my baby was a REAL person," the young dad says.

My friend teaches a wonderful childbirth education classes but ask me to cover "The Newborn" one evening while she is out of town. Though this class has traditionally been used to teach how to diaper a baby or give a bath, I decide to take a different approach.

"Tonight we will discuss learning to read your baby's body language," I explain.

"You might say we're gonna learn to talk Baby Talk!" I say as I turn on The HUG Your baby DVD. "Let's learn about three newborn Zones (Resting, Ready, & Rebooting Zone) and a newborn’s SOSs (Signs of Over-Stimulation)."

Together we watch as a baby sends out a Body SOS with changes in his color, movement, and breathing. One Dad-to-be is especially excited about those Behavioral SOSs: Spacing Out, Switching Off, and Shutting Down.

“I never knew babies were REAL PEOPLE!” he exclaims at the end of the DVD.

I am curious to see if this view of the infant as a REAL person, ready and able to communicate, might spark questions about how birthing choices effect that baby. I review information on natural oxytocin and adrenaline and its influences on the newborn's ability to be alert at birth. We then consider the impact of birthing interventions on the newborn. I suddenly see a sparkle in the eyes of one pregnant woman. "I can't wait to get to know my baby! I want to do all I can to help her come into this world ready to communicate with me!"

This evening I experience the magic of childbirth education. Tonight several young couples understand that one's choices about giving birth are in fact a choice about parenting. Including information of reading a baby's body language in childbirth education class helps these parents take a big step toward being the good moms and dads they want to be!

© HUG Your Baby 2016