SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Not knowing what to expect when you are a first-time parent can be stressful.
One ArkLaTex hospital is offering free classes to help calm fears.
CHRISTUS Health is able to offer these classes because of donations to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.
Thomas and Symphony Keys were parents who took advantage of the free classes when they were pregnant with their daughter, Aria. The couple signed up for several birth classes.
"We did the orientation and we did the breastfeeding, which was very good," Symphony Keys said. "I really enjoyed the breastfeeding class. All of them were beneficial."
Thomas Keys found the experience to be eye-opening.
"The classes helped us so much in knowing what to prepare for because my Dad says all the time 'Babies don't come out with manuals.' And everybody has their own advice about what to do."
One class in particular helped the family during those long nights in the first weeks at home with their new bundle of joy.
The breastfeeding class.
"At that point, it was painful. I wanted to give up," Symphony Keys said.
The couple reached out to Mackey Roberson, a registered lactation consultant and instructor for their breastfeeding class.
"She just motivated me to keep going. I kept going and I'm still going."
About 75 percent of mom's would quit early if they didn't have the support of these classes, Roberson said.
"Knowing what to expect realistically and the ongoing support can be a challenge."
For the Keys family, quitting was not an option because of the lessons they learned in class.
Classes offered through the Birth Place at CHRISTUS Highland are free and open to the entire community, regardless of where you deliver your child.