Taking a Childbirth Class is the Best Thing You Can Doby Elizabeth MacDonald
Childbirth classes should be a pregnancy requirement. It doesn’t matter if you are dead set on getting an epidural or a c-section; good childbirth classes include so much more than natural labor preparation.
Let’s get a few things out of the way first:
- Some labors occur too fast to receive an epidural.
- Epidurals are not 100% guaranteed to work.
- Epidurals can fade and leave you in more pain.
- Epidurals have possible lifelong side effects.
- A c-section is major abdominal surgery, and is not an easy way out of giving birth.
- A c-section still has a postpartum healing period.
Education is the only way for you to walk away from your labor knowing that you received the highest level of care.
You can read the most common birthing books and hire a doula, but it generally will not be enough to prepare for your birth.
Most first time moms realize that their births were not exactly what they wanted, but they take on the ‘everyone is ok, so the birth was ok’ mentality. But, oh mamas, you all deserve so much more than this. Invest the time. Invest in yourself and your partner. Invest in the education, for it is that education that will lay the foundation to transition you into a more confident parent.
What Are Your Options?
Not all childbirth classes are created equal, and sometimes you will get what you pay for, so keep that in mind. However, there is a class out there for every pregnant personality. You can find 12 week series, 6 week series, and longer or shorter to fit your needs, but know that education takes more than a weekend.
Before choosing your class, call and speak to the instructor, read reviews, and ask questions. You want to know their positive birth statistics, what is covered in class, and everything you should expect from the class. A certified instructor should be teaching; however, many of the greatest childbirth educators choose to form their own curriculum based on several well-known methods they have taught in years previous. In these cases, speaking to previous clients is a must before registering and paying.
A method that involves the partner as the mother’s coach. Preparing for labor by learning relaxation techniques is the tip of the iceberg in this 12-week series. Every aspect of pregnancy, nutrition, labor, and postpartum care is covered. It provides an in-depth foundation that strengthens the bond between the parents as well as educates them to understand exactly what is happening during the birth. While most couples leave wanting an unmedicated birth (and getting one), the information taught is invaluable to every pregnant couple - as it covers c-sections, epidurals, and all other interventions.
Using self-hypnosis, this technique helps women in achieving a natural, unmedicated birth. It is a method that includes only the mother, but one that can be supported by a partner and doula if desired. Traditionally, the mother will want to keep headphones in her ears to listen to her mantras, music, or hypnosis cues. Hypnobirthing requires dedication from mothers, and it involves longer class lengths as well as homework assignments that must be completed several times per week in order to accomplish the self-hypnosis technique. However, many women who dedicate the time do achieve the birth they desire.
Birthing From Within
All facets of childbirth are covered in this method: c-sections, epidurals, and postpartum care; however, natural labor is the focus. The technique is designed to help mothers discover how labor works and how to keep calm during the process while handling any unexpected surprises.
There is more to lamaze than just breathing. This technique focuses on building the mother's confidence and involves learning about the birth process, relaxation techniques, and breathing exercises designed to help moms through contractions. A course should include breastfeeding and postpartum information, too.
The Alexander Technique is a movement-based birthing class that teaches mothers how to use correct posture, improve mobility, and maintain alertness during labor to eliminate stress and improve relaxation efforts. This class is given over the course of several weeks and uses birthing balls, yoga mats, and other exercise aids to help prepare the mother's body in a physical way for labor.
Yes, you can now find childbirth classes online! This comes in handy if the method you are drawn to is not offered in person nearby. You have the option to utilize a video app to attend classes offered anywhere.