Post # 1
I want to hear about your birthing experiences and what class(es), if any, that you took!
We have the option of taking two different birthing classes.
Class #1 is 3 hours of reading, and a 3 hour in-person class.
“This childbirth class is a combination of 3 hours of guided home learning through provided reading and online materials, plus a single 3 hour in-class session at Isis to practice techniques and ask questions”
It sounds great, but I’m worried it will be all people who are planning on epidurals/medicated birth (which I would prefer not to have)
Class #2 is 12 hours over two days.
“This Natural Childbirth class covers all aspects of labor, birth and postpartum with current and relevant information for those hoping to limit or avoid an epidural or other medications, reduce the use of interventions, and lower the risk of unplanned c/section.”
But I’m a little worried it might get a little “hippie”. I’m not really a “visualize your baby’s face” type of person.
So which one should we take?
What kind did you take (if any), and did you like it? Was it helpful?
Post # 3
@BrandNewBride: No one I know has ever taken a childbirth class and they’ve been happy with that decision, however they never planned on a natural birth.
If you’re planning on a natural birth I think you really need to be prepared, as hippy style as that is or not! FWIW, my hospital offers 2 classes – a short one (9 hours) and a long one (15 hours). They highly recommend the long course if you’re going to attempt natural.
Post # 4
I did not take one because in my mind- we were designed to birth babies…I figured I was in tune with my body enough to figure it out. I was also 21 and thought I knew everything there ever was to know about anything… Had an emergency C-section as it was but I went through all of labor…and holy sheet…
Let’s just say- it’s been over a decade, but If I am ever blessed with another pregnancy, homegirl is taking a course on breathing through labor at the VERY least.
Good luck to you!
Post # 5
@MrsWBS: I’m definitely leaning towards the longer one!
I feel like I’m noticing a generational gap– people my parent’s age never took classes, gave birth naturally, and were fine! But people closer to my age have been saying you NEED to take a nice, long class to even have a chance at a natural birth.
And my doctor is totally unhelpful “Whichever one is your preference”
Post # 6
Currently in classes, we have four 3 hour classes. I’d say they are moderately involved, but definitely a HUGE help.
Post # 7
@BrandNewBride: I did not take a childbirth class and I honestly don’t know anyone that has. We’ve all done just fine without it
Post # 8
@Lala61111: Thank you!
I think that’s my worst-case scenario! “Oh! You made it through labor drug-free! But now you need a c-section, so all that pain was for nothing. Sorry!”
Post # 9
@Lyndzo: Thank you! I’m definitely leaning towards the 12-hour class, too. I’m glad it’s not over-the-top or anything!
@Ninteenthchance: That’s what one of the OBs at my practice says! That before 1990, none of his patients took them (or got epidurals), and everyone survived just fine!
Post # 10
Haven’t given birth yet so I can’t yet fully answer your question, but:
We took a class through our birth center that was about 10-12 hours total (2 hrs/class over several weeks). I had already done a ton of research and reading, so some of the sessions covered stuff we already knew – but I’m still very glad we did it.
Part of the class went over things I didn’t already know, especially to do with how to deal with post-partum stuff. Another nice thing about taking the class was that the instructor was very familiar with the local hospital and providers, and we discussed what to do/what to expect if things don’t go as planned and we end up having to transfer, etc. – how we can still work within the hospital environment to minimize interventions, etc. That was very helpful – you can do all the research you want and know the statistics and trends, etc., but eventually you have to give birth in a given place with given people and what ends up being really important is how they operate. It was good to have a class with somebody who knows that landscape and can tell you, “Dr. (Name) is by far the best person at the hospital for supporting this kind of birth, if you end up there; be aware that some of the nurses here really press you to (fill-in-the-blank) so you have to state firmly that you want X …”, that kind of thing.
Another advantage of taking the class was a chance to meet and get to know like-minded parents-to-be in our area.
I think that if your goal is to avoid or limit interventions, a more thorough class is really helpful. Even though you are likely to be better informed from the start, it will give you good insider information, especially if you are planning a low-intervention birth but will be in a hospital setting.
ETA: even though it was a birth-center based class (and thus many might assume it was way out on the “hippy style” end of the spectrum), it was actually very practical and focused on the biophysical processes of labor/birth and the social practices that go on around it, and on analyzing the evidence for what is necessary, important, useful, or not-so-much. We didn’t do any visualizing. I’m sure that varies depending on where you are and who your instructor is, but longer does not necessarily mean trippier.
Post # 11
@BrandNewBride: My DH really seems to enjoy it too. And we get to ask all our “stupid” questions without feeling so silly 🙂
Post # 12
@BrandNewBride: that was my thinking. I was 20 when I had my daughter and figured that if women ha been doing it for so long, then I totally could. I went into it thinking I’d do natural and ended up having a c section because of my big baby. I think me being extremely frugal played a big factor in my decision not to take classes though. That’s what the Internet is for! (In my mind) lol
Post # 13
@BrandNewBride: I think anything that will help you to NOT be afraid is going to help. When you’re scared of something, or get tense because you don’t know/understand what is happening to you or your body, you will feel more pain.
I took a short class, and it was aimed at all pregnant women- those planning a c-section, epi, or natural birth. I found it informative and it did help me better understand the stages of labor, what’s normal, and what’s not normal.
There will be cramping, there will be blood, there may be vomiting or shaking or negative thoughts (and it’s important to know that those may indicate transition).
I planned and achieved an intervention-free birth and I owe it in part to being well prepared and armed with knowledge and information. More importantly, I think having a supportive care provider (midwife, in my case), a confident partner, and loving doulas ended up contributing more to my success than the birth class.
Post # 14
@KCKnd2: Thank you SO MUCH for this! I hadn’t even thought of post-partum care! They’re affiliated with my delivery hospital, so I hope they have helpful information like yours did… That would be amazing to know, if there’s certain doctors that are more “natural friendly”!
@Lyndzo: He did? That’s really good to know–My DH is a little skeptical about sitting for 12 hours to learn about child birth! I’m hoping that seeing other super-supportive Dads will get him more “into” the experience. (His assumption is that he will stand up by my head and possibly hold my hand through L+D… I’m like “Honey, I’m going to need someone to walk with me in early labor and rub my back during contrctions. You can’t just stand there and watch, terrified!)
Post # 15
I haven’t taken a class yet, I am due April 3. But I want to take one. Given your choices I would opt for #2 personally. The goals of that one appeal to me more (I don’t want any medications that make me completely out of it and I really would like to avoid a csection!).
Post # 16
@DaneLady: Thank you! That’s a great point about not being scared… I’m a completely neurotic first time Mom! I think if I only take the 3 hour class, that I’m going to get to the hospital and freak out because “I could have done more!”