(Closed) birth classes – worth it?

posted 8 years ago in Babies
Post # 3
Member
536 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2007

We’re struggling with this too- whether to take a shorter (but still multi-week) hospital course that covers the basics of childbirth, early childcare, and infant CPR, or to take something like a 12-week Bradley course that really seems to just focus on strategies for an unmedicated birth.

We’ve heard mixed things- a couple friends loved their 12 week Bradley/Lamaze/hypnobirthing classes, but the majority seem to have indicated that it wasn’t really worth it. I’m definitely interested in hearing about the experiences of the people on this board…

If we end up just doing the hospital course, I think we will try to make an extra effort to read up on some of the pain-management techniques (for example, I just checked out Dr. Bradley’s book on a husband-coached birth from the library) so while I know it’s not the same, I’m hoping we could get some exposure to these ideas through reading materials.

Post # 4
Member
6351 posts
Bee Keeper

I would check to see if your health insurance will cover it. Mine did. Includedin my birthing class was also a breastfeeding class so if that is something you are interested in I would check to see if you could just take that class. The tour of the hospital is very important so I am glad you are getting to do that.

Post # 5
Member
1645 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I posted about this a little while back because we are in the same boat. (vaginal, non-medicated birth, due around march 19. We decided to skip the classes. Even the hospital classes have a fee $80-300 per class. The Bradley classes, which I’m interested in, are expensive and wouldn’t fit into DH’s schedule with coaching.

I didn’t feel that paying for classes was worth it because I kept hearing over and over that they weren’t very useful, all info went out the window when it was time for the labor/delivery, or what they had learned just wasn’t helpful to that person during labor. I have done a lot of reading on all sorts of topics, have watched videos of breastfeeding to see how it’s done and be familiar with the process and some common difficulties, and we did a hospital tour. I’ve been reading up on relaxation techniques and practicing them. I’ve also been working on mindfullness and meditation. We have a plan to labor at home as long as possible to avoid induction and the temptation to use medication. Our hospital gives out a big binder with tons of information on different procedures, protocols, policies, caring for an infant, etc… So Darling Husband and I are reviewing that as well. And we have help from my step mom, who is a nurse and 3x mom, after the birth, so I’m confident we can figure things out as we go.

 

 

Post # 6
Member
103 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I took the all-day class and a breastfeeding class and honestly the only one of those that did me any good was the BFing class.  If you plan on going that route I do suggest taking one of those.  Other than that, you’re body will know what to do and you won’t remember (or care) about anything you learned in the class. At least thats how my personal expierience was.

Post # 7
Member
567 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010 - MacLean Park

Does the local hospital offer free classes? Mine does, but I think it may be only if you’re delivering there (which I am). Are you doing a natural birth in the hospital, just with a doula? I’ve heard of that as an option, in case something happens that needs emergency care. If not, I’d definitely check with your insurance, since many cover classes like these. BlueCross BlueShield offers a ton of extras a lot of people don’t know about, like covered massage sessions if you attend health seminars and such.

Post # 8
Member
2030 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Yes yes yes, do it! We LOVED our 9-week Bradley class and learned so much from it. We have said probably 20 times to each other that we are so glad we took that class. If you are in Chicago, I highly recommend Juli Walter’s class. She’s fantastic: extremely knowledgable with a great personality. The classes flew by and we enjoyed them very much.

Post # 9
Member
1986 posts
Buzzing bee

@chicagowife:I’d say no, but it depends on how you learn! I preferred books, I had Ina Mays Birthing book, and The Birth Partners book to labor (or something like that), reading those were really helpful to me as well as to my Fiance. My second was an un-medicated labor, it was amazing! I never took a birthing class ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 10
Member
1813 posts
Buzzing bee

We also used the same 2 books as Belle2be (though didn’t finish them before I went into labor), but I think the doula was the key.  I had an unmedicated birth, and I just did the “normal”/short lamaze class.  My husband was calm, but I still don’t think I could’ve made it unmedicated without my doula..she rocks!  I do kind of regret not trying the bradley class, but I think the doula is more helpful in the moment if you can only afford one.  I did try to use Lamaze techniques, but the main time you use that is during crowning, and then you just need to know to do those short breaths (one of the few things that is like a movie birth).  ๐Ÿ˜‰  good luck!

Edit:  to those considering a doula, there are some very interesting stats on births with doulas and those without…of course I’m sure they are skewed, but they seem quite significant!

Post # 11
Member
1986 posts
Buzzing bee

We had a doula as well, but she only made it to the last part of the labor ๐Ÿ™‚ But she was worth it!

Post # 12
Member
5153 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

I am taking the birthing classes that our hospital offers. They are every Monday night 6:30-9:00P.M for 5 weeks. My husband and I have been to two classes so far (third class is tonight) and so far I think it is very worth our money! However, we are not using a doula, so that may be a differnt story for you. Good luck ๐Ÿ™‚ And I agree, would insurance cover it?

Post # 14
Member
1645 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

@chicagowife: That sounds like a great plan! It’s wonderful to have the option of private classes.

Post # 15
Member
68 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

try googling “online birthing class” I know a friend of mine did hers online with a free video program, which was made by a certified Lamaze teacher.  Another found some great online books about pain management and natural birth that helped her.

I think the online option may be the best route, because you and Darling Husband could do them on your own schedule and not have to worry about  missing one. And if you get halfway through it and decide it’s not for you, you haven’t lost any money!

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