Thoughts on birthing prep class?

posted 3 years ago in Pregnancy
  • poll: If you took a birthing/labor class, was it worth your time and money when it came to your delivery?
    Yes - Take the birthing class even if you plan on a medicated birth : (34 votes)
    72 %
    No - It was somewhat helpful, but not really : (7 votes)
    15 %
    It was kinda worth it... but not sure if I would recommend a friend to do it. : (6 votes)
    13 %
  • Post # 16
    Member
    488 posts
    Helper bee

    kreeneth :  Ha ha, I haven’t had any kids yet but my plan for labour is the same as yours…  “try to survive”. 

    I wouldn’t do a class because I think I would be traumatised. 

    Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t see how breathing techniques and massages can help. They don’t help normal pain, so why would they help pain a million times worse? Otherwise surely everyone would just take a few breaths when they got a headache or period pain, and no otc painkillers would need to exist. Not being rude here, I am really wondering about this. 

    Post # 17
    Member
    505 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    pancakes11 :  There is an increasing evidence on the impact of the mind on the body; what were once thought of as two separate entities are now being better understood by scientists and biologists as highly integrated systems. Research is increasingly finding evidence to support the effective use of mental techniques (including mediation, visualization, affirmations, breathing methods, etc) on body performance, including pain management. 

    Have you ever talked with a high level athlete about what they do prior to a competition? Or a runner during a marathon to cope with the physical excruciation of a race? Both involve advanced levels of mental techniques and breathing techniques to work through pain, doubt, negativity, and performance plateaus. This is not unlike that.

    I would recommend everyone everyone read the book “Cure”  A Journey into the Science of the Mind over the Body” which was named one of the best science and technology books of 2015- there is a chapter on pregnancy and the role mental and breathing techniques play in birth outcomes. The science and research is fascinating and quite clear. 

    Post # 18
    Member
    3102 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    The breastfeeding is to help after. Getting a old latch early on can help as feeding starts to get established. Also the colostrum is the best milk you have and it’s important to get it to the baby asap.

    as for massage helping the pain, labour pains are different to normal pain – for a start they come in waves so it’s about coping for the contraction and using the breaks to prepare for the next one. Headaches etc are constant pain.

    also adrenaline and oxytocin have huge parts to play in labour. Too much adrenaline and you can halt labour. Massage promotes oxytocin which keeps things flowing. 

    Post # 19
    Member
    488 posts
    Helper bee

    indiblue :  I have read a little about that type of thing, and it is so interesting. It is incredible what people can do if they put their mind to it. And after all pain is all in the mind anyway – most painkillers work on the brain, not on the injured body part. 

    But on the other hand, you don’t hear about people getting through a wisdom tooth extraction with “breathing and partner support”. And people are offered a GA for things way less painful than labour – like colonoscopies, which can easily be done with the patient awake. 

    So I don’t know what to think. 

    Post # 20
    Member
    1610 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    I liked the class, and thought it was helpful just to get a better feel for the hospital and the process.  I think it was really good for my husband as well.  If I was a first time mom again, I would take that class all over.  That being said, mine wasn’t anywhere near $200, so I am not sure if I would pay that much for it. 

    Post # 21
    Member
    505 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    pancakes11 :  Sure, and I don’t think anyone would recommend undergoing surgery without pain medication either. There is still a tremendous role for pain medication in medicine and I don’t think any scientist who encourages the use of non-medicated forms of pain management would disagree with that. 

    There are times however when pain medication cannot be administered, or simply does not work (e.g. serious burn victims, victims of phantom limb syndrome, many former combat victims, etc). In these cases alternative forms of pain management may help augment the effectiveness of the pain medication, or serve as a substitute. A pro athlete cannot take narcotics before a race, but may be able to use visualization and breathing and positive affirmation therapy to break through physical pain s/he is experiencing during competition. Likewise, a woman in active labor who either does not want pain medication due to other reasons or cannot access it, or is simply in the earlier stage of labor, may be able to use alternative coping techniques during that time. 

    In addition, breathing specifically and mental techniques more generally have benefits that extend beyond pain management. Even with an epidural, breathing techniques and other forms of support (role of doulas, etc) have been demonstrated in scientific studies to reduce tearing, reduce the need for additional medical interventions (episiotomies, c-section, vacuum/forecepts, etc). Pain is just one of a myriad issues that is experienced during labor. 

    Just as epidurals are not for everyone, all of these non-medicated techniques are not for everyone either. There is science, research, and evidence that backs up the use of all of these techniques and their efficacy, including breathing, partner support, counterpressure, and other nonmedicated techniuques, in many situations. However, nothing is a silver bullet when it comes to labor- which as I mentioned previously is a highly demanding, active, and challenging process whether you have an unmedicated birth, epidural, or c-section. All the more reason for every woman to be informed about the options available to her and decide what is right for her body and her situation. 

    Post # 22
    Member
    3089 posts
    Sugar bee

    Forgive my ignorance but I don’t get these classes.I have had two kids …one with an epidural and  one without….the baby just comes and you can’t stop it.So you breathe through it like other women have been doing for centuries.But paying a bunch of money to do what my body is going to do anyway?And the pain will be what it is…all you can do is breathe…you will get through it and be okay.It isn’t complicated…

    Post # 22
    Member
    9691 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    We didn’t take a class and I personally think it would have been a waste of time for us. You can research it all on your own with a few books and some youtube videos really.

    When it came down to it my nurse coached me and Darling Husband through everything, and I just wanted silence and not to be touched anyway.

    I do think it’s very important to be educated on what is going to possibly happen, what your choices are, etc. But hours and hours of a class…I’d rather spend my time and money on something else. I would definitely recommend reading up on breastfeeding as well though. My lactation consultant sucked so I’m glad I read up on it beforehand.

    Post # 23
    Member
    9588 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2015

    Honestly I doubt youll learn anything that you cant get from a book! I would do the baby 101 classes, but just read up on birthing personally.

    Post # 24
    Member
    941 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2016

    I did a class outside hospital….Birth Bootcamp (it’s nationwide, local instructors or online). It was  $330 and 10 weeks. It was so worth it. There’s no way we would have learned all this on our own. I know so many people, smart people who did books, online, etc. They felt so uninformed when it came time for labor and delivery….they felt like nothing was explained. One friend was traumatized and said she may never have another baby. We are going in feeling very informed. Bc it was over a couple months, we had time to let info soak in and ask questions and come back to things. My gf did a 1 day, 8 hr private class by doula but said she didn’t retain much. 

    Not saying hospital class is bad but they’ll tell you works for their hospital …might not be all options you have.

    You may also consider a doula instead of class who will teach about that stuff and be with you during birth and some follow up

    Post # 25
    Member
    378 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    I found the class super helpful for my husband.  HE really got a a better understanding of what was going to happen and ways he could help.  It took a while before I could get an epidural and he helped me through each contraction.  It was also useful to hear about the stages of labour and what happens.  It wasn’t something I had really looked in to much.  

    Post # 27
    Member
    9822 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2013

    If you’re getting an epidural and can read up online or in a goo dbook I don’t see any point to taking classes.  I had two vaginal deliveries with epidurals and never took a class.  Mostly I think they just discuss the process of labor and some techniques, which you can read up about on your own.  I think a class is only really worthwhile if you’re trying to go for an unmedicated birth and then you want a specific type of class (such as hypnobirthing).  But if it were like $40 I could see doing it, but I wouldn’t pay $200 for that.  I was induced with #1 and my contractions were so awful I got an epidural at 2cm.  For #2 I got an epidural as soon as I got to the hospital (that was how I knew when to go in, when I wanted the epidural) and I was about 6cm.

    Post # 28
    Member
    622 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    we took one and i thought it was dumb. i mean, labor is going to happen regardless and there’s only so much you can do, hahah. i think if you’re planning for a medicated birth, i wouldn’t spend the money. i felt like it was more aimed at pain management of someone trying to go drug free. 

    i would, however, advocate for the newborn basics class – where you learn about swaddling, feeding, etc. we had zero baby experience and took pages of notes…which, 2 kids later, is funny to look back on.

    Post # 29
    Member
    1076 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    I took one through the birthing center I gave birth at. I really enjoyed the class and learned some new things I hadn’t heard before. But a good chunk of it was repeating stuff I already knew. But when it came to my actual birth it was nothing like was discribed to me in the birth class. I knew I wanted to be mobile during birth and use the birthing ball and have only occasinal montering of me and the baby. But thanks to my blood pressure reading high when I was admitted this was not so.I was givin magnuism sulfate and hooke dup to a IV right away. I ended up stuck in bed the whole labor all 38 hours of it. It sucked. I was really dispointed in my birthing experience. In the class they made it sound like I would have so many options and be really listened too by the staff. As it turns out not so much. So I guess what I’m saying is if you take the class at where you plan to give birth don’t expect it to be just like they assure you it will be like. 

    Post # 30
    Member
    2121 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2014 - DD born 2015 DS born 2017

    pancakes11 : Seriously? You haven’t had kids yet, don’t dismiss breathing and counterpressuemassages. And it’s not like a relaxing massage, it’s pushing the hips hard together to counter the pressure of the contraction. Headaches and a toothache are hardly comparable to a contracting uterus. They’re entirely different types of pain. Breathing and the massage helped me IMMENSELY during labour, like took off at least 50% of the intensity and I laboured for over a day and took no pain medicine at all to birth my child. Imagine you’re super constipated and having a really painful poo (not far from early labour contractions), blowing out of your mouth really helps. Making an ‘o’ shape with your mouth relaxes your sphincter too, helping both constipation and birth. I don’t really get period pain so I don’t know if breathing or massage would help that though.

     

    “I wouldn’t do a class because I think I would be traumatised. ” Yeah, you’re totally not ready to get pregnant.. why are you commenting on this board? And why am I bothering replying to you?

     

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