Post # 1
I read this post about taking childbirth classes, but I’m wondering what you actually learn in them. In reading the class agenda for several different types of childbirth class, it seesm like there is a lot of redundancy, and stuff I already know. I know a lot of woman who have taken various classes and thought it was a waste of time.
I’m already CPR certified and have been around and cared for babies often, so I’m not very worried about infant care. Plus we’ll have a lot of help in the first couple weeks, and I have been reading a few books about it. I’ve been watching a series of videos on breastfeeding, and at the hospital I’m delivering at all the nurses are trained in lactation but they also have a lactation consultant on staff as well.
I am planning a natural childbirth, and have done a lot of reading about techniques to manage pain and handle childbirth. I just don’t know how useful the classes would be, and they are all pretty expensive, so I’d rather not spend the money if they’ll just be a waste.
What classes did you take, what did you learn, and was it really helpful or not?
Post # 3
In our BIRTHING classes ($80 a couple), it taught me and DH to work as a team and communicate even better. I got lots of massages (at the end of every class) and we practiced what we would do while in the each stage of labor and how they are very different. DH said he learned a lot…it helped me to DO things, like a run through instead of just reading about it. We practiced tons of relaxation techniques. This is to avoid common complications. They talked in depth about risks that come along with different medical procedures/options. It was very conversational so we could ask questions at anytime. We had a short video in each class with people with a wide range of birth stories. We made a rice pillow. We got pages of resources from everything about what to put in your labor bag, hospital bag, websites, books and even gave away free books. We did sharing —how’s your week–with other couples at the beginning of every class, which made us realize we are all going through the same woes, worries, aches and pains at the same time. Mostly, I think it’s helped to bring DH and I together on one page of what it will be like at the hospital and confident in a variety of scenarios. We REALLY liked it!! The other couples seemed to also. By The Way, the instructor was hired by the hospital but also a doula.
We went through another (free) class series at our hospital which was on infant care and included a little bit of birthing and breastfeeding. DH hated that one so it really depends on the instructor. She was not so helpful and I felt like I could have got that stuff from books. She actually increased our anxiety level in a few different ways. By The Way, the instructor was an old school nurse from the hospital.
Post # 4
I’m wondering this too, so I am anxious to see other responses. We didn’t take birthing classes for my first pregnancy but my OB is strongly encouraging for this one. I’m really hesitent because I have to have another C-section so I’m not really seeing the point. I won’t go through labor. She told me I will still get very useful information but I feel like not enough to get my moneys worth.
I kinda have mixed feeling on birthing classes. I don’t want to say I don’t like them because I have no experience to have a say. I went through a little labor with my first and lots of contractions all through my experience. I never felt like I didn’t already know what to do. My husband was always very supportive and didn’t seem to do anything wrong. Plus I’m already CPR certified for infants and children too. I’m just not sure what to think about it…..
Post # 5
My husband and I are taking a Bradley birth class ($350 for 8 weeks of 3-hour classes) and are on the last week of class, so I feel I can speak from experience. We LOVE our birth class! We are planning an unmedicated homebirth, and even though our instructor will also be the doula at our birth, we are very glad to have taken the class. We have both read tons of books about it but it’s not the same as learning about it in person. We got to see samples of the different medical tools that might be used in birth. We made friends with the other parents so now we have a network of other parents to support us. We did a “birth rehearsal” that let us practice our comfort measures so we could see which ones work best for us (and which ones we hate). My husband learned the proper massage technique for labor. We met some great guest speakers such as a nutritionist, whom we plan to use in the future. We got to hear from other parents about the birth policies at the different local hospitals so we can make a good choice about our backup hospital. We practiced how to ask appropriate questions of our doctors and midwives before and during labor. Plus we learned all the basic stuff, like breatsfeeding, infant care, stages of labor, etc.
Post # 6
We took a general course of childbirthing classes, a newborn care class, and my mom did our refresher course on infant CPR and child First Aid. Personally, I enjoyed our childbirthing classes. A lot of the stuff I already knew (i.e. the stages of labor/birth, what happens immediately after the baby is born, breastfeeding, and the post-partum period), but a few things were really valuable. We had a hospital tour, which was great, and one entire class was dedicated to baby safety where we had someone come in and lecture on car seats (he also checked that ours was installed properly) and another lectured on creating a safe environment for babies (from newborn sleeping arrangements to babyproofing). In our newborn childcare class, we got to practice some skills (like swaddling, dressing, and bathing a newborn) that I hadn’t done in a long time.
Honestly, a lot of this stuff we already knew and/or could’ve done on our own. But I thought the classes were nice in the way that I think pre-marital counseling is great. It gives you a specified time to sit down and really talk with your partner about your expectations and preferences. Just personal opinion, though. 🙂
If your classes are all expensive, have you looked into mom’s groups in your area? I know that La Leche leagues often allow pregnant women to attend before birth and I just found out that there’s a mom’s group at our local tot gym that has a couple pregnant women in it. The bonus would be that you meet other parents and get some practical info/advice from people who have been there recently.
Post # 7
In the antenatal classes I took it didn’t teach you very much about birth positions like in the movies (all they pretty much said was stay upright because of gravity etc). They taught us stuff about when to come to the hospital, the stages of labour, pain relief (natural and medicinal), emergency c-sections, what to take to hospital, how to take care of yourself after childbirth and info on induction. They also showed us birthing, breastfeeding and parenting dvds 🙂
I knew most of the stuff already (had been researching) but I found it helpful and it was good to meet some of the midwives and see the hospital. It just makes you feel a bit more prepared and confident. Its also a good bonding session with your SO/ DH and it will be alot of info that he probably doesn’t know. It made my SO alot more confident that’s for sure!
Post # 8
We took Bradley and it was the best idea I’ve EVER had. We learned so much about what was going to happen and how to handle everything. I really attribute our emotional bonding after what we went through to Bradley. Now that I’m pregnant again, we’re going to sign up so that we can get all the classes after we see my new doctor.
Birthing classes aren’t about taking care of the baby, CPR, any of that. It’s about learning what’s happening to your body so that you can have a safe, healthy labor and delivery which you’ll charish.
Post # 9
At least for now, we aren’t planning to take them. DH and I were the only couple signed up for our tour, so we got an extended one on one tour of the hospital that answered all of our questions. I have read tons of information on all aspects of the labor and delivery, as has DH.
I’d prefer to take Bradley or Hypnobirthing classes to learn more about managing pain during labor since I’m planning to go natural, but I can’t find any classes locally that will fit into DH’s and my schedule. Unfortunately now to a few weeks before the due date is busiest time of the year for both of us, plus this happens to be a busy year for our families too.
I also asked DH if he wanted to take any other classes, like infant care, so he wouldn’t feel like everyone was telling him what to do in the first couple weeks, but he said we’d have enough help that the class didn’t seem worth it. We both set aside reading for one another, and usually pick one night a week where we talk baby stuff. Plus we just got the “big book” which is all the info about our hospital stay and the first few weeks with baby, from when to go to the hospital to anesthegia options, to what to pack.
Post # 10
I found the baby info packet directly from our hospital (what to expect when you deliver here @ out hospital) VERY HELPFUL. Sounds like you have already arranged a discussion time with hubby so that’s great. See if he’d like to practice massaging you for relaxation techniques as well… Hehe!!
Post # 11
@mrstilly: My classes are free through my hospital (i’m in Australia so things are different). The most important thing I get from the classes is that Dear Fiance listens to the midwife and seems to take more in. He isn’t interested in reading pregnancy books).
I also like that there are women who are at the same stage of pregnancy as I am and we can compare pregnancy ups and downs.
Post # 12
We’re taking a 10-week Bradley Method class and I think it’s been helpful for a number of reasons so far. It’s nice to get some time with other folks who are expecting and also to get other people’s suggestions for things like daycare and pediatricians. And since we’re planning on at least trying for a natural birth, it forces us to practice the techniques at least once a week and makes us feel a little more accountable re: practicing between classes. We also had a Lamaze class through the hospital yesterday. Really, though, it was more about childbirth and different options we’ll have at our particular hospital (medications, procedures, pre-registration, etc). We learned a few more techiniques and had the hospital tour. We’ve done a lot of reading but it was nice to actually see things like the epidural needle and videos of people getting epidurals or having a c-section. And, again, nice to just be with other folks who are going through a similar experience at the same time (since none of my friends are currently pregnant).