Are you considering taking a childbirth class? What is holding you back? Perhaps you think they’re not necessary because either you’ve given birth before, or because you feel there are many resources available to you already. Or maybe you can’t seem to fit anything else into your busy schedule. Take it from us… in between contractions is not when you want to start learning about childbirth! Having a satisfying birth experience begins with childbirth education classes and if you’re wondering if a childbirth class is worth it, the answer is yes.

Explaining the Disinterest

When childbirth education classes first began in the 1970’s (with a peak attendance in the 1990s) they were designed to prepare a person for giving birth; to help uncover the unknown and to educate the expecting family. Time constraints, technological advancements and pharmaceutical interventions have played a role in the decline of the number of families who attend childbirth classes.

Typically, classes are offered in a series. Each class meeting covers certain topics. It can be hard to schedule 4-8 evenings or days for childbirth education if you are under the impression that you can get the same information by searching online or asking for tips and suggestions in Facebook groups. There are a few problems if you go about preparing for childbirth this way:

  • Articles you find on Google may not be written by experts in the field of childbirth education or birth.
  • The people in the Facebook groups are giving you their experiences with childbirth and telling you what worked for them and their unique situation.
  • If you are sitting up at night googling how to give birth, while your partner is engrossed in a Netflix show, you aren’t learning anything together. You’ll likely be trying to convey to them, at a later time, what you did learn and that leaves tons of room for miscommunication and things being open to interpretation.
  • There’s no opportunity to ask questions or have guided practice sessions as our in-person childbirth classes offer.
  • If you’ve given birth before you may want a different experience this time around. Maybe you need a refresher or you realize that every birth experience is different just like every pregnancy and child is different.

Epidurals

With the advancement of pharmaceutical interventions (like the epidural) more women have chosen to utilize those interventions rather than not. And that’s OK. We definitely support that choice. There are what-if’s we think you might find helpful to prepare for. You’ll only get that preparation through an in-person childbirth class. Here are some things to consider… What if

  • the epidural doesn’t work?
  • it only works on one side?
  • it works too well?
  • you don’t want to lay on your back or your baby needs some room and help moving down? What does “moving down” mean, anyway?
  • the anesthesiologist is busy, or it is taking a long time to get your epidural? How will you cope with the pain of labor while you wait for it?

What You and Your Partner Learn

You’re likely to learn about topics in our childbirth class that you never even thought about! We can help you connect the dots and make sense of all the information you may have already gathered. Our childbirth education classes will leave you feeling confident and can help lead to a better birth experience. Research has found that a person’s long-term satisfaction of their birth experience is not based on the number or type of interventions they experienced. It is based on their perception of support and involvement in the process itself, both during labor and birth and during postpartum recovery (Fox & Worts, 1999; Simkin, 1991).

That is not saying a childbirth education class is a magic wand (just like doulas aren’t a magic wand). In our classes, you will be given information about what to expect physically, mentally, and emotionally. You will be confidently involved in the entire birth process. We will give you the tools you need to cope with all stages of labor (spoiler alert: there is more than one!). Through discussion, movement exercises, evidence-based information, and videos, we will help ease your fears and concerns. Our goal is for you and your partner to remember labor and birth as a satisfying experience.

When to Take a Childbirth Class

We are asked this question a lot and the answer is really dependent on you. Many couples opt to take childbirth classes in the third trimester. You want to time it so you have time to practice the new skills you learn, but not forget the information you were given. Leave yourself with time to review your notes and ask follow-up questions if needed. Check out our class schedule and contact us if you have any questions!

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