Saturday, May 5, 2012

Birth Classes: Worth It?

A few months ago I posted on FB a question for mothers: "How important are childbirth classes? I mean...how much of that information can I learn on my own online and through asking other moms?" I got a huge variety of responses from those who took them, didn't take them, delivered naturally, with meds, via c-section. They said everything from waste of money to totally worth it. Basically, asking around didn't help me make the decision for myself.

The true decision-maker was during a moment of panic at the beginning of my third trimester, when I realized how soon Daisy would be arriving and that "I dunno nothin' 'bout birthin' babies!" I decided I needed classes, and I wanted Zane there too. (500 points for that reference.)

I researched different classes and opted for a three-week course through our hospital, which included an elective one-night course (choose one: natural childbirth, c-sections, or epidurals).

We started with the the natural childbirth class. The first thing they did was show us a video of women experiencing contractions. I almost cried. I had never seen ACTUAL people in that much pain. Actors cannot recreate labor pains! I didn't want to look dumb, so I didn't cry, but I was afraid for myself and for them!

Zane didn't know a thing about labor, but I realized neither did I!

We learned relaxation techniques and birthing ball positions for all the stages of labor. It was worth our time to learn techniques and see that women can do it naturally. By the end, we were much more confident and excited about delivery. Zane's going to be an awesome labor partner.

We had our first of the three regular classes this week: "The Gift of Motherhood." I'm writing this post before we've taken all three classes, but so far I say the classes are worth it.

Zane had fun with the empathy belly.

Some reasons why I like the classes:

  • I think it's invaluable to know the stages of labor and what happens a woman's body. 
  • It was nice to be able to ask the maternity nurse/teacher questions. 
  • The tour of the hospital was good for knowing where to go when the time comes. 
  • It motivated me to write a birth plan of what I'd like to occur, even if happens differently. 
  • It motivated me to have conversations about labor with friends who have kids. 
  • It gave us more confidence and positive anticipation of delivery.
  • It was good to practice breathing and coaching, because realistically, Zane and I wouldn't just do that on our own time.

In fact, Zane and I probably wouldn't have discussed any of this stuff at home. When we're home, we're doing house things. The classes got us out of the house and in the right environment to focus, learn and prepare for delivery.

Most importantly - the classes put Zane and me on the same page.

I feel confident that Zane and I will do much better in labor than we would have if we had just read a book, watched a film online, or did nothing. They've been good for us, so yep, I recommend them.
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