With information about pregnancy and childbirth so readily available online, in convenient apps for our smart phones, in books and from our family and friends, investing the money and time in taking a childbirth education class may not seem worth it. Let’s face it-- you can literally Google any question you have, ask for advice on forums and even sign up to get weekly updates on what to expect in various pregnancy apps. Also, our trusted OBs and midwives also can fill us in on anything else we may need, right?
While this is all true, we still believe taking a childbirth education class is well worth your time and money. Usually birth classes take place in a comfortable atmosphere, where you can join other couples that are going through the exact same experience and, most importantly, a couple hours are dedicated to just you, your baby and new family to be.
1. Build Confidence with Knowledge
Taking a childbirth education class equips you with the knowledge you need during pregnancy and birth, as well as some postpartum information. Rather than reading this information in a book, you are taught by a knowledgeable instructor and accompanied by other couples that are as eager as you are to learn. This set-up gives you the opportunity to learn more about certain topics that you may be more interested in or would like to know more about. It is also helpful to have other people surrounding you in the class because they may ask something you didn’t think to ask and can help support you and add to your learning experience. Birth classes also give you the ability to talk through your fears and establish realistic plans and wishes for your birth with guidance from your teacher and peers.
2. Bond with other moms & couples
Childbirth classes are excellent for getting to know other pregnant women and couples who are experiencing exactly what you are. In addition to learning from each other, you can also build lasting friendships and be there for one another during vulnerable times. You will likely be having your children very close to each other, too, so you will have friends to lean on after birth for support and your kids will have friends for play dates a little later on!
We all need a little encouragement once in a while, especially when we are getting ready for childbirth. Society has put a lot of fears in our minds when it comes to giving birth and many women go into labor with little or no encouragement from those around them. This isn’t because people don’t care or want to help, it’s because they don’t know enough about childbirth and the process to give the right guidance. Childbirth educators share stories about personal experiences and are able to provide you with advice, which also helps to build your confidence going into the birthing process.
4. Collect Resources
When taking a childbirth class, you may also stumble upon a lot of helpful resources you might not have without the class. You may decide that your current OB or midwife is not the right fit, or someone might recommend someone who seems more in line with your wishes. You may also learn about different hospitals and birth centers that you might not have known about otherwise. Another pregnant women in your class may know about an awesome prenatal yoga class, or a great place to get a massage to work out the kinks while you're carrying your baby. Or, someone might even clue you in on a helpful breastfeeding support group or class. This might also be how you find your pediatrician for your baby!
5. Make your birth the birth YOU want it to be!
Giving birth is a different experience for everyone, and it very well should be. Childbirth education classes help invoke a plan for couples to make their births what they want them to be, instead of “just another birth”. Whether that is planning your birth to a tee or establishing certain hopes and wishes for your birth, classes help empower you to make your own choices and allow you to be in control, rather than having others dictate it.
We also want to emphasize the importance of taking a good childbirth education class. By good we mean a class that is in-depth and that you’ve gotten recommendations about. Trisha Lawrie, certified Birthworks instructor, explains that so much of what we learn about birth and the attitudes that go with it are dependent upon who we encounter on our journey. “If you take a four-hour hospital class that focuses mainly on epidurals and what will happen during a c-section, it’s going to be quite different than spending six weeks with an instructor who believes deeply that birth is normal,” Trisha points out.
Birth can be a wonderful experience, and taking a good childbirth education class can help support you, your partner and baby that will soon be coming into the world. Taking the time and spending a little extra on a class is definitely worth it in the long run!
We offer Birthworks classes, taught by Trisha Lawrie, at The Womb Wellness Center. Visit our Childbirth Education Class page for our next class series!
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