How To Find The Right Childbirth Class For You
If you are like most moms, you are eagerly looking forward to meeting your little one. And yet, at the same time that you can’t wait to see them coo at you, smile and someday take their first steps, there is also a feeling of worry about giving birth.
Why is it that birth can seem so difficult? 80% of women have anxiety about giving birth. So if you are worried about this job, you are not alone.
But what can you do about it?
One option is taking a childbirth class to help you gain confidence and clarity about the journey you are going on. But, not all classes are the same. You’ll want to make sure the class you pick is right for you. Here’s how.
What Is A Childbirth Class?
A birth class can be anywhere from 45 minutes to 8-10 hours depending on who is teaching and what their goal is. Short classes usually help you recognize when labor begins and when to go to the hospital. Longer classes help you gain more skills and knowledge to cope with contractions. They also give you more knowledge about the birth process and what to expect from start to finish.
The extra skills learned in longer classes help you feel calm and in control instead of overwhelmed through the process. They also help you develop your own inner strength and develop healthy and respectful relationships with your care providers.
Because of this, even women who go through more difficult birth experiences are more likely to feel supported and cared for after taking a birth class.
Taking a birth class cannot guarantee that you won’t have a c-section or need interventions in your birth. But, The International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology published research showing that moms who attended a childbirth class were less likely to have a c-section or need a vacumm extraction.
Which means you are more likely to have a straightforward birth if you take a class.
Who Should Take A Childbirth Class?
Childbirth classes are for all moms who want to feel ready and prepared for labor. In my opinion, almost all first time moms should take a class. As should anyone who had a difficult birth the first time around or who wants to feel more prepared than they did last time.
You should still take a class even if you are planning on using an epidural. But, make sure that if you are leaning towards an epidural, you take a class from a teacher that doesn’t have extreme biases towards medication free birth.
When Should You Take A Childbirth Class?
Unless you are taking a really quick refresher course for your class, you should begin taking a class near the beginning of your second trimester. This may seem early at first, but many classes will dive into topics that will be relevant throughout your pregnancy, third trimester, birth and postpartum period.
Of course, it’s never too late to sign up. I’ve had moms join my class the week before their due date and spend a weekend soaking up every bit of knowledge they could
How To Find The Right Childbirth Class?
I love teaching childbirth classes and am so honored to play a role in the births of many unique birthing women. And while I am proud of the results I get my mothers, there are many high quality childbirth classes out there. Here’s what to look for in a good childbirth class:
- A high quality childbirth course will help you understand the process of birth and take the mystery out of it. So much of what we see and hear about birth from friends and the media is misleading. Having facts and knowledge can help you feel more connected with your body and comfortable with the process. At the end of the day, it is a really good thing when a birth class helps you move from a feeling that birth is something that happens to you to a feeling that birth is a process that you are actively engaged in and doing yourself.
- Prevention is the number one thing most classes are missing. Specifically nutrition and exercises that prepare your body for birth. Studies have shown that nutritional counseling alone can improve every birth outcome. And yet, this topic is left out of too many childbirth classes and most prenatal visits. Make sure that your class specifically covers nutrition for pregnancy and has support around establishing simple and healthy habits for you and your baby.
- The last thing a birth class really needs is a sense of community. Whether online or in person, a class is first about gaining knowledge and skills, but also about creating friendships. Once your baby is here, it is likely you will have a million questions and sometimes you will wonder…is it like this for everyone? Having friends in the same stage of life will help you through the first year. A childbirth class is a great place to build this part of your community.
Finding The Right Childbirth Class Summary
Of course I would love to support you within my own Childbirth Course (link: learn.shebirthsbravely.com). I strive to provide moms with all of these things. But, there are many high quality courses in person and online. Choose one that will give you the most confidence and clarity going into birth.
If you have any questions about labor, birth classes or feeling prepared for birth, don’t hesitate to reach out.
By Suzzie Vehrs doula and childbirth educator at SheBirthsBravely.com She can be reached at email@example.com