Many many years ago my husband and I signed up to a childbirth class for our first child. I knew nothing about having a baby (he did as he had two daughters from his first marriage) and wanted to make sure I knew what to expect (insert laughing emoji as birth is totally, completely and utterly different to what you expect!). I was intending to have a natural birth and have a boy (Chris’s first wife had c-sections and girls).
Thats not what happened.
Before the course had even finished I had had an emergency c-section and a girl – for more details you can read it here in Katherines story
Were the classes worth it then? Let’s look at reason 1.
Reason 1 to take a class – the friends you will make
Yes because I got a group of friends that 22 years later I’m still in contact with. We have shared tears, laughter, weddings, divorces, moving houses, moving countries, loss and birth. They were the first group of friends that Chris and I made on our own that are just connected to us.
So what if you’re just going to take a one on one class? Is it still worth it then? Well…..
Reason 2 – childbirth educators know how amazing you are and our job is to make you see that too.
The moment you say that you are pregnant people want to share information. It is can almost be a competition to share the worse story so that you are “prepared,” for the “horror,” to come. A childbirth educator has heard the stories and can help you see the process of birth in a different way.
You don’t often hear the amazing stories, the tales of birth being a beautiful golden, euphoric moment and it really can be – the whole thing can be just wonderful. It doesn’t always hurt and it can be the most wonderful, loving, connecting and life affirming time of your life, you can be so empowered and so powerful that your ferocious beauty is mouth droppingly awesome for all who are lucky enough to see it.
Reason 3 – however you have your baby, a little preparation goes a long way.
I offer classes either as part of a course or a standalone session that covers one aspect such as c-section. If I had a penny for every time I’ve heard “I’m planning a natural birth – I won’t need the induction class,” I would have a lot of pennies! Very few of us want to a c-section or induction but they happen and it is worth it to be prepared for that eventuality.
Well for an example with an induction you are often confined to the bed for monitoring – what can you do to alleviate the sensations that you may feel and to get the baby to come a bit quicker? Its not lie on the bed and wait – thats for sure! But in a class we show you how you can help your body, how to breathe, hopefully give you some idea what to expect and prepare your partner.
Reason 4 – your support person may not know what to do!
So some of the questions that I have been asked by partners in childbirth classes
How long will it take? How involved am I? Where can I get a coffee at …… hospital? Should I trust her to tell me when she’s ready to head to the hospital? If her waters break in the car will they stain the seats? When they say they can see the head – what does that mean? How will I know she’s in labour? What can I do once the baby is born? How can I keep her energy levels up? Does it matter if I’m not there all the time?
Partners have the same questions you do and a whole load that you don’t. Whilst you are birthing your baby, they are watching and it can be pretty stressful for some people to look at someone they love going through the sensations of birth. Classes not only tell them what to expect but also give them tools to assist you as well as a better understanding of what exactly their role should be.
Reason 5 – the internet can be a scary place.
The final reason to take a childbirth class is that there is a LOT of information out there and not all of it accurate nor positive. It can be an overwhelming place so take your time and make sure that you are getting information that is relevant to you and your partner. Connecting with an individual trained in childbirth can really help you alleviate some of the stress that you may be feeling in the run up to the big day. Diminishing that fear can help reduce your labour time.
So I hope this helps you see why childbirth classes are important. You still may not get the birth that you planned for but hopefully you will understand the process and with the aid of the education you receive in the class be able to make the best, most informed decision for you and your baby.
Let me know if I can be of help – take care all.