A good childbirth class is an essential tool for birth preparation. Not only do you receive information on the birth process, coping techniques, intervention pros/cons, you also learn from other expectant parents who take the class with you.
Hospital Prepared Childbirth Classes: funny story–it was the hospital class that convinced me not to give birth in the hospital! So, in all honesty, it was a really helpful class (though not in the way the hospital hoped!). The information I received from the hospital class was an understanding of hospital policy/procedure. The class did cover some Lamaze natural birth information but it was fairly superficial (in light of the statistic my instructor gave–98% of our patients receive epidurals–I can see why). Mostly, I felt the purpose of the class was to teach me “how it would go” in the hospital. If you are planning an unmedicated hospital birth, the class might help in giving you strategies and understanding your options. If you are planning a medicated hospital birth, the class is helpful for knowing what to expect. The classes usually include a tour of the OB floor. If you do not take the hospital class, you can still arrange an OB tour during which you can ask loads of questions.
Independent Classes–these classes are not affiliated with a hospital. There are many available. I recommend taking an independent class. These classes are typically much longer than hospital classes, provide smaller student/instructor ratios, and teach specific methods. Often these classes include information on breastfeeding and postpartum care.
Upstate Birth Network maintains a list of independent classes. Find the one that matches your birth desires!
http://www.Birthing From Within.com
Pam England, author of the book of the same name gets to the heart and soul, literally, of birth. It’s really a transformational book, one that really changed me with my third pregnancy and birth. There are no BFW mentors in the area; our class was taken in Charlotte, NC. At the very least, read the book!
ALACE, Association of Labor Assistants and Childbirth Educators (www.alace.org)
Began in the 70’s as Informed Homebirth by Rahima Baldwin, this organization is rooted in the midwifery model of care. Unlike Bradley, there is no firm and fast “method;” educators work with women to find what works for them, outside the limits of positions. There are a few in the area, and one working (slowly) in this post! ALACE is one of the oldest certifying organizations for birth doulas (with DONA).
I had all three of my children by Lamaze. It worked very well for me. I did not have any medications for pain. I used the breathing in each stage of labor. I did have short labors and deliveries compare to the normal. My labors and deliveries were 9 hours, 7 hours and 6 hours. I think society has a mind set to want things to be easy in all areas of life–even childbirth. But childbirth is the easiest part of having a child. It is only the beginning of the hard and sometimes painful work of raising them. I would recommend Lamaze.
I have gathered over 150 birth stories from moms who used Hypnobabies at http://www.pregnancybirthandbabies.com Enjoy reading! Also the focus for Hypnobabies is more enjoying your birth/having the most comfortable birth possible. Not everyone has painfree births, but most moms have positive births.
Looking forward to coming back to see more great content like this. Thanks!
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