11 Reasons to take an Independent Childbirth Preparation Class, Part 2
By: Deena Blumenfeld RYT, RPYT, LCCE
In part 1, we looked at labor positions, coping techniques, fact vs. fiction, private sessions, local resources and best practices. Here we’ll find 6 more reasons to take an Independent Childbirth Preparation Class.
6. Independent classes are good for home, birth center or hospital
Unsurprisingly, a hospital class is only good for hospital birth. If you are planning a birth center birth or a homebirth then you will need an independent class. Independent classes will cover all three scenarios, as determined by the needs of the students in the class. Even those planning a birth center or a homebirth will need the hospital information in case they need to be transferred.
7. Encourage you to learn your options and advocate for yourself
One thing you can’t learn from a book or online is what options are actually available to you. Things change, and what was not available to one mother may be to another mother depending on her circumstances. It’s important for a pregnant woman to know all the options, both medical and natural. She should know how to speak up effectively for what she wants and know how to advocate for herself. Her partner should be able to speak on her behalf and help her determine the best course of action in conjunction with the care provider. Good communication is a key skill that can only be learned face to face.
8. Classes are good for moms who want a natural birth as well as moms who know they want an epidural and anyone in between.
Every pregnant woman, especially first time moms, should take a childbirth class. The common refrain I hear from moms who don’t take one is “I didn’t know, what I didn’t know.” In other words, after they’ve had the baby, many women realize there were important details left out of the books, online information and friend’s advice. It is important to know all of your options, how to handle labor at home, communication skills, etc. Childbirth classes fill in those details and make for a more confident birthing experience.
9. Make friends with other expecting couples.
It can be comforting to connect with other pregnant couples. For some, their own pregnancy is really their first exposure to anyone who has been pregnant. Many people are the first of their group of friends to become pregnant and could use the support of others in the same boat. It also helps with setting up future playdates for the babies.
10. Set you up with realistic expectations for labor and birth
Women often have an idea in their heads about how they want their births to go. On one hand this is a good thing. It’s one of the reasons why we write birth plans. It helps us plan and choose a care provider. On the other hand, if the image in our heads doesn’t match the reality of how birth goes, disappointment, resentment, and often anger can occur. A childbirth preparation class can help you account for the “what ifs”. It can ground you in the reality of labor and birth so that you have a good foundation on which to build your expectations. It allows you to set an intention for your birth.
11. Getting Dad/Partner ready – good support
So much of pregnancy and birth surrounds mom, that Dad (or partner) often feels left out. Attending a childbirth class can help Dad feel more included in the process. It can help him feel more secure in his role as support partner. When your birth partner knows what to expect during labor and birth as well as how to best help you cope with your contractions, he’ll be much more confident in his own abilities. Partners have a key role to play during birth. A childbirth education class will help him fulfill his role.
Deena Blumenfeld RYT, RPYT, LCCE is a Registered Yoga Teacher, Registered Prenatal Yoga Teacher, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator and the owner of Shining Light Prenatal Education. http://www.shininglightprenatal.com/ She works to support women in all their choices in childbirth and beyond.