Childbirth Classes Are a Waste of Time

Rant 69

pregnant bellyIf you're debating over whether or not to enroll in childbirth classes at your local hospital before your little one arrives, let me spare you some grief -- because there are way better things to do with your time than sit in a room with a bunch of other expectant parents and try not to giggle at the fact that the instructor's breathing noises sound like something right out of the pages of Fifty Shades of Grey.

As nice and sweet as the whole concept of preparing pregnant moms for labor and delivery is, the truth is that unless you are 100 percent dead set on going the natural route with your birth plan, there's really just no good reason to subject yourself to those classes each week.

Like plenty of other moms-to-be, I too figured it was my duty to go ahead and enroll in childbirth classes, well -- because that's what you do when you're expecting your first baby. But I realized very quickly on after attending my first class that the curriculum wasn't exactly epidural-friendly -- and I was dead-set on having an epidural from the get-go. And considering I was living in Denver during my pregnancy, which is a city that really embraces all things natural -- I couldn't help but feel like I stuck out like a sore thumb because I wasn't too keen on sitting on a birthing ball or doing the whole "hoo-hoo-heeee" thing.

And another thing -- since I put on a good 50 pounds during my pregnancy, seeing a bunch of other pregnant women gathered in one place only made me even more self-conscious about the size of my growing belly, and instead of paying attention to the instructor, I found myself comparing my weight gain with what I estimated the other women to have put on. (Total ego killer.)

Now, I'm not saying that you'll get absolutely no decent take-aways from these classes if you decide to take them. If nothing else, maybe you'll get lucky and meet a few cool moms who you can arrange playdates with after the baby arrives. But unless you are truly interested in learning how to breathe like a champ and avoid any sort of pain medication during delivery at all costs -- save your time (and your money) and go out for dinner and movie with your husband instead. Odds are good you'll take away much more from those last few date nights that you will from any childbirth class.

Have you enrolled in childbirth classes? Are you getting any valuable information out of them?


Image via sapienssolutions/Flickr

baby prep, labor & delivery


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

Tracey Plummer

Like you, I always wanted the epidural, and the classes were centered around natural child birth, but I still got a lot out of the class and I would definitely recommend a first time mother take the classes, but here it was only two Saturdays for around three hours each, so it wasn't a huge time committement. Plus the place I took the class introduced us to lactation specialists, and I would not have made it past the first month without their help...


Deweymom Deweymom

I really think my husband got more out of it than me (as I'm a reader and had read alot about what to expect during l&d). I too planned on an epidural and the class covered both epi and natural.

2nd time around...I just did a hospital tour as I was delivering at a different one. That I do recommend

Senia... Seniahmom

My husband got a lot out of it. It was worth it for him.

nonmember avatar CrystalMP

I opted out of them because my husband couldn't go with me (job) but I don't think I would have gone anyway, what to expect gave me a pretty good idea on what it was going to be like.

Lglly... LgllyBlondMommy

Wow. You could not be more wrong. They are NOT a waste of time at all. I know the current fad is to have a birth plan and stick with it, giving birth is a dangerous and dynamic event. Sure, it'd be convenient to say upfront, "Well, I'm having an epidural, so I don't need a class." and have that be the end of it. But did you ever stop and think what might happen if your epidural doesn't work (which happened to me and one of my other close friends)? What if you get to the hospital too far into your labor to have one (like the woman in the hospital room next to me)? What if you live in a small city that doesn't have an anesthesiologist in the hospital 24/7? I had planned to have an epidural, but it was unsuccessful after 3 placement attempts. The focus skills (meditation), pain management tips, and practiced breathing techniques made all the difference. I delivered an 8 lb. baby with no pain meds and did not scream or yell once - not because it didn't hurt like hell but because I was too focused on the goal of pushing out my baby. Additionally, the classes aren't just about bouncing on birthing balls and singing kumbaya - at least mine wasn't. We learned A LOT about the biology involved and the different stages of labor, in addition to the things I previously mentioned. I'm glad your labor went according to your plan - but don't think it works that way for everyone.


LOL!!! In the 70's, we had no choice. We never had ultra sounds and the use of pain medication was really frowned on. I was grateful for my classes. I was very inexperienced and I found them comforting. I'm so glad how things have changed for young moms now.

nonmember avatar Jenny

If you plan an epidural without a doubt then don't go to a birthing class since all you plan to do is lay there pain free and not accept the experience of a birth. You won't know when to push until the doctor tells you to because you can't feel anything or know what's going on "down there" don't waste your time on a class you will have no need for.

nonmember avatar Another Guest

I didn't take one either because of my husband's work schedule and the cost. However I did take the hospital tour. That I recommend.

Courtney Puzzo

some of you are real stupid on this even if you're not going the natural route or can't Braxton/lamas classes aren't a waste of time. my mom did them with both her successful pregnancies and has said they helped her through labor even though with me her oldest she had a 4th degree episotomy when I should've been a c-section and a c-section with my younger brother nearly 3 years later at a different hospital

nonmember avatar gigimama

Wow, you will find a way to fit a 50 Shades reference into any blog post.

1-10 of 69 comments 12345 Last