5 Reasons Birthing Classes Are Stupid

5 reasons I think birthing classes are stupidOf all the things I completely wasted my time and money on during my first pregnancy, the Bradley Method birthing classes take the cake.

Seriously, three hours every Saturday for 12 weeks? Insanity.

If you're thinking about spending a lot of time and money on birthing classes, you'll want to read this first.

1. There's a book for that.

So I'm pretty sure I would have been just fine reading a few birthing books and watching some videos (hey, YouTube!). Then I could have spent that time exercising or taking a class that would have been more valuable: How to take care of a baby!

2. Most of the information is outdated.

At least when it came to my Bradley Method classes, the information was completely outdated. Seriously, the videos we watched were from the 1960s. Things have changed since then (thank heavens), so how about providing students with facts relevant to giving birth in the 21st century.

3. Unrealistic expectations.

Thanks to my birthing class, I thought pushing the baby out was "easy" because according to my instructor, at least you were able to feel like you were doing something (as opposed to just lying there during the contractions). Imagine my surprise when I had to push. Easy? Hell no. If I'm going to attend a birthing class, I'd appreciate a bit more of an honest approach, and one where I knew exactly what to expect.

4. Privacy anyone?

I'm probably the last person to be embarrassed by talking about my vagina, but I'd prefer to hear about what will happen to it after I have a baby alone and not with a bunch of complete strangers. And let's not even talk about the awkward positions you're in while pushing? I'd rather do that in my own home, thank you very much.

5. What about after?

The worst part about my birthing classes was that I felt totally unprepared for after the baby was born. So I had all this information about my cervix and nothing about what to do with my daughter once she came out. I get that they're "birthing" classes, but quite frankly, that part doesn't last very long. It's the other part, like caring for a newborn, that I think is just as important, if not more.

Did you take birthing classes?


Image via Swedish Medical Center/Flickr

3rd trimester, baby prep, labor & delivery


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truth... truthrowan

No birthing classes here. I wanted to take the newborn care and breast feeding classes that our local hospital (where I had my oldest) offered, they were on my birthday, but my husband threw a huge fit about "wasting time" and how his mom and sisters did it without classes. Spent my entire birthday crying and fightining, but since they were couples classes, I couldn't go alone. Boy was he singing a different tune when after a month of trying to breast feed and being in agony we had to rent a hospital grade pump ($100/month) because I couldn't breast feed. But our eldest was on breast milk for a year even after I stopped pumping when he was like 6 months old because I had such a huge supply, and it was nice to pass some of the night time feedings off to my husband. 

Craft... CraftyJenna

So you took one bad class and based on that think that all birth classes are stupid and outdated and useless based on that? You know, contrary to actual studies or evidence that shows that women you take good birth classes expirence less pain during childbirth, manage their pain better, and feel more prepared in general? This article was total bullshit, way to scare women off from something that can help them just because you had a bad time. 

nonmember avatar Kristi

I did not take the classes but I see a real need for them. To put it bluntly, there are some seriously stupid people out there who need all the help they can get. As far as it only being couples... I find it impossible to believe they would have turned you away had you gone by yourself. What if you were a single mom and had no partner? Nice excuse though.

Shandi80 Shandi80

Who forced you into taking the Bradley method? No one? Oh. So why didn't you just take parenting classes? No sense in complaining about something you can't really do anything about...unless you have a time machine.

Taisie Taisie

I'm unfamiliar with "the Bradley method", maybe the method just isn't very effective or maybe you had a bad instructor, but to tell people all birthing classes are a waste of time is really uncalled for. I took natural childbirth classes and really feel I benefited from them. My instructor was great, and after the first couple of classes, I didn't feel embarrassed at all anymore! I ended up having c-sections but still feel that what I learned really helped me deal with the 70 plus hours of labor, and with no medications either! So, please, speak for yourself, not everyone!

Silve... Silvernail

I was told because I didn't completely rule out the epidural I didn't really need the birthing classes but if I had my heart set on not wanting it I should take the class because it would give me ways of coping with the pain

Chipp... ChippyDippy

I took Bradley classes because I wanted to have an un-medicated vaginal birth after a previous c-section. Some of it may have seemed silly, but I know that had I not taken these classes and learned various methods to help with the pain, I wouldn't have been able to do it. Not to mention the skills my husband learned to help me cope and encourage me through the whole process. I felt comfortable in my classes, loved our instructors, and we stayed in touch with other couples from the class (there was only 8 of us). We also learned about prenatal care (diet, exercise, etc), as well as breastfeeding info, ways to swaddle, etc - we did a whole class on the The Happiest Baby on the Block.  I thought everything was very honest - our instructors never said pushing was easy - if it was easy, why would we take the classes? Sounds like you had a horrible class (and attitude!)

MrsRo... MrsRoberts413

We're taking the Lamaze class that our hospital offers, for a number of reasons.  I'm one of those "the more armed with information I am about what I'm doing, the better I feel about things" people, for one thing.  Also, the Lamaze class offers some key postpartum instruction as well as the actual birth part.  Finally, my husband needs some guidance on how to be my support system during labor and delivery, I don't want to have to tell him what to do while I'm in the middle of a contraction.  Our class is only a 5-week course for a couple hours one evening a week, plus they work with our hospital to give us the tour and overview of what to expect as far as security services, etc., at the same time!

nativ... nativemama18

I love that I took classes it helped me know what to expect at birth and the stretches helped and the relaxation helped along with the breathing and if we didn't do practice pushes at each class I am sure I would have had to of had a emergency c section to get my daughter out because her heart rate dropped and wouldn't go back up but I got her out one push later because I knew where to push and it didn't take me time to figure out

Alyssa Kenney

I went to one class in which the "teacher" contradicted herself 5 times in the first hour. She then went on to tell us that her first delivery was easier because she didn't know what to expect; whereas, the 2nd and 3rd were much harder because she had a birth plan.
I never went back, but I did keep and read the book they provided multiple times and I was fine. I don't regret not wasting 4 hours a week for 10 weeks, dealing with a cranky husband and losing hours and money at work for a class that was definitely a waste of time. BUT, that's just me, who happens to agree with you, the author.

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