Of 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 Most of the information is outdated.
At least when it came to my Bradley Method classes, the information was completely outdated.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
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside