Should You Take a Childbirth Education Class?

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When my partner was pregnant with our first baby, we signed up for childbirth education classes. The course ran ten weeks and each class was a three-hour-long marathon (with a snack mid-way through so pregnant ladies, husbands, and partners could stretch their legs and re-fuel.) It was a pretty intense experience -- we learned a lot and we made great friends. But are childbirth education classes really necessary? Do they really help a woman through labor and delivery?

I read a smart piece on childbirth classes on Babble. Here are some highlighted pros for taking a class:

-- You can ask questions and see labor positions in person

-- Your educator will be a resource of information -- he or she can put you in touch with other experts or help you find additional info on something if you need it

-- A series of classes will allow you to gear up gradually as the birth approaches

-- You'll meet local couples in the same pre-baby boat you're in

-- Classes can help partners focus on the upcoming birth (you, of course, have a constant physical reminder)

Would I say our childbirth classes *really* helped my partner with the pain of labor and delivery? They gave us some strategies for coping. But more important, the classes prepared us for what can happen during labor and delivery in a hospital, and what happens to a woman's body during labor.

When I was pregnant with our second child (but it was my first pregnancy), we skipped the long course and did a one-time quickie session with an educator as a sort of mental refresher and get-focused session. And that was plenty for me.

If you take a birth class, you may be able to do so at your hospital (if they offer classes), with a private instructor, or with a yoga teacher. You may learn about Lamaze, the Bradley Method, HypnoBirthing, pain medications, how your partner can help, and more.

What about you? Are you planning on taking e a childbirth class? Why, or why not?

3rd trimester, baby prep, fathers, labor & delivery

27 Comments

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kfroz... kfroz0415

My husband and I took one with during the pregnancy for our son. It was once a week for an hour and a half  (if I remember correctly) for five or six weeks. I dont think I will take that long of one with our current pregnancy (#2) but I may take the one day 3hr course just to brush up on emergency delivery, complications, etc.  I think knowing the process made me much more comfortable. I think I will also be taking a class on breastfeeding which meets 2 or 3 times for an hour.

maddi... maddieandleomom

I think if it makes you more comfortable than sure, but I opted not to because I trusted that my body would tell me what to do, which it did.  When you are in labor, I think you have little choice in what happens, you just do what your body INSISTS on doing, as well as what the Dr. instructs.

Pauli... Pauline3283

No, I've never seen a homebirth class and I'm really not interested in a hospital based class. 

Lynette Lynette

I did the hospital classes with my first 2 children.  didn't help at all!  With baby #3 I did the hypnobabies homecourse(It's like hypnobirthing).  It made all the difference in the world!!!  I was able to manage the pain, never wanted to give up, never wanted drugs.  I was so relaxed that I didn't even tear!  My first 2 births I let myself be swallowed by the pain, I had EPI's.  Baby #3 was all natural.  I highly recommend hypnobabies!!!! 

RanaA... RanaAurora

If you feel the need to, go for it.  I personally enjoyed doing my own research and finding different things that I thought would work best for me personally.

3gift... 3gifts.from.god

You MUST take a breathing class of some sort!! You probably won't use any of it in labor, but once your children get bigger and start talking back, TRUST me you WILL use it!! I do EVERY day!

Preci... Precious333

I absolutely loved my birthing instructor! She was so encouraging and helpful.  She knew almost all the asnwers to my questions and the more educated I was the less scared I was with my first.  Every fear I had I felt comfortable to address it and she put my mind at ease as well as my husbands. When were educated on our options and felt we made the best decisions posible.  With our second child we went back to her and I loved it just as much. We were even more confident this time in our decisions and we even learned more!

Preci... Precious333

btw our first birth was a hospital birth, our second a homebirth. Our birthing instructer was outside of the hospital (bradley method).  She went above and beyond.  We had access to her at all times for anby questions.  She helped me find my midwife!!!

sandr... sandraberke

 i think it all depends on the person. me personally i didn't take one with either or my children. i thought about taking one the first time but i didn't and don't regret it even though i pushed for 4 hrs with  Riley and she  had to be vacuumed out and now has a permanent scar on her head. but aiden kinds slid right out after  30 minutes of pushing.i guess its easier the 2nd time around. labor is just one of those things that you just kinda do instinctively. its like you know how and when and what not. i hope my next baby is as easy as the last 

Malho... MalhotraFamily

Be careul with classes.  Especially those that are in the hospital.  Most teach how to be a good patient but not about how to safely deliver. 

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