Family Magazine

Birthing Classes - Are They Really Necessary?

By Craftycrunchymama
I would like to go back in time a little bit and talk about some pregnancy topics. I didn't have a blog then - I wish I had thought of it sooner, so I would like to share some of the things we did as well as my opinions on pregnancy related things. My first is actually a request from a pregnant friend - are birthing classes helpful and necessary?
This is a question I asked while I was pregnant as well. I mean, to get my pregnant butt up and sit in a room full of other pregnant women while getting instructed on how to breathe and watching horrifying movies didn't sound awesome to me. I had been looking into some more natural childbirth coaching, but in the end didn't see how we could afford it so we decided to take the class at the hospital.
To my surprise, I learned a lot in the class. We went over breathing techniques, natural pain relief, how to know when to go to the hospital, how to use the birthing balls, what kind of pain medications are available, how many people are allowed in the deliver room and much more. I had already been researching some of these topics so it was a nice reminder. Daddy J on the other hand had no clue about these things and learned a ton!
If I had to choose the reason that I am most thankful about going to the birthing class, it would have to be that it put my husband and I on the same page as to what was about to happen. It all became more real to him and he felt more confident in his ability to help when the time came. I could tell he learned a lot and enjoyed himself.
The videos weren't so bad - honestly. I was actually moved to tears by the ladies on the screen who were giving birth. (I sobbed out loud a little. How embarrassing!) I saw that what they went through was hard but SO worth it when they got to hold their little bundle of joy in their arms. The video that actually freaked me out the most was a cartoon representation of how a c-section works. It's funny how things work out sometimes.
The tour of the labor and delivery ward was really helpful too. When the time came, we knew exactly what was going on and where we should be. I think this was Daddy J's favorite part.
If you are deciding whether or not to take birthing classes, I would encourage you to do so. The labor experience can be overwhelming. Arming yourself with as much knowledge beforehand is really helpful. I felt more confident knowing some of the things they taught me in the class.
I wish I had been able to afford and locate a good natural childbirth class such as Brio Birth or Bradley. I think things might have turned out differently for me if I did. The next time around I will definitely consider these. I am an extremely anxious person and these classes would have probably helped me learn to calm my fears during the labor process better than I did. (I would recommend taking the hospital class as well.)
If you are wondering if birthing classes are necessary, my answer is no. You can go on to have a healthy baby without one - people do it every day. Are the classes helpful? Absolutely! If nothing more than to get to know the place where you will be bringing your precious bundle into this world. I'm pretty sure you will get more out of it, though. I did!
Did you take a birthing class? Was it at your hospital or a more natural approach? What was your experience? I would love to hear!

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