Have you ever gone into a new situation without knowing anything about what was going to happen? It drums up fear, creates anxiety, and can leave us at a loss to make a good decision if things don’t go as planned.
Same thing in childbirth: if a mom doesn’t know how her body will change physically and how her emotions might change in labor, it can make her feel scared and anxious, causing labor to slow down and inviting interventions that might otherwise not have been needed.
A childbirth class helps expectant moms and their partners to understand what’s normal in labor, what positions to use, what massage techniques are best for a laboring mom, and how the breath can be a mom’s best asset. Even for a woman who is planning to have an epidural — in fact, especially for a woman who is planning to have an epidural — a childbirth class is a must. Otherwise, how will she know how to find relief from her contractions in the hours that she labors at home, before it is time to leave for the hospital?
Many women depend on their caregivers, YouTube and other websites for their childbirth education. For some moms, that’s all they need. For others, they wind up with a difficult birth and when they get pregnant with baby number two, they go looking for a birth class. I know…I have lots of baby number two moms in my classes! They want a more empowering experience, and nothing empowers more than knowledge.
One excuse couples give for not taking a class: “We work a lot and don’t have time.” Pregnancy is the time to prepare for a baby, and that includes shifting work schedules and making it a priority to take a class to learn about one of the most important events their lives.
Couples also tell me that they don’t have the money. Most childbirth classes range from $75 to $250, depending on the length and duration of the course. This is a fraction of what most parents spend on items their baby will outgrow in just a few months. Planning for a baby’s birth is an investment in a relationship that will last a lifetime.
If scheduling is an issue, many childbirth educators offer private classes so they can meet with a mom and her partner on their schedule and customize the class to their specific needs.
If you’re convinced, check out Happy Birth Way’s new Birth Class Calendar for a listing of upcoming birth classes in the Tampa Bay Area. I hope to see you at one soon!