The idea of physically attending a childbirth education class seems ridiculous in this day and age, when an abundance of free online and digital information is right at your fingertips. Why get out of your jammies and the privacy of your own home to sit with a bunch of people you don’t know and watch a birth video? Here’s why: there’s so much more to a childbirth education class than videos, and you will be surprised by how much fun you’ll have!
Before registering for a class, check in with other expecting women and participate in online chats to find out who the best childbirth educators are in your local area, and which classes are most engaging. By doing a little homework, you will set yourself up for a positive experience and benefit from all that a great prenatal class has to offer:
Increase the Bond Between You & Your Birth Partner
You may have been reading and web surfing to prepare for pregnancy and birth, but your partner may not have done as much prepping. A class will get the two of you on the same page and also help your partner learn how to support you during labor. Partners are just as anxious about birth, and have the tough position of watching someone they love in discomfort. By learning labor comfort techniques and your preferred options for support, your partner will feel better equipped for the big day and more confident. Furthermore, childbirth classes include practice of couples massage, relaxation, and labor positions that involve the partner and create a feeling of intimacy that is rewarding.
Learn Within a Community of Your Peers
The right instructor can get any class to start talking. Dynamics are such that there’s typically a class clown that keeps the group chuckling throughout the instruction and practice. As you engage in ice-breakers and class activities together, you’ll experience a natural connection with some of the couples. Especially if your class is a series, you are likely to exchange email addresses and form lasting bonds. You will also learn from other participants who may ask questions or have commentary on topics that you never thought to explore.
Receive Expert, Hands On Advice
A knowledgeable, experienced, and engaging instructor is invaluable. Some are certified by a childbirth education organization such as Lamaze, CAPPA, or ICEA. Others are healthcare providers (such as midwives or nurses) that have teaching experience. Most importantly, a good instructor will provide current, evidence-based information in an inclusive environment, without judgment or bias. She will help you weed through the overabundance of information available (the curse of the internet!), allowing you to focus on what’s most important. She will help decrease your fear of the labor process through her expert advice and teaching of hands-on techniques. She will be available during breaks to answer your more personal questions and suggest resources for support.
Having a baby is a momentous experience and deserves adequate preparation. So go ahead – sign up for a class with your partner and reap the benefits!