Should I Take A Birth Class?
Information on how to take care of your pregnancy and how to prepare for your baby is readily available all over the internet. However, for many first-time mums-to-be, childbirth itself is quite a mystery – even if you’ve done your research on what to expect.
That’s where birth classes come in: they can help you prepare for your little one’s birth and give you confidence and information. That said, do you really need them? Should you take a birth class?
Benefits of a childbirth class
It gives you reassurance
A good childbirth class will build your confidence by giving you the tools you need to make the most suitable decisions for you and your family. A class can minimize the fear of the unknown and give you peace of mind during the birthing process.
It gives you the chance to bond with other expectant parents
A wonderful upside to childbirth classes is that they can help to build relationships. Attending childbirth classes allows you to meet others with whom you share common experiences. Plus, you’ll have children who are around the same age which will make it easier to get together long after the classes are over.
You get hands-on practice
In a good childbirth class, you’ll have the opportunity to go over practice comfort measure techniques, baby care practices, breastfeeding techniques, and more.
You can address your concerns
If you have any questions you can be sure that they’ll be answered in a good childbirth class, and any concerns you raise will be addressed. Many childbirth instructors are professionals who are familiar with all the ins and outs associated with labour and childbirth.
Access to resources
In addition to providing you with reliable information (such as how many nappies you’ll need in your baby’s first year or which eco nappy to use), a good childbirth class will also give you good, local resources for other professionals or services you may need throughout your pregnancy and after birth.
Downsides of childbirth classes
They can be expensive
For many, childbirth classes are an added expense that they cannot accommodate in their already stretched budget. Childbirth classes aren’t always covered by insurance, and paying out of your pocket can be a costly alternative.
The information you learn may not come in handy
You’ll be provided with a lot of information to do with labour, birth, and how to take care of your little one. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will all come in handy when the time comes for you to give birth. Labour and birth are overwhelming experiences, and you may not remember what you learned in your birth class in the heat of the moment.
Not all classes will suit your needs
No two birth classes are the same. To get the most out of your class, you will need to be able to connect with the instructor. This may mean having to visit quite a few childbirth classes until you find one that suits you.
You can find a lot of the information for free elsewhere
By doing your research online, you can get a lot of the information that is provided in childbirth classes
Childbirth education techniques
Approaches to childbirth education may vary. Some of the most common ones include:
Lamaze is a technique that emphasizes relaxation and rhythmic breathing. It combines this with strong and present support from a coach to help you achieve a state of “active concentration.”
Lamaze aims to allow labouring mums to get through the childbirth process without relying on pain medication by taking advantage of certain labour positions and tools with minimum medical intervention.
This provides self-hypnosis techniques to reduce discomfort, pain, and anxiety during childbirth as well as to help labouring mums-to-be achieve a highly relaxed state.
The Bradley method
This method advocates deep abdominal breathing and similar relaxation techniques. The idea here is to drive your focus inward to your body rather than outside the body. The Bradley Method also involves your birth partner by teaching them to coach and guide you through the labour pains.
Some of the main birth class providers in Australia
If a birth class is something you want to try, here are some of the main providers worth checking out in Australia:
The truth is, just like you don’t have to pack a hospital bag or decorate the nursery, you don’t need to take a childbirth class. Your baby will be born with or without them. Besides, you can learn quite a lot about childbirth online- there are even videos of it on Youtube!
That said, when you attend an in-person class, you will find reassurance, a community, resources, and hands-on practice, all of which will go a long way in helping you have a much easier time when it’s time to deliver your little one.