Everything You Need to Know About Childbirth Class: Your All-inclusive Guide 2022
Giving birth can be a woman’s most empowering yet scariest experience. Whether it is your first or third baby, the thought of going through labor and delivery can be overwhelming. Luckily, childbirth education classes can help prepare soon-to-be moms for the big day.
However, it can be hard to know which one is right for you with all the different childbirth class options available today. Don’t worry, in this comprehensive guide, we will discuss everything you need to know about these courses, from the topics they cover to how you can find one that best suits you.
What Is a Childbirth Class?
Before you look up “childbirth education classes near me,” let us take a moment to define what these courses entail.
Studies of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that around 700 women in the U.S. die from childbirth or pregnancy-related issues each year. While most of the causes are inevitable for some with underlying health conditions, a good portion of these fatalities could be prevented with the proper knowledge and care.
This is where childbirth classes come in. Also called prepared or natural childbirth classes, these educational programs aim to equip pregnant women and their partners with the necessary skills and information to have a safe and healthy delivery experience. Additionally, they are designed to provide expectant parents with essential knowledge about childbirth, from prenatal care to delivery and postpartum.
These courses are often offered by hospitals and private organizations. They can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days, depending on the scope of the program. Nowadays, some childbirth classes are also offered online for the convenience of those who are unable to attend traditional, in-person classes.
Types of Birthing Classes:
While all childbirth classes share the same goal of preparing parents for childbirth, each program differs in the topics covered and the approach used. According to Mary Anne Dunkin of Grow by WebMD, these are some of the most common types of childbirth classes available today:
1) Bradley Birthing Classes
This type of childbirth class is perfect for both the father and mother-to-be as it involves the father in all aspects of childbirth, from the stages of labor to delivery. The Bradley approach prepares the father to assume the role of coach or advocate for his partner throughout pregnancy and childbirth.
Also called natural childbirth classes, these educational courses highly promote the use of natural childbirth methods, such as deep breathing and relaxation techniques, to help manage pain during labor without the use of drugs. Bradley, or natural childbirth classes, focuses on the importance of good nutrition and physical fitness during pregnancy, as well as the importance of having a safe and medication-free childbirth experience.
2) Lamaze Childbirth Classes
Like the Bradley approach, Lamaze sees childbirth as a natural process. However, it does not completely rule out the use of pain medications but instead provides mothers with a variety of options to aid them as they make decisions on their childbirth journey.
Lamaze childbirth classes also focus on making the mothers feel more comfortable and confident with the childbirth process by teaching breathing techniques and other forms of relaxation methods.
3) The Mongan Approach
Also widely known as hypnobirthing, the Mongan childbirth class method is based on the book by Marie F. Mongan, “HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method“. This type of childbirth class focuses on using self-hypnosis and relaxation techniques to ease the birthing process. It also instructs mothers about the physiological and psychological changes that occur during childbirth to help them understand and accept the process.
4) The Alexander Approach
Finally, the Alexander approach to childbirth education teaches expectant mothers how to use their bodies optimally during childbirth. It focuses on helping the mother become more aware of her posture and alignment, and how these can affect the progress of labor. This type of childbirth class also emphasizes the importance of practice in making the process of childbirth less painful and more comfortable.
What To Expect in a Childbirth Class?
Now, you may already have an idea of what childbirth class you would like to take. However, if you are still undecided or are not sure what to expect from a birthing class, here is a rundown of the general topics that are commonly covered in these programs:
1) Breathing and Relaxation Techniques
As childbirth can often be painful and stressful, it is important for mothers to know how to manage their pain. In childbirth classes, expectant mothers are typically taught a variety of breathing and relaxation techniques that can be used during the process of labor and delivery. This not only helps ease the pain, but also provides a sense of control and calmness for the mother-to-be.
2) Stages of Labor
It is important that mothers are aware of the various stages of labor so they know what to expect. Childbirth classes typically cover the three main stages of labor, as well as the possible complications that can occur. This helps mothers to be better prepared for childbirth and to know when to ask for help.
3) The Role of the Father
In childbirth classes, fathers-to-be are typically involved in all aspects of the class, from learning about the stages of labor to practicing breathing and relaxation techniques. This helps the father feel confident and prepared for the childbirth process and prepares him to be supportive and an advocate for his partner. Oftentimes, dads are also taught different massage techniques that can help to relieve stress and ease the pain of their partner during pregnancy and childbirth.
4) What to Bring to the Hospital
While this may seem like a no-brainer for some, it’s actually easy to forget what you need to take with you to the hospital when you’re in the throes of childbirth. Childbirth classes usually discuss and review a checklist of essentials that you will need to have with you when you go into labor, so be sure to take notes!
5) Dealing With Emergency Situations
To increase the confidence of both the mother and father, childbirth classes also cover emergency situations that may occur during childbirth. This includes everything from experiencing signs of labor in a remote or public place, to complications that can occur during the delivery itself.
While it is admittedly stressful to think about, being prepared for these situations can help ease the anxiety of childbirth.
6) Natural Childbirth Classes
If you are planning to give birth through natural methods, most, if not all, birthing classes cover the essential topics that you will need to know. This includes managing the discomfort during labor, as well as common interventions during childbirth.
Additionally, natural childbirth classes also focus on teaching mothers how to use their bodies during childbirth. This includes pushing and positioning techniques that can help the baby descend the birth canal more effectively.
7) Cesarean Birth Classes
Most prepared childbirth programs also prepare mothers in case they need to have a Cesarean section. While this is typically a last resort, it is important for both the mother and the father to know what to expect if this situation arises.
This section of a childbirth class usually covers the diverse types of Cesarean sections, as well as the possible complications that can occur during the surgery. Additionally, mothers are typically taught how to care for their incisions and themselves during the recovery period.
8) Changes After Birth
The childbirth process does not end after the baby is born. In fact, there are a whole host of changes that both the mother and the father will experience after childbirth.
To help parents adjust to these changes, many childbirth programs offer postpartum classes that cover topics such as breastfeeding, sleep deprivation, and bonding with your baby. These classes typically last for one to three sessions and allow both parents to ask any questions they may have about the post-birth period.
9) Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression is a common condition, not all pregnant or expectant mothers are aware of. However, it is an important topic to cover in childbirth classes as it can impact the mother’s ability to care for herself and her child. Learning the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression can help mothers get the treatment they need so they can enjoy the postpartum period.
10) Breastfeeding and Bottle-Feeding
Of course, one of the most important decisions a mother will make after childbirth is whether to breastfeed or bottle-feed her child. While there is no right or wrong answer, it is important for mothers to be informed about the pros and cons of both options.
Additionally, many childbirth classes offer hands-on demonstrations of how to breastfeed effectively. This can be extremely helpful for new mothers who have never attempted to breastfeed before.
Are Birthing Classes Worth It?
While enrolling in a childbirth class may seem like an unnecessary expense for some, many parents find that the investment is well worth it. Childbirth classes offer so many benefits that go beyond simply learning about the childbirth process through the modules and seminars. Some of these are the following:
1) They Empower You
Having the confidence that comes with being well-informed is an invaluable asset for any mother about to give birth. Childbirth classes help mothers to feel empowered and in control of the childbirth process which can bring great comfort during labor.
2) They Help You Prepare for the Unexpected
Childbirth classes will not only teach you about the childbirth process but also about the diverse types of interventions that may be necessary during labor and delivery. This helps reduce the anxiety that many mothers feel when giving birth while also preparing their partners on what they can do to help.
3) They Keep You and Your Partner Connected
Speaking of partners, childbirth classes provide a fantastic opportunity for both parents to bond and connect with each other during pregnancy. This is especially beneficial for fathers who eagerly want to be more involved in the childbirth process.
4) They Are Taught by Qualified Professionals
Childbirth educators go through a rigorous process of education and certification to qualify for their role. This means that you can be sure that you are getting accurate and up-to-date information when you take a childbirth class. Furthermore, many childbirth educators have also experienced mothers themselves, so they can offer first-hand advice and support.
5) They Help You Build a Support System
One of the most important things a childbirth class can do is help you build a dedicated support system. This can be your childbirth educator, your partner, or another mom who has gone through childbirth. These individuals can offer advice, guidance, support, and friendship during this exciting but also challenging time.
6) They Offer a Hands-On Experience
Childbirth class is not just a sit-down lecture. Many childbirth classes offer a hands-on experience, such as practicing different birthing positions or learning how to use a birth ball. This can be extremely helpful in preparing you for the real experience and provides you with a clearer picture of what you should expect.
Furthermore, activities during birthing classes can be a fun way to explore the childbirth experience with your partner and fellow moms-to-be who can undoubtedly become a part of your support network.
Prepare for Your Childbirth Experience with Us at Motherhood Center.
Giving birth is an amazing, life-changing event. At Motherhood Center, we want to help you make the childbirth experience as positive and empowering as possible.
Our childbirth classes are designed to give you the knowledge and confidence you need to approach childbirth with excitement and joy. With the guidance of our certified childbirth educators, you and your partner will be prepared for the childbirth experience and everything that comes with it.
Furthermore, we offer our classes in a variety of formats to suit your needs and schedule. From group live streams and in-person sessions to Private childbirth classes tailored specifically to your needs, we have options for everyone.
Register today to make your childbirth journey a memorable one.
Please contact Motherhood Center in Houston to help you get answers to your questions about Childbirth Class
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3701 W. Alabama Ste 230, Houston, TX 77027
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