The very thought of childbirth can seem like a mystery for a first-time mommy, no matter how much research you do! Nothing can truly prepare you for going into labor like a childbirth education class. A childbirth education class will give you hands-on practice and knowledge about the entire labor and delivery process. Knowing what to expect when your first contraction takes place will help ease your anxiety and prepare you! The key is to be prepared and sign-up for the class early!
What You’ll Learn in a Childbirth Education Class
The importance of a childbirth education class can’t be stressed enough, but it’s not just about signing up for the class but signing up for before you go into labor! It’s never too early to take this class. Okay, maybe 13 weeks is too early, but we suggest you take the class right after 26 weeks. Make sure to sign up as soon as possible, the classes are scheduled out months in advance. This leaves you time to not only attend the class but to process all of the wonderful information before the baby comes. Remember, your baby may not be on the same schedule as you are (something to get used to mommies!) and may come earlier than expected, so don’t wait too long!
Here’s just a taste of what you will learn in a childbirth education class:
- Hands-on instruction and techniques to relax, breath, and distract yourself during labor to provide you with alternative approaches for pain relief during labor
- Labor positions to help your baby line up with your pelvis, speed up labor, and relieve pain
- Pain relief options and other medical interventions that may be used
- The stages of normal labor and delivery
- Possible complications that might arise during delivery and how they might be handled
- Birth planning and assistance.
- A chance for your partner to learn and become involved in the process as your birth partner
- Answers to any and all questions about the labor and delivery process, as well as addressing any fears you might have
We recommend setting up an appointment for a maternity consultation, which is a one-on-one with me, and we will help put together a pregnancy plan for you. I have many wonderful contacts for all of your needs: OBGYN or midwife, pediatricians, postpartum and anxiety support, recommendations for nursery items, the list goes on and on. My goal is to understand what you want and help attain those resources for you as well as acting as a key part of your support team.
Which Childbirth Education Class Should You Take?
There are many alternatives to choosing a childbirth education class. You can attend a class held by the hospital or birthing center at
which you will be delivering, Motherhood Center, or private classes. There are several classes you can choose from and various teaching methods. Classes can be taught by nurses, nurse midwives or certified professionals.
Our classes take the Lamaze approach, which emphasizes relaxation and rhythmic breathing along with the continuous support of a coach to help the laboring mother achieve a state of active concentration. The goal of Lamaze is to enable women to get through childbirth more naturally, with minimum medical intervention.
The classes we offer are:
Prepared Childbirth: Prepared Childbirth is taught by Sandra Arceneaux. Sandra is a registered nurse and certified in Lamaze and childbirth education. This class, which is held at Motherhood Center, is a 5-hour class that is usually held on a Saturday. You will learn an educational approach to labor and delivery in which the parents are specially prepared for the event. Prepared Childbirth classes emphasize the uniqueness of each woman’s life experience and how it impacts her labor and birthing process while helping you to prepare for the arrival of your baby. Sarah advocates a family-centered maternity care program and addresses topics like:
- Anatomy & physiology of pregnancy,
- Perineal massage
- Relaxation massage
- Relaxation techniques
- Developing a birth plan and discussing it with the care provider
- A detailed explanation of the process of labor/birth
- Coping strategies for labor such as positions, massage counter pressure, and vocalization
Natural Childbirth: Natural Childbirth is taught by Dena Rogue. Dena is certified in Lamaze and childbirth. This class, which is held at Motherhood Center, is a 6-hour class split into two 3-hour sessions. You will learn what to expect in labor and during birth, as well as what to expect during the early postpartum period. All topics discussed are based on Lamaze International’s Healthy Birth Practices, with the emphasis on having an unmedicated birth. Topics discussed include:
- How to avoid unnecessary interventions
- How to prevent c-section
- How to cope with labor using comfort measures, support and planning
- Birth plans can be discussed as a group or privately
Private Classes: If you don’t have time to join one our childbirth education classes, don’t worry! We offer private classes that can be taken in the privacy of your home or at the center. We can accommodate most days and times, taught by our wonderful instructors. The value of a private class is:
- A private class is customized to your personal schedule and needs
- You can get all the benefits of our services even while on bed rest because our classes come to you
- Take a class with friends! Schedule your personal class with a group of friends or family
- Personal classes offer one-on-one time with childbirth and newborn care professionals
- We cater to your needs, whether in a private classroom or in the comfort of your home
If you have any questions about any of our childbirth education classes, please don’t hesitate to call us at 713-963-8880 or to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. To sign up for our next Prepared or Natural Childbirth class or to schedule a maternity consultation, just register here. And, remember, you can never be too prepared for the big day!