Childbirth Education Classes
Many woman wonder whether they should attend a childbirth preparation course. The short answer is yes, they should. It’s true that birth is a natural process through which women have journeyed successfully for 200,000 years. Just because they have been doing it forever does not mean that they lack questions about it. Women typically go through their pregnancy with many questions, about proper nutrition, about the various sensations in the bellies, about the health of the baby. For many, the question of how will I know I am in labor and how will it feel are at the top of that list. One can choose either to receive information as the process unfolds or to enter it already informed to the best degree possible. We would argue that having answers to those questions in advance, allows a woman to have more choices and a more complete understanding of how the options she chooses in labor can affect the outcome of her birth experience. This is why we have encorporated a childbirth education class into our Birth Doula Services package for all our clients.
Many changes happen in women’s bodies while they labor. These changes are both physical and emotional. Understanding these changes before labor begins, allows a woman to recognize where she is in her labor, when it’s time to go to the hospital or call her homebirth midwife, and to relax more easily during the birth process. Not knowing what is happening in her own body is stressful for many women and can lead to tension and fear. Tension and fear often complicate a labor, making it more painful, and perhaps even stalling it completely. Knowledge is a powerful tool in helping to eliminate or reduce fear and make for an easier, more relaxed birthing experience. Moreover, in a childbirth preparation class, a woman and her partner will learn a variety of other tools, such as rhythmic breathing, relaxation techniques, and body movements and manipulations to help ease the discomforts of labor and empower them in a process guided by nature.
A childbirth preparation class will clarify misconceptions and misinformation about the labor process, offer firsthand knowledge of birth, and evidence based information. It will discuss a variety of options, from coping techniques and tips for partners to information on medical interventions and anesthesia, to help woman make a birth preferences list. The course is designed to encourage a woman to move through her birth experience in an informed, empowered way, allowing her to make choices along the way that suit her needs physically and philosophically and to have her best birth possible.
Our group class is a 4-hr course that offers evidence-based information about labor and birth, teaches you a variety of relaxation skills and tips for your partner. In our private prenatal visit we will take use this information and new skillset to help you create a birth preferences list to guide you toward your best birth possible. For clients who choose not to take the group class or who cannot attend on the scheduled date, we do offer private classes at an additional fee of $75 per 2-hr session. Because some of the relaxation techniques we teach you work best when practiced with regularity over many weeks, we suggest that you complete the classes during or before your 35th week (although late comers can still benefit). You are welcome to repeat the relaxation class if space is available.