Originally Posted by chinaKat
I wasn't super dedicated to natural childbirth before the class, though -- I went into it thinking I'd get as many coping mechanisms in my toolkit as possible from it, but I wasn't do-or-die at the time about it.
I think the class was the turning point for me, though, in going from "maybe..." to "yes, I can". And if I hadn't taken the class, I probably would have wound up with an epidural, thinking it was the thing to do.
I think this is a great reason to take a class. I'm glad it helped you achieve a natural birth!
Just another opinion though--I agree with my midwife, her sister, and my mother, in that I think the classes are unnecessary if you know you want a natural birth. If you are confident you can do it, then I say forgo the classes as they are a waste of money, because everyone's coping mechanisms during labor and birth are soooo individual (and even what you think you might need during labor might be dramatically different from what you actually desire once you're in the middle of it).
As for Bradley, I personally don't care for the "birth coach" approach (though 2 of my sisters loved it). I feel that birth is a solo journey for the mother, no matter who or how many support persons surround her. Many mothers end up not wanting their husbands close during labor, and sometimes don't want anyone at all near them or touching them. Not that that will be the case for you, but just realize it's a possibility. Many of us want no touching, sound, movement, etc from anyone, and just turn in to ourselves to find the strength to birth a baby.
And it can also differ from birth to birth.
I'd just hate to have you "practice" one approach and then find that it is not at all helpful for you during labor. I think reading up on many different approaches and maybe writing down the "punch line" from each to have available as coping options during labor would be more helpful personally.