Originally Posted by jenmn
I'm looking into becoming a childbirth educator and wanted some feedback on the different methods and approaches. I'll choose an approach that fits with my birthing philosophies, but I'd like to hear from people who've experienced different methods. I know that how the classes are taught depend heavily on the individual instructor, but I still think some feedback would be valuable.
1. What childbirth class(es) are you taking or have you taken in the past (Hypnobabies, Hypnobirthing, Bradley, Childbirth International, International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA), BirthWorks, Lamaze, Birthing From Within, something else)?
2. Was it a private class or through your care provider or a birth center or a hospital?
3. How many sessions was the class? About how much did you pay for it?
4. Did you like the class? Did your spouse/partner/support person like the class? What were your favorite and least favorite things about the class?
5. If you've already given birth, was the class useful? Would you take the class again or recommend it to friends?
6. Anything else that you think would be helpful?
Thanks so much for your help!
1. I took a HypnoBirthing class during my first pregnancy, did the Hypnobabies Home Study with my second and third, and attended Bradley classes as a friend's birth partner.
2. The classes were not affiliated with a hospital or birth center.
3. 5 HypnoBirthing classes, 5 Hypnobabies lessons, 10 Bradley, don't remember the costs (I wasn't paying for Bradley.)
4. HypnoBirthing: Neither my husband or I liked it. It included very little pregnancy or birth information, and the "skills" it taught were simplistic and ineffective. We kept asking, "Ok, but what do we DO during the birth?" and the instructor would just smile and tell us we'd know when the time came. Not helpful. I did go on to have a nice birth, but only because I spent much more time and money finding and using more effective childbirth hypnosis materials.
Hypnobabies: Both my husband I were blown away by how comprehensive and thorough it was, despite being a Home Study. I literally learned more about hypnosis and birth in the first 1/2 hour after I opened the box than I did in the whole HypnoBirthing class. It was complete, easy to learn and using it was just second nature by the time the birth started. My husband loved how easy it was for him to play a big role in the birth, despite being so busy that he really hadn't had time to prepare with me in advance. I loved how mobile and comfortable I was throughout the birth. We really enjoyed our births using Hypnobabies. In fact, we enjoyed it so much that my husband talked me into becoming a Hypnobabies instructor. I've been very happy with the support from the main office and the professionalism and ethics of the program.
Bradley: I did not use it myself. My friend seemed pretty happy with the classes, although she didn't have the birth she hoped for. The good thing is that, while some of the information was somewhat outdated, it was nearly as comprehensive as what I had gotten from the Hypnobabies Home Study, so I knew the students were well informed. Taking the classes after having great births using hypnosis made it kind of strange, though. There was so much focus on the "inevitable" pain of birth, but since my births were comfortable I felt like she was completely missing an entire birthing option. It was also a little disturbing to me to realize that all the little comfort techniques I had learned to use here and there to move the birth along while using Hypnobabies was ALL that my friend was going to have to get through her birth. I know it is enough for many women, but it made me nervous to think that she didn't have anything else to fall back on if those relaxation techniques weren't enough. I was also uncomfortable with the focus of unmedicated birth being the "right" way to give birth, rather than focusing on making informed choices to have the safest birth possible, even if that meant choosing interventions. I don't know how much of that was instructor bias and how much is the Bradley mind-set.
Brio might be worth looking into in a few years. The idea of incorporating several childbirth approaches makes sense, as long as they did so with full permission of the people who originated each of those approaches. It is possible that they did, but I know there have been some questions about that. Right now, when there are so many questions swirling around about the origin of their materials, one legal case already in court and at least a couple more being considered by other programs, it might be worth waiting for the dust to settle. But once they get any possible ethical problems ironed out, it seems like it could be a good program for those who aren't interested in using self-hypnosis.