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Anyone considering not taking a birthing class?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

I'm on the fence about taking a birthing class. From what I've read about the classes they mostly try to give women tips for coping with the pain. Problem is I've tried breathing techniques for menstrual cramps and they don't work for me. I've tried focusing my mind elsewhere during menstrual cramps and that does not work either.

 

The classes in my area are very expensive. I'd rather spend the money on a cpr and baby care class.

 

I'd have been born in my parents living room if it was not for my grandmother, who recognized my mom was in real labor and suggested they get her to a hospital quick. And that's after my parents took a Lamaze class. I'm not confident I'd learn much more than I already know.

 

Thoughts?

post #2 of 28

Our birthing class included CPR...I knew enough from witnessing other people's birth (6 of my 7 younger siblings were born at home and I was there plus I baby sat during my mom's friend's birth and saw that) and all my reading etc, but, it was nice for me DH who did not have much exposure - he felt he learned a lot on how to support me as well as just learning a lot more about birth/interventions/complications/positions so and so forth that he would never take the time to read about lol. So, I guess if you are a reader and feel comfortable you may not need it, but, if you have someone who will be supporting you during labor that may not be as educated it may help to go together...

 

Just my 2 cents....

post #3 of 28

I took a doula training course, and have doulaed at about 8-10 births, so it's a bit of a different scenerio, but here's my two cents.... 

 

We're not taking a course. I am an avid avid reader, and between that and my doula experience, there isn't anything pregnancy/birth mechanics that I could learn from a class. I suspect quite a few of the mamas on MDC are like that, simply because most of us find it so interesting, and have already done our research.  DH is a paramedic, so he also knows the mechanics of it. 

 

I took a childbirth course during my doula training, and it focused on pregnancy, the stages of labor, the physical side of it (what actually happens, dilation, etc)  , breastfeeding and a small section on newborn care, and then yes, relaxation techniques.  I left not feeling like I really learned much at all that I hadn't known already. We are looking into taking a three hour one on one massage class though- it's designed for birth by a prenatal/birth massage specialist, and she goes through and teaches you some positions, as well common massage technique. 

 

But honestly, when it comes down to it, DH knows me very well when it comes to helping my calm down, relax, stay focused, etc. So instead we're focusing more on watching videos featuring natural births (that often aren't highlighted in classes), and then going through some more of the 'emergency type' knowledge.... since my best case scenario is an "oops UC at home". 

 

I would research and try to come up with a plan for your pain coping though. Distraction and breathing might not work for you, but I would definately spend some time coming up with ideas for something that might. It will make you feel more settled I would think during labor. 

post #4 of 28
I did Bradley classes with my first, and felt like I got a lot of good info for the hospital but the way my inductor taught it, I didn't get much in the way of coping with labor. Now for my second I'm borrowing a friends Hypnobabies and already I'm noticing a difference in my attitude, how relaxed I am, etc. I didn't go natural last time, which was my goal but I didn't have a great support system. I don't like how Bradley is husband coached because my husband really couldn't fulfill the roll that I needed him to. I wish we would have hired a doula last time. This time I'm having a home birth, a doula, and I'm doing Hypnobabies...I feel like I'm more educated.

The Hypnobabies home study course is $130 new on eBay ($160 on their site), and there are also used versions. You could go that route, I wish we would have with our first (c'est la vie).

Good luck mama!
post #5 of 28

I won't be taking a class, but I will find a way to spend time alone with DP and focus on this birth together.

 

I was interested in the Bradley Method and in Hypnobabies, but I never took another class.  I managed to use my regular meditation techniques and breathing methods I've used in yoga during all three labors.  It was very helpful to me to use focused, relaxed breathing and meditation.  I found the warm birth pool equally helpful, and during intense contractions, locking arms/hands with DP and eye contact with DP made a huge difference!  A tense body intensifies pain, so recognizing tension and releasing it is my basic pain management method.  I like using my favorite music, too. 

 

 

DP and I took a class with our first, mostly to help us spend time together focused on the pregnancy and because we were planning a hospital birth and the class included detailed information about the hospital we were using and a tour of the birthing rooms.  I also hired a doula.  The doula was the most helpful aspect at that birth, although I was impressed with the class - even though it was offered at the hospital, the instructor was very natural-minded and empowering.  Also, there was a circumcision video for the parents considering circumcision.  DP and I left the room for that, but I hope it gave others in the class food for thought.

 

 

post #6 of 28

With my first, we signed up for a 12 hour class across a few weekends.  We ended up leaving after the first hour and losing the money we paid, but the class was taught at a really slow and boring pace and neither DH nor I could stand it.  I checked out a few DVDs from the library and that worked out well. I could fast forward, do other things while watching, and call DH in for any part I thought was important.  I definitely didn't feel like I missed out not taking a class. 

post #7 of 28

I'm not taking a class. But I am going to start listening to the hypnobirthing CDs as soon as I get my copies back. I did hypnobirthing with #2 and it TOTALLY worked for me. So, I am doing that again for sure.

post #8 of 28

I might.. it depends on if my friend ends up offering one or not. If she does, I'll go, if not, i won't ;)

post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by BennyPai View Post

I won't be taking a class, but I will find a way to spend time alone with DP and focus on this birth together.

 

I found the warm birth pool equally helpful, and during intense contractions, locking arms/hands with DP and eye contact with DP made a huge difference!  A tense body intensifies pain, so recognizing tension and releasing it is my basic pain management method.  I like using my favorite music, too. 


Very much so on all of this. It doesn't matter what it takes, but if you can find something to relax your body, that seems to be the biggest key. Kitzinger's Complete book of pregnancy and childbirth has some good instructionals on relaxing your body using touch relaxation- either having your DH/doula touch a part of your body, and you be able to instantly relax it, or you tensing your whole body and then one by one releasing each area to feel the difference. 

 

And yes yes yes on spending time with your DH/support person. This is very important to see how they feel, things that may make them uncomfortable, and also so they can understanding some of the things you want/will do. The first couple times DH watched natural birth videos I can tell he was a little creeped out. But now that he's seen what it is I want, he knows that hearing me moan/groan, rock etc will likely be normal, and to encourage it (as opposed to doctors/nurses whom will often hush you, you know?)

post #10 of 28

I never took any classes at a formal place.  I did read A LOT!  There are some you may NOT want to read, for example "What To Expect When You're Expecting" scared the crap out of several friends of mine.  I have never read it. 

I do suggest: "Birthing from Within" by Pam England & Rob Horowitz(is a great guide to facilitate your centering and awareness - really a great workbook), "The Gentle Birth Book" by Nancy Berezin(this one's old but beautiful, and very empowering), "Spiritual Midwifery" by Ina May Gaskin (helps you familiarize yourself with a variety of birthing conditions and methods for easing your birth), "Magical Beginings, Enchanted Lives" by Deepak Chopra (this really helped me while LO was in my belly, it's a great visual guide to life in the womb, and the journey out of the womb)

 

I firmly believe that each of us women has the Knowingness of how to do this.  It is our most Divine gift, and we are encoded with the Wisdom when it comes to be that time.  So, therefore I don't think it is totally necessary to take classes.  I do think it is important to know yourself, and continue to look inside for more awareness.  It's also important to watch birthing movies, and read books with your birthing partner. (watch Birthing from Within <3)  And to ask here if you need any questions answered!  The mom.commune really helped me through the first years...I'd have been lost without it. <3

post #11 of 28

I very much want to take a class! If you are totally brand new to pregnancy and birth, I think with the right group (most likely independent from a hospital) you will get to meet other pregnant parents in your area, hear what they are thinking about, learn about resources in the area etc.... Just like choosing your provider, it's also about meshing with the right type of class for your needs/wants/philosophies.

 

For me, I'm looking for something that will help prepare my husband for what to expect. I think it will help him feel more empowered the day of. He doesn't do half the reading I do. But I also really like the experiential part of a class like the Birthing From Within method, in terms of exploring my own thoughts on the pregnancy and birth. As a BFW trained teacher, I value/want someone else to lead me through it even though if I were more into self-study I could do all the steps on my own. I feel like having a guide will bring a different awareness for my husband and I vs. me having to wear the hat of a guide and mother-to-be at once.

 

If your primary goal is comfort technique learning, I can not recommend The Birth Partner highly enough. Make who ever will be at your birth read it cover to cover ;)
 

post #12 of 28

From my research, hypno babies (not birthing) is one the best things you could ever do to prepare. They offer a home study course on CD and from what I've seen it costs about $85. I got ir free, so I can't say for sure on the price. And reading! The Birth Partner, Ina Mae's books, etc

post #13 of 28

I can't decide! This is my 3rd birth, but DH's first... and the kids are 7 and 9, and will be at the birth... so I'm thinking our best option might be an in-home private class. that way,we don't have to pay for a sitter as well, and the kids can benefit from some of the information. One thing I liked about taking classes when I was pregnant with DS was meeting other couples who were in the same stage of life as us.

post #14 of 28

Even if you don't think the class will help you, it may really help your partner. My husband totally stepped up and was way more of a support during labor than I could ever have expected! (He was there when I called, did exactly as I said, held me when I needed it, ran for the nurse if I wanted her, and left me alone/didn't touch me when I asked, etc) 

 

So you say you have not pain coping strategies, are you going to get meds? Because if you want a natural birth, you do need to start considering various coping methods and even practice/conceptualize how you will use them.

 

By the way, laboring IN water is very helpful for pain management.

post #15 of 28

We are in the middle of our hypnobirthing classes right now (4 total).  We have one more left and I now find myself looking forward to the time I am in class.  Lots of relaxation techniques and partner touch.  It's probably the most intimate my dh and I get all week.  :)  I also LOVE the instructor and she has given us some great tips on having a hospital birth.  For example, the pain scale that the nurses bug you with the entire time you are in labor.  She mentioned that they are required to ask you that (and show you the little happy/sad faces), but if you simply ask them not to, then they can stop.  Lots of great little tidbits I didn't know about before I started the class. 

post #16 of 28

I don't think we're going to do any classes this time. We did hypnobirthing with DD and though I really didn't end up "clicking" with it during the actual event, I really enjoyed the time my husband and I got to spend together with like-minded couples and each other during the series. Also, our instructor gave us some great local hospital "tips" and the like...as well as logistical reminders etc. I really want to get a doula this time I think I'm just more responsive to one on one as opposed to breathing coping mechanisms. I don't think I ever really got into my "zone", and I tried as hard as I could, but after my first birthing experience I feel that I know what to expect and quite honestly though I might not be able to self-hypnotize it certainly hurts me less if I just breathe like I was taught!

 

post #17 of 28

DDCC here... (due earl-mid-jan so you never know...) Also on the fence about classes, and loving this doula's blog post (and the comments as well) discussing 'to take or not to take a class'... and especially directed at mamas who may have done a lot of reading already... http://vancouverdoula.blogspot.com/2010/03/slow-birth-preparation.html

post #18 of 28

We took a Lamaze class w/our first and some of it was worth it.  Totally scared me into having an epidural, which I didn't want anyway but made me more sure of my decision.

 

Lamaze BREATHING messed me up during that labor, however.  I thought I was supposed to breathe a certain way, started hyperventilating, no one told me I was in transition (I went from 8 to 10 in just minutes and they said it would be hours), so that was no good-- though I felt like telling the dumb residents, TOLD YOU SO when I felt amazing after those few minutes and had to push.  They were pretty mean-- when I said no epi they said, "We don't want any Joan of Arcs here." 

 

Now, my labors do progress quickly, but I found that the best thing to help me was confidence.  I don't really believe in any method because I think it takes away from your personal instincts, and I think women know what to do in labor IF they have confidence.  By confidence, I do not mean "handling" labor, but I mean being really in touch with your body.  I have found that I do best laboring alone for the most part (though I do think a trained labor support person like a doula would be amazing for long labors).  When I am alone, I am able to sink into what I am feeling and respond as needed.   Like I said . . .mine have been fast in the past . . .when there is a lot of intensity for a long time, then I do see how outside help would do wonders.  So, I guess I'd get a doula over a class, is what I am saying!

 

I really wanted a doula with my 1st.  DH said no-- felt like it would not be "our" thing, which I completely disagree with.  We had way too many OBs that day (I always use MWs now) and they were clueless.  Wish I had listened to myself, but I got through it w/no epi, so I guess it is OK. 

post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by flightgoddess View Post

Even if you don't think the class will help you, it may really help your partner. My husband totally stepped up and was way more of a support during labor than I could ever have expected! (He was there when I called, did exactly as I said, held me when I needed it, ran for the nurse if I wanted her, and left me alone/didn't touch me when I asked, etc) 

 

 



Absolutely!   We took a class for our first born.  The classes were pretty lame for me, but really helped dh feel more empowered and involved.  We also met some wonderful people and 10 years later, we are still good friends.  

 

But really, the classes helped dh and I develop more conversation about how I wanted the birth to go, what our plans were,  what we wanted after the birth.  The classess were great for communication, as was the time together.  

 

What helped me during the birth was a high pain tolerance, a bull-headed attitude and lots and lots of confidence.  

 

 

 

 

ETA -- I did not take classes for our next 2 babies and will not take them for this baby either.  Giving birth once is great training for giving birth again.    winky.gif

post #20 of 28

We took the class offered (free) by the hospital associated with the midwife group we saw for our first daughter, but haven't done another class since.  I didn't learn anything in that class that I didn't already know, and the things I would have appreciated knowing she probably wasn't allowed to teach since she was paid by the hospital.  For subsequent pregnancies/births, I have done a fair amount of reading and find my mind often wandering to ideal (for me) birth scenarios.  Both help me approach my birth feeling calm and accepting.  I find positive affirmations helpful when someone/something plants a seed of doubt or fear about what I know my body is capable of doing safely and effectively.  I'm sure there are some wonderful classes out there, but for me, this is all the preparation I need.  (Dh feels the same way, you couldn't pay him enough to sit through another childbirth class :) )

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