I'm five weeks pregnant today, and I'm trying to stop worrying about all the things that could go wrong this early and start enjoying things and thinking ahead to next steps.
I've been a natural child-birth advocate since high school when I used to watch House of Babies on television (oh, how I miss that show), and my dream has always been to have an unmedicated water birth in a free-standing birth center with a midwife and doula. In recent years, especially given the differing natural birth climates in various states (and the fact that my husband and I move fairly often due to his job), I've become more and more open to birthing at home and I'm working to help my husband be more comfortable with at well in case a birth center is not an option for us.
My questions for those who have been there, done that:
How soon is too soon to choose a childbirth education program, and start preparing?
I know a bit about Bradley and a bit more about Hynobabies, and since learning about Hypnobabies a few years ago, it just seems right. But my concerns, especially with in-person group classes, is not only my DH having to attend all the classes with me (he has a job that requires a lot of travel six months out of the year, and our child is due during that timeframe) but also with the fact that some of the programs (like Hynobabies) are only six weeks long. I'm worried about pushing off preparing for birth until the last couple months of pregnancy, especially if I want to try using hypnosis for birth. I know that a home study course is an option for Hypnobabies, if not Bradley, but I worry that this would be more beneficial for me than for DH (who I think is a bit skeptical about the whole thing, and would appreciate being in a group setting to learn about it).
Did you find that you had plenty of time to feel prepared by starting a six weeks course prior to your baby being born? Did you wish you'd started preparing earlier?
If your or your partner's schedule was fairly busy, did you find that this conflicted with your ability to prepare for childbirth in a class/group setting? If you decided on a home study course, were you really able to devote time to studying like you should, or do you feel that a class would have been more effective at keeping you on track?
In some ways I'm learning toward the home study Hypnobabies course, if only for the fact that I could buy the program and start preparing far earlier than I might be able to through a class.
When do instructors recommend you prepare for birth via Bradley or Hypnobabies? Is it counterproductive to start preparing earlier than recommended?