Child Birth Preperation Classes - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 29 Old 08-17-2011, 08:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a question for all you ladies out there.  How necessary are these Child birth classes (prenatal classes)?  Here is why I ask:

 

I lost my job right before I found out I was pregnant and never found another job.  My husband lost his job when I was 14 weeks pregnant (I will be 28 weeks on Saturday) and in 3 months he hasn't been able to find a single job, not even a part time one - the job market where we live, is really bad right now.  He is on EI (Employment Insurance here in Canada - which you get if you were laid off due to no fault of your own) but it only pays a fraction of what you were making, and we only have it for 6 months.  Which means, right now, we are barely getting by... no money for anything besides rent, bills and some food. My midwife suggested (thankfully midwives are covered by BC Health) I should take these classes because it is our first baby and we are wanting a home-birth.  She knows that financially we really can't afford them.  She suggested I talk to a lady that owns a local kids store, is a doula and offers child prep classes and ask her for a reduced rate.  The problem is, that the actual rate is $170, the reduced rate is $85.  Here is the crisis we face, we have so little money that if we paid that, it would pretty much come out of the little money we have for buying food :(

 

So I guess I just want to know how important these classes are.  Is there anywhere where I can learn this information online for free or would I be better off going to the classes?  It is putting a whole lot of stress on me :(

 

Thanks in advance :) 


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#2 of 29 Old 08-17-2011, 10:21 AM
 
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Honestly, it depends on the class. But if you commit yourself to a ton of reading then you totally dont need to do them IMO. And often you can find great, homebirth friendly, books at the library :) Usually the point of the classes is to understand how pregnancy and childbirth work and maybe offer some tips on coping with labour.


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#3 of 29 Old 08-17-2011, 11:37 AM
 
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I would ask your librarian to help you find any resources on childbirth education. Even if they don't have a certain book, they can usually borrow the book from another library. I chose the self-education route last time by reading a lot.

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#4 of 29 Old 08-17-2011, 10:10 PM
 
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Like a PP said, it depends on the class.  If your MW recommends it then they might be worthwhile, but then again maybe not!  I would skip them honestly.  I highly recommend the book Ina Mays Guide to Childbirth, to me it is as good as a class!  For even more info, her book Spiritual Midwifery is a good one too(I skimmed over and did not read a lot of the Instructions to Midwives stuff, but some of it is worth reading).  I would also really look through this site, both the community and mothering.com home, and read articles and things that people have to say.  you can probably find the books at a library so at no cost to you, I hope!  Anyway, a prenatal class is offered to me along with my midwifery care(MW teaches her own class and its included in her cost).  I have not taken the class yet but after doing a lot of reading and researching I feel confidant enough right now to have this baby, I really could care less about the class to tell you the truth.

 

Also congratulations on your pregnancy and for choosing home birth!!  I am also planning my first home birth:)

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#5 of 29 Old 08-18-2011, 06:07 AM
 
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Also, videos on youtube I find can be very educational!

 

I really liked Henci Goer's Thinking Woman's Guide to Childbirth - it goes into a lot of the pro-s and con's of interventions and whatnot (if you have a homebirth a lot of these won't mean much to you, but in the event you might need to transfer, it might do look into)


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#6 of 29 Old 08-18-2011, 07:24 AM
 
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I didn't take classes and I don't regret it.  I did read a lot, watched documentaries, video clips, etc.  

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#7 of 29 Old 08-18-2011, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the info ladies :)  I have been reading a lot with all this being new to me.  Honestly, I read a lot in general, but don't think I have read so much on a single topic in forever!  I am still contemplating what to do about the classes, I will check out some of the resources you have suggested.  I am excited about having a homebirth (the scary part being that I live in an apartment lol so I hope that the neighbours don't freak out!!!) ... and I am so excited about this little baby.  He/she will arrive a month and a bit after out 5th wedding anniversary... and we tried for 10 months before we finally had a positive test!  I was in denial about the symptoms because my cycle was so screwed up but my hubby finally made me take the test after I wouldn't even eat chocolate because I was so nauseous!! :D 

 

The place that offers the classes comes highly recommended.. and they offer seperate classes for doctors and midwife patients because the care is so vastly different.  And yes, I pretty much have been lurking on this board for the last 6 months and have read so many different topics, even the older ones that are no longer active.  Been very informative!


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#8 of 29 Old 08-18-2011, 07:58 AM
 
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Congratulations on your upcoming baby! I admit I did find the childbirth classes to be very helpful, but if it was between that and food I'd pick food. What I found helpful about them was going over the same material multiple times, to the point where both my husband and I knew it forwards and back. (He wasn't into reading about it, either, and this way he learned.) Do you have a family member who might sponsor you for the class? If there really is no way to pay you can probably get on without it, though.

 

As for the neighbors thing... my husband was freaking out about that too. We didn't end up having a homebirth for other reasons, but once we brought baby home I realized that he had totally forgotten to consider THAT aspect of the "omg we're disturbing the neighbors"... baby spends way more time crying than I would have during labor!

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#9 of 29 Old 08-18-2011, 08:25 AM
 
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Under your circumstances, I think I would skip the classes and go the library/internet research route. I agree with OPs saying to read about positive birth stories, like Ina May, and also to read about hospital interventions just in case you have to transfer, and of course other general pregnancy sources (MDC has lots of threads on what to read - there is a lot of JUNK out there and books that scare you more than helping!). I also recommend reading about the first few months of having a baby, since it seems that so many people focus on labor and birth and then you have a baby and no idea what to do!

 

Another resource that could be helpful is if you can find some kind of moms support group(s) locally - often there are groups that meet at no cost and you can get to know some people, even before you give birth. Experienced moms can give you ideas and tips and be a great resource. Some groups will even arrange to have different people deliver you meals after your baby is born, which is so nice to have! There are sometimes Attachment Parenting, Breastfeeding, or other Natural Family oriented groups. I found out about some by going to La Leche meetings. I can't say HOW important it was to me to have other mom friends in those early days, months, and years, and that is one of the things that you might miss if you don't have a class.


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#10 of 29 Old 08-18-2011, 12:44 PM
 
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I would skip the class.  There were no classes offered where I lived when I was pregnant with my first so I did all my research on-line.  I felt like birthingnaturally.net was an extremely valuable website in helping me prepare for my natural childbirth.  This time around I did take a class (Blissborn homestudy) and a lot of the information I had gotten on-line the first time (except the hypnosis stuff).

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#11 of 29 Old 08-22-2011, 08:41 AM
 
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Are you sure it was a Blissborn Homestudy? It hasn't been released to the public yet! Was it maybe HypnoBabies?

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#12 of 29 Old 08-24-2011, 08:24 PM
 
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I wanted to add to my previous post now that I've had my 2nd natural childbirth, this time having taken a class (Blissborn Hypnosis Homestudy).

 

For my first birth, I just did my own research on-line because there were no classes offered where I lived and it just wasn't in the budget to take a class anyway.  I loved the info that I got on-line and I feel like it was definitely helpful in getting me through my 24 hour labor.  However, when it came down to the end (pushing) I defaulted to what I had been programed with (by TV and movies) and climbed up on the hospital bed and tried to push my baby out on my back, ended up with an episiotomy and the use of the vacuum to get my baby out after 4 hours of unsuccessful pushing.

 

This time around I decided I wanted to take a class (we had moved so there were more options) and I made sure I budgeted early for the class.  I had already given birth without drugs so I knew what it would feel like and I was already convinced I could do it again and wanted to do it again, but I knew I wanted it to be different.  After researching all my options I decided I wanted to do hypnosis and Blissborn seemed like the best fit for me because it didn't waste time on the "why go natural" (although that was included in the appendix) or how to eat well for pregnancy-stuff that I already knew.  It used common language (like "contractions" instead of "pressure waves") and it got started on the hypnosis right in class 1 and provided scripts for DH to read to me and CD's to listen to on my own to practice with.  

Long story short, this time around I had a 4 hour labor (about 15 mins of pushing) that was almost exactly like what I had pictured during my hypnosis sessions.  I think so much of the success of this class comes from "reprograming" your subconscious and conscious mind.  I worked through fears that I was in denial about having and learned to get out of my head and let my body do the work.  It was amazing how different the 2 labors were!  Even though you can certainly get "the info" on-line or in books, really absorbing it and practicing it and working through it with hypnosis makes all the difference!  I would check out Blissborn's website for more super helpful links on natural childbirth as well!

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#13 of 29 Old 08-25-2011, 12:10 AM
 
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I should have also added that the movie The Business of Being Born is available to watch free on Youtube:)

There is also a show called Pregnant In America free on Hulu.  Its not the greatest but it is worth the time to watch I think

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#14 of 29 Old 08-25-2011, 06:45 AM
 
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As a childbirth educator it is really hard for me to say "don't take a class" because I know how very important classes can be. So, instead of telling you to "DIY" and get some books, and videos.... I highly recommend that you find a comprehensive independent childbirth education class... or hire a doula. I really feel like taking a class, that is likely to let you know what the birth climate in your local area is like is going to be as beneficial to you as it will be to sit down with a stack of books and videos. Yes, it's important to learn what normal birth is like, and ways to cope with labor pains and unexpected surprises. But there is something to be said for knowing what you're walking into when it's time to birth your baby. I understand that cost is an issue, and most educators and doulas are going to be willing to work with you, or help you find someone that fits your needs.

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#15 of 29 Old 08-25-2011, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The Business of being born, was the first thing I watched when I found out I was pregnant :)  That is what made me decide on a midwife for sure.  I have been able to find a way to go to the class by the way - swallowed my pride and asked my family to help out, which they did.  My in-laws also offered to help ... *sigh*  I am so thankful to have such supportive people in my life to help.  I really feel I could benefit from the classes because we are planning a home-birth and it is our first baby - even with all that I have read in this pregnancy.  My husband has been so very supportive and has been great my entire pregnancy ... but the thought of the classes makes him uncomfortable ... ROTFLMAO.gif He is coming along though, he is a super good sport!!!  We have two full Saturday classes a few weeks before our babe (whom we have named Jellybean) arrives in the middle of November.  The little one sure is busy in there today :)  Thanks again for all your input ...


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#16 of 29 Old 08-25-2011, 10:14 PM
 
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I'm so glad you could afford the classes!!  I am sure they will help prepare you even more in addition to the videos and books:)

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#17 of 29 Old 08-26-2011, 06:13 AM
 
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Good for you for reaching out and asking for help. 

 

One thing that I didn't see in the replies was the importance of the class for labor partners. I am committing myself to a lot of reading, but it's like pulling teeth to get my husband to do it. He's up for a class, though, and he'll watch videos I put in front of him. I don't know for sure, but I have a hunch that the class will be really important for him to hear about labor and delivery, what to expect, and (maybe most importantly) how to support me through labor. From my reading I know that a look of fear or grimace on his face could be disruptive in the laboring process, so I want him coming in with eyes wide open!


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#18 of 29 Old 08-26-2011, 07:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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RosieL:  I totally agree with you, I don't think my hubby has much knowledge of the actual birth / labour and what to expect.  We are both new to this and I know that this class will benefit us both for sure... He is in this with me 100% he just seems uncomfortable with two full Saturday classes.  Unfortunately because they gave me the reduced rate, I wasn't able to choose from the once a week for 6 weeks, classes.  Oh well :)


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#19 of 29 Old 08-26-2011, 08:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Autumnshades View Post

RosieL:  I totally agree with you, I don't think my hubby has much knowledge of the actual birth / labour and what to expect.  We are both new to this and I know that this class will benefit us both for sure... He is in this with me 100% he just seems uncomfortable with two full Saturday classes.  Unfortunately because they gave me the reduced rate, I wasn't able to choose from the once a week for 6 weeks, classes.  Oh well :)


You should have your husband read the chapters and websites that explain the physiology of birth, and the way a woman copes with it emotionally, and physcially. It's really important if you're planning on your spouse to be your support person in labor. My husband knew way more the second time around and it was far easier for him to provide the support I needed until my midwife and doulas could help me.

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#20 of 29 Old 08-26-2011, 10:49 AM
 
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You should have your husband read the chapters and websites that explain the physiology of birth, and the way a woman copes with it emotionally, and physcially. It's really important if you're planning on your spouse to be your support person in labor. My husband knew way more the second time around and it was far easier for him to provide the support I needed until my midwife and doulas could help me.

 

I have asked him to read Ina May's guide, as that's the one I've liked so much. I don't think he needs to understand all the possible complications (MWs can look after those) but I want him to have lots and lots of knowledge of what a normal natural birth is. I loved the numerous stories in the first part fo the book. 

 

The question is, how do I get him to read it. He says he will, but he hasn't picked it up yet. I don't want to push him too hard before he's ready (afterall, it's still quite early!) but I don't want it to be last-minute. Anyone have suggestions? 

 

Today we talked about rearranging the basement, and I mentioned that's where I was planning on putting the birth pool and probably doing most of labor (our basement is finished and our upstairs has tooooo many windows for me to feel uninhibited). He asked "What's a birth pool?" I'd love for him to already know that laboring in water is good, without me having to tell him everything! Maybe that's asking too much...
 

 


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#21 of 29 Old 08-26-2011, 11:53 AM
 
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My DH does much better watching than reading. Found Gentle Birth Choices at the library, which comes with a DVD, and we watched that together.

 

Has HE watched the Business of Being Born? or just some videos of homebirth on youtube, etc? that may help as much as reading anything (unless he really does like to read)


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#22 of 29 Old 08-26-2011, 11:23 PM
 
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I have asked him to read Ina May's guide, as that's the one I've liked so much. I don't think he needs to understand all the possible complications (MWs can look after those) but I want him to have lots and lots of knowledge of what a normal natural birth is. I loved the numerous stories in the first part fo the book. 

 

The question is, how do I get him to read it. He says he will, but he hasn't picked it up yet. I don't want to push him too hard before he's ready (afterall, it's still quite early!) but I don't want it to be last-minute. Anyone have suggestions? 

 

Today we talked about rearranging the basement, and I mentioned that's where I was planning on putting the birth pool and probably doing most of labor (our basement is finished and our upstairs has tooooo many windows for me to feel uninhibited). He asked "What's a birth pool?" I'd love for him to already know that laboring in water is good, without me having to tell him everything! Maybe that's asking too much...
 

 

I read the book, then I bought it for DH.  I doubted that he would read it, but one day I handed it to him as he was headed in to the bathroom to sit on the toilet:)   He actually read it, then he began reading it every time he used the toilet.  Then pretty soon he took it to work with him and read it on his off time, and then he read it when he had to take a long bus ride.  He has actually read a good portion of the book!  But now he thinks he does not need to read the rest and knows everything there is to know...  lol, whatever.  The Business of Being Born is available free on youtube too!   I am hoping to watch it with him soon, we will see I guess:)

 

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#23 of 29 Old 08-27-2011, 05:21 AM
 
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My husband is the same way... if he isn't interested in something, good luck getting him to read it. That was one reason I found our Bradley class so helpful--it was an alternate way to get the information to him.

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#24 of 29 Old 08-27-2011, 02:15 PM
 
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It looks like you got into a class... yay! The one thing I'd suggest to anyone who can't take a class, or in addition to the classes, is to spend time practicing whatever coping skill you think might use. Visualize yourself handling labour well and using relaxation techniques, or breathing through contractions in the shower or leaning on DH for support, etc, etc...Discuss those things with DH, maybe make a list of things you'd like to try and stick it on the fridge, so he can make suggestions to you or help you stay focused. I had practiced relaxation techniques before, because I have an anxiety disorder, so I re-used that knowledge and it worked just fine... so if you've taken yoga or done any kind of meditation or praying where you find an inner peace/ calm feelings, use that... practice it, so it'll be second nature when you go into labour.


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#25 of 29 Old 08-28-2011, 07:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey Mummoth, I see you are in BC too :)  I live in Victoria :)

 

Thanks for the reminder to practice coping skills.  I have had to use them multiple times during this pregnancy - you know, with my hubby loosing his job - my bloodpressure went skyhigh, and I knew it was stress related.  So lots of walking to get fresh air, praying while I walk, and breathing to calm myself down.  I was so worried a few weeks ago about finances that the stress was giving me cramping?  So I knew I had to find a way to effectively deal with it... and my bloodpressure is way down (I also take a strong odourless garlic supplement for my bloodpressure and it works like a charm).


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#26 of 29 Old 08-28-2011, 02:23 PM
 
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Hi! I'm in Coquitlam :)

 

Ugh, practicing is good but I'm sorry you've had reasons to! I do after school care & DH is a school bus driver so he applied for EI in June, and STILL hasn't heard whether his claim is approved or not, so we had a tight summer... but not knowing when he'll be working again is rough!

 

Has he tried going into pizza/chinese food places? DH did deliveries for a while when he was looking for better work. They don't always advertise when they're hiring, just put a sign up. The pay is crap but better than nothing. He can make something like $80/week before they start deducting from EI, and at least he was DOING something, you know? It's not for everyone, just mentioned it because it helped us get by!


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#27 of 29 Old 08-28-2011, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My hubby lost his job in May, we were without any income for 2 months because EI took so long :(  so our fiances are totally wrecked by it.  I was already on EI because I lost my job in January, mine ran out in July, but it was very little (I worked part time retail).  I hope something will open up soon for him... We are very excited for this baby, we have waited for a long time to become parents :)  This baby is very loved!  Very thankful for our families support from both sides.  :)


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#28 of 29 Old 08-28-2011, 06:04 PM
 
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My dad always said that looking for a job is the hardest job you'll ever have... I think he's right, it's so discouraging. Something will come up really soon, right now there's a whole bunch of students quitting work to go back to school, so it's a good time to be looking. I'm glad you have family support, it makes a huge difference. Don't forget, once the baby is born you get a child tax benefit and the universal child care, that will help you guys get the finances back on track. Try not to worry too much, it'll work out.


~Teresa, raising DS (Jan. 02) and DD1 (Jun. 04) and DD2 (Dec. 11) with DH.

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#29 of 29 Old 08-29-2011, 07:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the encouragement Mummoth ...


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http://novelstudies.org - My hubby's website for affordable novel-studies for kids.

 

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