Childbirth Classes- did they help you or not? - Mothering Forums
I'm Pregnant > Childbirth Classes- did they help you or not?
LoveChild421's Avatar LoveChild421 09:05 PM 01-24-2005
I was wondering how valuable you all found childbirth classes to be? I'm having a home birth and have kind of procrastinated on getting childbirth classes going- and now I can't find a homebirth-based childbirth class!

I was thinking of just not taking classes- I've done TONS of reading and research and soul-searching and communicating with my man- so I sort of wonder what more I would get out of classes anyway?

Are they really that important?


littlebeagle's Avatar littlebeagle 09:36 PM 01-24-2005
I took the hospital-offered birthing class before baby#1 was born. I had been doing some reading about the Bradley method and other natural-type things online. I didn't feel classes were necessary. I could've done without any classes. I think reading is sufficient.
Hayes's Avatar Hayes 09:49 PM 01-24-2005
I really am glad I took all the CB classes I did. I took an ICEA class with my first child, as well as the hospital classes. The hospital class was to get a feel for the hospital. With my 2nd child, only 16.5 mos younger than my first, I didn't take any. With baby #3, only 17 mos younger than his bigger sister, I took a hypnotherapy series.

Reading is great, but you ahve to do the work too. You can practice relaxation strategies and positions. They are also great for husband's who don't read quite as much as their wives.
rockinmama's Avatar rockinmama 09:51 PM 01-24-2005
I think that knowing your body and its mechanics and whats going on from stage to stage is the most important info you would get from a birthing class.
We did one with our midwife group and besides getting a better understanding of how i would feel during the cycles of labor, there wasnt any useful new info. Reading is the best prep- though dont expect your labor to go like ANYONE else's!!
orangebird's Avatar orangebird 10:12 PM 01-24-2005
Not at all. I think they are good for learning the function of the body during labor and birth if you don't understand that very well, I think that kind of information is good, but as far as pain control, it didn't help me at all. But I did mine, Lamaze, 12 years ago. I hear Lamaze is different now, they have a new way of looking at labor, no more of that rehearsed breathing and stuff. So the classes might be good now. I think hypnobirthing would be good but I've never taken one of those. I think there are alot of good classes out there but I wouldn't take one of the hospital ones. When I was a nursing student for part of my L&D I had to pick a few different birthing classes to attend and observe to get the idea of what the teach and all that and I went to three different hospital ones. They all stunk as far as I was concerned.

DOn't trust any class that says "do this" or "it will feel like this" because my pains didn't feel like I had ever heard them describe in classes and none of the coping methods they taught ever helped me. You will find what helps you best when your own labor starts. I think Lamaze has that philosophy now. I need to go to one of their new classes and see how they are. I would ask a midwife for some classes going on in your area. The thing that helped me most of anything was Birthing From Within by Pam England. I didn't like the birth art part but the second part of the book was really empowering. I didn't do the ice cube exercises though. But the reading was great!
georgia's Avatar georgia 10:52 PM 01-24-2005
to me, a valuable aspect would be meeting other like-minded parents. i don't think a "class" is necessary at all if you're educating yourself and finding space to celebrate your pregnancy. my best advice would be to talk to as many homebirthing mamas IRL and online as you can....getting as much insight as you can is so valuable, IMO
Boof's Avatar Boof 11:06 PM 01-24-2005
I'm planning a home birth and have decided to take a hypnobirthing class. It's not because I think it'll magickcally make pain nonexistent, but rather I want to be in as calm a state of mind as possible where I can calmly and reasonably assess what is happening with my body and my baby and not rely completely on my CNM or DHs perception of what is happening. I want to be able to give good input and stay calm, and I think hypnobirthing will be a good tool to help facilitate that. I'll report back once I've gone through the classes (and the rest of the process :-)


philomom's Avatar philomom 11:17 PM 01-24-2005
Bradley childbirth classes were amazing. Like a college class in childbirth. They also prepared the hubby so well; he was awesome help during the labor and birth. He didn't stand in the corner or watch Tv like some of my GF's hubbies (losers).
stacyg's Avatar stacyg 11:24 PM 01-24-2005
Originally Posted by philomom
Bradley childbirth classes were amazing. Like a college class in childbirth. They also prepared the hubby so well; he was awesome help during the labor and birth. He didn't stand in the corner or watch Tv like some of my GF's hubbies (losers).
We (dh and me) learned a lot in my Bradley classes...for my second baby I just reread my workbook. I recommend the Bradley classes!
heket's Avatar heket 12:51 AM 01-25-2005
We took the community ed. Lamaze with dd. By week four, dh and I dropped out. It was completely useless to me. All they went over were the "routine" procedures that hospitals do (which were none of what I wanted!)

This time we're homebirthing and my MW is requiring we attend a Bradley for homebirth class that will be offered. I'm looking forward to it because I think a Bradley class was what we should've taken with dd.

I know being in a class helped reassure me about what I read in books. But I think the decision to go or not will vary with each mama. I didn't feel like I knew my body very well, because I've learned so much about it since getting pregnant with dd that I wish I had known. But I could see how those who were comfortable and understood their body well could do just fine by reading some books and talking with others.
WriterMama's Avatar WriterMama 01:18 AM 01-25-2005
We took a class from a doula that wasn't any particular method, just a mix of strategies and information she had put together. She incorporated the best of lamaze, bradley, birthing from within, and hypnobirthing. Plus, she had the practical experience to say things had been helpful to her doula clients or not.

I also took Hypnobirthing.

All the homebirthers and most of the ncb-at-the-hospital-birthers I've talked to found hospital-based birth classes completely useless.