First time mom-to-be: How soon is too soon to choose childbirth program and prepare? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 04-04-2012, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
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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? 





I'm Jay, 30, married to DH, 31. Fell in love in 2003, married since 2010.
Our little guy makes three! #1 born Dec 2012 Soon to be a family of four!
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#2 due Jun 2015

A little of this, a little of that.

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#2 of 5 Old 04-04-2012, 04:21 PM
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Bradley is a 12 week course and we started ours very close to 12 weeks prior to term. That worked out fine when we went to those with our first. Some instructors offer early pregnancy classes too that address early choices and experiences like morning sickness and tests and so on. You should check who is offering what in your area and go by the time frame the educator recommends, since she's tailored her course to speak to you in a certain stage of your pregnancy and all your fellow students (if in a class) will be at a similar stage. But it's never too soon to start learning everything you can and mentally and physically preparing with books, internet, and planning. I'm afraid I'd get impatient in the last weeks of pregnancy if the classes were over and done with, and since gestation very often lasts over 40 weeks and friends, family, and strangers start saying "any time now" and "no baby yet?" anyway, impatience is the enemy.

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#3 of 5 Old 04-04-2012, 05:34 PM
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I second the Bradley. It's like a college level class in childbirth and covers many topics you'll need to know like your care choices, breastfeeding and why not to circumcise. Really, hubby and I loved it and went on to have three natural births. I can't say enough good things about it.
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#4 of 5 Old 04-05-2012, 07:30 AM
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If you are eager to start preparing early, I would get a bunch of books (from the library at first IMO then buy one or two that are really good reference) and go to town. For me, I didn't end up taking a specific class (beyond the basic hospital one with the tour) but I read up on tons of different methods and took what worked for me and made my own plan of attack. I'm a big book learner and I like to learn alone, so this worked great for me, but it just depends on your personality and learning style. By the time we took the hospital class, I already knew everything they taught there, but I'm glad I took it for the tour aspect and so that DH could be more exposed to what to expect at birth since he didn't do too much research.

But if you are ready to start, go for it, but I also would say don't lock yourself in to one program this early. I would research them all some more before deciding to go with one for sure.

Katie trekkie.gif - Married to Mike 06/02/01, Mom to Sydney Anne born 11/21/09 and Alice Maeryn & Oliver Thomas born 04/24/13  hug.gif 



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#5 of 5 Old 04-05-2012, 11:05 AM
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If you're taking Hypnobabies we recommend that you start when you're between 25-30 weeks (I'm an instructor and also taking the program myself for my 1st baby in June!) SO excited! I love the program and have attended amazing Hypnobabies births as a doula and regularly hear my students inspiring birth stories.


I would think that with any other form of childbirth education you could take it as early or as late into your pregnancy as you prefer. With Hypnobabies there are a few factors that you need to consider when choosing when to start. Along with the 6 week in person course (or 5 week home study) you need to be committed to 45min of daily hypnosis practice in order to reap the benefits of the program. For some women taking the program early enables them to have LOTS of practice time... for others 3-6 months of daily practice is too much to commit to so they take it closer to the 25-30week mark so they have enough time to complete the program AND have enough time to practice before baby arrives. I'm 30 weeks and just completed the 6 week course, I took it a bit earlier than recommended but I'm 100% committed to all the practice, I KNOW how important it is! :-) Any earlier and I would have had trouble committing to all the practice.


You can take the in-person course with or without your hubby. I've had mama's take the course on their own if their partners were out of town or if they are a single mom. Or you can do the home study. Advantages and disadvantages to both options.


Hope that helps!


P.S. Hypnobabies is a complete and very comprehensive childbirth education program so you learn everything you would in another CBE class plus the powerful self-hypnosis and medical grade hypno-anesthesia for an easier, more comfortable birth! (we don't promise pain-free!)






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