Childbirth class choices - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 07-02-2014, 08:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Childbirth class choices

I am seriously overwhelmed with my choice of childbirth education classes available to me. My midwife wasn't entirely a fan of Bradley (said it was informational for first time moms, but can leave some people disappointed if they don't get the perfect birth they wanted) and recommended Birthing From Within and gave me a resource. The resource didn't actually teach Birthing From Within and said she didn't think it was really for first time mothers, but more for birth-trauma recovery. She (and a few other places) offer simple "standard" Natural Childbirth classes with no 'method' affiliation.

So now I'm confused about which one we should take. I've kind of written off any type of hypno-birthing class only because I feel I'd rather move through the pain than try to push it away (I think I'm just better suited for it).

Any recommendations for a first time mom? I like the general idea of Birthing From Within (although a little "weirded out" by the art therapy bits) but is it well suited for first time mothers? But would a standard 'natural childbirth' class give me enough tools for pain management?

Ugh, too many choices!
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#2 of 9 Old 07-02-2014, 09:11 AM
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My parents used hynosis for pain relief and deflection in the 1950s for UC, nothing new about that. It is a legitimate source of information.

I had ACHI classes which are similar to Bradley with much anatomy, physiology, nutrition, and huge mounds of information for the pregnant woman. It was similar to a midwifery 101 class.

What is wrong with being armed with lots of information and being realistic about outcomes?
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#3 of 9 Old 07-02-2014, 01:17 PM
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I won't say I love Bradley, but it actually really helped me have peace with a delivery that was somewhat traumatic because of the intense pain at the end. But depending on the instructor, I think your experience could really vary. Of the five couples in our class, I think only two of us had medication-free deliveries (one ended up with a repeat c-section, 2 others with epidurals). But everyone seemed pretty at peace with their experiences, because they felt like they'd done their best, and made informed decisions.
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#4 of 9 Old 07-02-2014, 01:30 PM
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I liked Bradley but I did have fast and natural births. The women I know who did Hypnobabies are usually disappointed after because their hypnosis failed them at the crucial time.
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#5 of 9 Old 07-02-2014, 05:47 PM
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I did Hypnobabies as a first time mom and absolutely loved it. The class was very comprehensive, and I had pretty much the exact peaceful birth I had envisioned. I'm sure this is not everyone's experience, but I never once felt like my hypnosis wasn't "working." To the contrary, I was very happy, peaceful, and comfortable the entire time during my 24+ hour labor.
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#6 of 9 Old 07-05-2014, 11:24 AM
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My impressions, having studied each

Bradley: GREAT info, great prep for dad to help you out. Not so great on the narrow minded attitude of follow this method right to get the perfect Bradley birth, also the reliance on husband as coach disempowered me, in future births I recognized it's me who's doing this, his role is support but I don't need to mostly lean on him because I'm the only one who can do it.

BFW: decent info, not committed to one way of birthing, not committed to natural birth either. The mental approaches to discomfort are pretty good. Especially great to work through feelings, not just a traumatic previous birth, but fears of the unknown too.

Hypnobabies: An overview of good info but you might not be ready if you have to make medical decisions. Not an avoidance of sensation, it's an altering of how you perceive it. Peaceful and aware birthing experience. Supports and encourages a very positive outlook. But if you don't experience the hypno anesthesia you aim for it may leave you without much recourse on how to handle things if it's all you studied, yet if you did prepare a backup plan they say it makes the hypno stuff less likely to work.

Also, Active Birthing had info that adds nicely to the perspective of these all, though is slightly in conflict with hypnosis. I found it worked together in a way though, as chanting my "peace" cue to relax through the waves worked nicely although the more passive and quiet way of birthing was not for me. I prefer leaning or sitting up and rocking, chanting and moaning, and observing the sensations and my progress.
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#7 of 9 Old 07-05-2014, 11:50 AM
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I did birthing from within for my first and hypnobirthing for my second. I personally found the hypnobirthing to be way more useful but everyone's different. Hypnobirthing didn't teach me to push or suppress the pain at all, what it did was help me to not freak out when it happened. I've always considered myself to have a high pain threshold and I totally wasn't prepared for how much it would hurt with my first and I kept fighting it. With my second I totally accepted the pain thanks to hypnobirthing and opened around it, if that makes any sense.
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#8 of 9 Old 07-05-2014, 12:39 PM
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Personally, I prefer birthing classes that are very informative rather than ones that teach a certain technique or coping method, just because there are so many methods out there but you have no idea how you as an individual will respond to labor. So maybe pick the local option that goes into the stages of labor and what to expect the best. Then get a doula A doula can help you figure out how best to cope in the moment.
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#9 of 9 Old 07-08-2014, 09:18 PM
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What do you want to learn? Like, mostly non-medication pain relief? Or about the nuts-and-bolts of birth like anatomy, overview of different interventions that may be needed, what to expect physically/emotionally afterwards? Most classes have a mix, but sometimes there's a benefit to doing a generic type class (even one affiliated with you birth location, if birth center or hospital) plus one that's more coping-focused like hypnobirthing. I like Ananas suggestion but I'm like her in what I want, and a doula is like having a childbirth educator with you in labor. You could probably even have her come to classes with you, or at least review the classes with her. Like, if you needed a c/s, would you rather know what to expect at your local hospital? Or would you rather not spend time thinking about all the what-ifs during your pregnancy?
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