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-   -   With previous births, what childbirth classes did you take, and was it helpful? (

DoulaLMT 07-17-2007 02:03 PM

The title says it all. I'm considering the vast options in childbirth classes and wanted some feedback from moms who've been through it before. What class did you take? Did you find it helpful? Will you take something different this time or rely on your skills from previous classes??

momonthebeach 07-17-2007 02:32 PM

With my first pregnancy, I had an OB and took the class offered by their office. It may as well been named how to be a good hospital patient. Sit down, shut up and get your epidural was the basic tone of the course (of course it was put much nicer than that!!)
With my second pregnancy, I did a home-study hypnosis class. They also offer classes in certain areas (Hypnobabies). I greatly recommend this!! I would not say that my birth was pain-free, but I felt in control and relaxed the entire time. It was also fairly fast (8 hours from the time my water broke until the baby was born. about 4 in active labor) which I attribute to my body relaxing and working with itself instead of against itself.

Tiffany_PartyOf5 07-17-2007 02:36 PM

With my first two pregnancies, I took the hospital courses (I thought maybe the hospital course would be different in a different hospital lol) well, both times it was basically to get you familiar with their policies.. come in, check in, go to your room, get strapped down, get your epidural, wait for doc to tell you to push, watch them take your baby away only to return an hr or 2 later for you to hold.. Really sucky!

With my last pregnancy, I took Bradley classes and LOVED THEM!!!!!!!

Dov'sMom 07-17-2007 02:46 PM

I didn't have time to deal with classes last time, so I bought a childbirth CD online. It was filmed in the 80s, I think, and might not have been too bad if I had followed their instructions, but instead of watching it in 10 minute increments and then practicing what they said, I sat through the entire thing in one sitting, turned off the monitor, and promptly forgot the whole thing.

The birth was fine anyway, though. I was in excruciating back labor pain, which might have been better with breathing techniques, but the truth is, I kind of liked feeling every twinge. Not that I wasn't screaming my head off....

simplehome 07-17-2007 04:17 PM

With our first we took a class called Confident Birthing taught by Kyndal May in Bellevue, WA (I'm giving you details, because I se you're in the PNW). She has moved to Boise, but has licensed her coursework to someone else to teach locally, in Redmond. Here's her website: Confident Birthing

This class was VERY helpful for us, mostly in understanding the variations on normal. We can all psych ourselves up for birth and know that our bodies can do it, but to understand what options there are SHOULD you need a hospital transfer (taught from a natural childbirth standpoint) was very helpful. It took a lot of the fear out of a possible hospital transfer for me.

We didn't need to transfer, but at least I could put that fear out of my mind, knowing that we could handle it should something arise.

SharonAnne 07-17-2007 04:33 PM

A second vote for Bradley here. We took it and loved it so much, I'm working on my certification requirements to be an instructor!

lilylove 07-17-2007 05:23 PM

I took the hospital class when I was preg with Dd. It was an absolute joke, only NOT the funny kind. :
With Ds I read a ton and then decided to come up with my own relaxation techniques based on various methods. I practiced them almost every night. It really helped. Self study and listening to my intuition worked wonderful for me.

MamaEssie 07-17-2007 05:29 PM

I third Bradley...I didn't take the class, but read the book with DH and felt very well prepared.

To-Fu 07-17-2007 08:47 PM

As far as I can tell, the only type of classes offered here is Lamaze. I'm a little bummed, because I've been hearing positive things about Bradley.

Has anyone actually done Lamaze here? What did you think? Is it worth it to go?

mama_y_sol 07-17-2007 11:12 PM

We took a hospital class, but our hospital is fairly holistic and alternative (they have an attached birthing center). The class was great! We learned so many different ways of getting through labor. Sure, we learned about the birthing center's policys, but it really focused on breathing techniques, learning positions, visualization, vocalization, massage...the list goes on and on. I dont think we will take the class again: I have tons of notes from that class, I am very glad I took it.

That was the only class offered in my town at the time of dd's birth. My Doctor (who had previously done home-births), recommended Birthing From Within:

There may be classes in your area, but if not, you could always "study" the book and turn it into your own self-study class, like I did. I plan on re-reading the book again before the birth

Good luck, I hope you find the right class for you!


mb122 07-17-2007 11:17 PM

with my first, i took a wonderful class taught by a midwife/doula/yoga instructor. almost everyone in the class had a med/intervention-free birth. not me. or my friend who i took the class with. i ended up being induced (water broke days before), pitocin, then epidural. at least i didn't need a c/s. still, i was pretty disappointed and wanted something different the next time around. i didn't feel the class completely worked for me - or maybe i hadn't prepared like i should have?

with my second PG, i used HypBirth and just listened to the CDs at home for weeks and weeks. it worked wonders. i labored quietly at home - very peacefully, by myself. woke up DH. got to the hospital and had DC#2 less than 20 minutes later. no interventions at all - they didn't have time to stick me with anything! when i arrived i was already 10 cm!

kati_kati 07-17-2007 11:52 PM

This is my first but I'm thinking of doing Bradley. Check out
and "Find an instructor" and then "View directory" - To-Fu: hopefully there is an instructor in your area.

lilylove 07-18-2007 09:32 AM

Oh Kristen, thanks! That reminded me that I have been meaning to order Birthing From Within from my library

BeanyMama 07-18-2007 11:19 AM

We took Lamaze with my first, I didn't like it. It seemed like the focus was mostly on distracting yourself from whats going on with breathing and such. We took Bradley with #2, DH and I both loved it. we felt super prepared and the beauty and strength of birth was portrayed as well as practical birth info.
Husband Coached Childbirth by Dr Bradley is what we read when deciding about whether to take it or not. Great book.

To-Fu 07-18-2007 11:32 AM

Originally Posted by kati_kati View Post
This is my first but I'm thinking of doing Bradley. Check out
and "Find an instructor" and then "View directory" - To-Fu: hopefully there is an instructor in your area.
Oh my gosh, bless you!! There is a Bradley instructor in my town after all. I wonder how the midwife didn't know about it.

So relieved.

g&a 07-18-2007 11:50 AM

I took a fantastic class offered by a massage therapist/doula and chiropractor. I think if I had actually gone into labour I would have been very prepared. I wasn't prepared for dealing with doctors and making medical choices. The class focused a lot on "birth is normal" and didn't really deal with what happens when your doctor says it isn't normal. There should be a class on "how to negotiate the medical system".

The weird thing about the class is that we were the only pregnant people there. The rest were doulas and chiropractors. That was strange. There was lots of interesting discussion and, as the token preggo, I got all the massages and demonstrations which was lovely.

This time I am looking at birthing from within because I think I need the psychological/emotional/spiritual healing. I'm not sure I can convince DH to come after last time - I wonder what they would think if I came by myself?? Also, Hypnobabies sounds fantastic, but I'm worried about doing too much.


leewd 07-18-2007 12:23 PM


Okay, so I'm a Provisional Bradley teacher, too. Know anyone who wants to take a class in Houston?

There should be a class on "how to negotiate the medical system".
A good Bradley teacher will totally help you with this! They will give you alternatives to what the doctor is saying like:
Doctor/Nurse says, "Because _______ is happening, we need to _____"
You say, "Could this be normal?"
If the doctor/nurse says "yes" (since almost every variation could be normal), you can say confidently "Then I think we'll wait and do ____ (insert Bradley suggestion) before we ______ (insert intervention here)."
This can buy you SO much time!!!!! If DH *really* participates, he will learn how to be your advocate in those medical situations!!!!

Okay, enough "!!!!!!"
I think you get that I LOVE the Bradley Method!!!!!!
--LEE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DoulaLMT 07-18-2007 02:09 PM

Thanks for all the replies! We are trying to decide if we should do one. I'm a doula, so I don't really feel that I need one. My DH might benefit from a class, but perhaps he could gain just as much from a book (I have a hugh library, so that would be cheaper! ) It sounds like the concensus is either Bradley or Hypnobabies/birthing. We'll see, we might take one for the fun of it afterall.

AngelaB 07-18-2007 03:56 PM

I love the Bradley classes! I loved learning about what my body was doing in pregnancy, labor and birth and found it comforting to realize while in the intense parts of labor that what was happening hurt but was also really interesting and cool!

I also learned in doula training the acronym BRANDI to remember in labor

B-benefits, what are the benefits to this procedure or choice im making
R-risks, what risks am I taking if I choose such and such actions
A- alternative, is there an alternative route to take
N- nothing, what if I do nothing and wait and see what happens
D- decision, I need time with my partner to think and make a decision
I-intuition, what is my gut feeling on this

Brandi comes in handy!
I think Im going to look into other relaxation techniques this time maybe birthing from within.

SharonAnne 07-19-2007 04:10 PM

I already voted for Bradley, so don't count me twice Just wanted to expound a bit on what I loved. I wasn't planning on taking any class at all, but my mw really recommended taking SOMETHING, if not for me, then for my husband. She mentioned Bradley, and as it turned out I had recently come into contact with a Provisional Bradley Instructor, so I emailed her and found out she was starting a new class within a couple weeks. It was just serendipitous.

So, here I go into this class, thinking I know everything, and I'm just doing this for my husband to be more prepared for the birth. Dude, I learned a ton in my class. I had no idea what all I didn't know! :

It really did help DH to be more prepared and calm, to KNOW what was going on. It also helped to have him know what was going on during each stage of labor so that he could help me REMEMBER what was going on Who could have guessed that when I went into labor, I'd turn into a total wreck? :

But yeah, I remember, when I started saying "OMG I can't do this, take me to the hospital. I need an epidural. WHY did I think I could do this?" DH said, "Hon, you're in the second stage, now. We're almost there! You can do it, you ARE doing it." And I said, "Oh, wow, yeah, he's right, I am in the second stage. I'll be pushing this kid out soon!" :

But he knew where I was because he knew what to look for, and he knew what to look for because of our Bradley classes. Also, the classes helped him to feel more a part of the pregnancy; gave him concrete things he could do while I was pregnant as well as during labor and delivery and even postpartum, and that helped him just feel closer to the whole thing, I think.

The exercises (physical and relaxation) are great, and adaptable. The explanations of common intervention, as well as possible risks associated with those interventions is very thorough.

I really don't think you can find a better birthing method.

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