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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am 33 weeks and 6 days pregnant with my first child. My mom, a former childbirth educator, feels that my DP and should take a class. We haven't because of monetary and time issues- we can't afford private classes, and we have varying work schedules. He works nights but with different days off every week, and I might work anywhere from 10 am in the morning to 11pm at night six days a week. We're going to a birth center about 45 min to an hour away, and they don't have any regular free classes listed on their website.<br><br>
In all honesty, I'd like to take a class since I think it would help calm his fears.<br>
i feel pretty good about my ability to birth naturally, but I think I'd benefit from a class anyways. I just can't seem to get DP interested. We've both been pretty stressed out lately and this was a surprise pregnancy, and it's taken a while for us to adjust to the idea of having a person solely dependent on us, I think.<br>
But now we're getting down to the wire and I kinda think maybe we should do some better birth preparation... any thoughts?
 

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If you both do a lot of reading (birth stories, general info, etc.) then you'd probably be okay. Are you planning a home or hospital birth? With a home birth I think it's easier because you have your midwife for support. If it's a hospital birth you might want to look at the book Thinking Woman's Guide to Birth (or something like that) so you can be prepared for possible interventions and figure out what you want or don't want done.
 

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I don't think we'll be taking classes either (also our first baby). The only one I could find in our town is offered through the hospital/maternity clinic. I'm pretty sure they wouldn't be presenting the "right" information in the "right" ways if you kwim.<br><br>
In addition we're having a doula (pro-bono). And we're reading books. I'd highly <b><i>HIGHLY</i></b> recommend <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Ina May's Guide to Childbirth</span>. I cannot express how much I LOVE that book. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br><br>
I'd also suggest watching some home birth videos on youtube (whether or not you're having a homebirth...it's good to see real women having natural births).<br><br>
There's also the option of home study. Some methods of childbirth education offer home study materials.
 

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Birthing classes are kinda useless IMO, butwhat is useful is the newborn/toddler care classes, they can bring up stuff you never would have thought of.
 

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We signed up for Bradley classes but dropped out after three of them because it just wasn't working for us. You can get a HypnoBirthing book and accompanying CD if you want to do some self-study at home. Or just read a lot and watch homebirth videos to see what a natural birth looks like. I second the <i>Ina May's Guide to Childbirth</i> recommendation and would add that <i>Birthing From Within</i> is also very cool.<br><br>
I'm 37 weeks on Monday and haven't even finished the HypnoBirthing book. I just can't really get into it. I think I'm sort of rebelling against the idea of needing to be told how to do something that my body was made to do anyway. It might be naive but I'm going with my gut on this one.<br><br>
Good luck and congratulations! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>peainthepod</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12361036"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I second the <i>Ina May's Guide to Childbirth</i> recommendation and would add that <i>Birthing From Within</i> is also very cool.</div>
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I'm reading that one just as soon as I finish up Ina May. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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If it's a freestanding birth center with midwives, I wouldn't be too concerned about classes other than readying yourself for the reality of natural birth. Comfort measures, coping strategies, what's normal, etc, etc. For a hospital birth I think it's beneficial to educate yourself about navigating that system since so much there that is presented as "routine" is totally optional.<br><br>
Is a doula an option? Many student doulas work for a very low fee or even free, you'd have a couple of prenatal appointments for educational purposes, and I bet it would put your H at ease knowing there will be a familiar face there whose sole job it is to support the both of you.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>AmieV</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12361620"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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Is a doula an option? Many student doulas work for a very low fee or even free, you'd have a couple of prenatal appointments for educational purposes, and I bet it would put your H at ease knowing there will be a familiar face there whose sole job it is to support the both of you.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">: I LURVE my doula. And she's working pro-bono for us because she wants every woman who wants a doula to get a doula.
 

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Call the birth center and ask for a tour. Most will give you a free tour, answer questions, etc. without having to take a class...<br>
I'm 37 weeks and need to schedule one for the local hospital (so I can be pre-admitted and all that jazz)-- Dh and I took the hospital "classes" before with DD, and we could have gotten all the info from Web-MD in about 10 minutes vs. three one hour classes.... they were horrible.
 

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I started to take a Bradley class with #1... Had the first class, then baby decided to come the next week (it's a 12 week course! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">). I did fine with the birth, AND it was in a hospital since he was so early... I had not been planning a hospital birth. The main thing is to make sure your DH knows what you want, and to educate HIM about natural birth. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> My DH was wonderful in the hospital... He knew I didn't want drugs, so he helped me say no when the nurse asked (she asked mid-contraction during transition when I was really tempted <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">, and he tried to help me be as upright as possible during pushing, since he knew I wanted to be upright.<br><br>
I didn't take any classes for #2 either. I figured I'd gotten through #1 without a class and did fine. Now I do research research research. MDC is a GREAT place to research natural birth, and also reading positive natural birth stories is helpful too... especially UC stories, even if you don't plan to UC (I don't). Those will really empower you and make you think "I can do this!" And if you go in thinking that, you will. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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Have both you and your partner read "The Birth Partner" by Penny Simkin. INVALUABLE info about what labor is really like and what to do in real labor situations. As a doula, I've referred to it when I've run out of ideas at a birth and it's always saved me.
 

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My partner and I had a private class with my doula at 36 weeks along. I had done a lot of reading at that point so the class was really more for him. It helped him be a bit more comfortable once the big day came around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wow thanks for all the quick replies! My mom gave me a copy of Birthing From Within, the Business of Being Born and Ina may's guide to Childbirth. I finished Ina May, and we both watched the Business of being Born. I'm still reading birthing from within. DP is not much of a reader and doesn't seem interested in reading things about babies. Apparently, all I talk about is babies now, so I don't know how receptive he'd be to reading a book about babies, lol.<br><br>
We don't have a doula, my mom is acting as one. I looked into some free ones but it's so close to delivery, it seems most of the free ones are booked already, and we can't afford one.<br><br>
Never occurred to me to look up stuff like this on youtube. I've seen Psalm and Zoya Goorchenko's birth (the UC of twins, one footling breech) video online but never thought to search for others!
 

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I haven't taken a childbirth class either. It was recommended but honestly the only natural childbirth classes were expensive and far away, and I'm comfortable educating myself via books and on the web. Also, my husband is a emt/paramedic in training so I'm not afraid of him lacking general knowledge, and we've discussed my wishes many times.
 

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ditto happyhat - the only class I'm interested in is hypnobirthing, but its $300- at that cost might as well double it and get a doula. For the most part the free classes don't teach you much that you don't already know.
 

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If your mother's a former childbirth educator, I'd be tempted to take a hospital tour, have her come too, and then see what she has to say about it. I bet she'd be helpful in coming up with questions for you to ask on the tour, for example. Is there no way your mother can manage to get together with you and your DH and address some of his fears? It just seems to me that a mother who was a childbirth educator, even if she's not any more, is an amazing asset for you!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Alison</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12364080"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">If your mother's a former childbirth educator, I'd be tempted to take a hospital tour, have her come too, and then see what she has to say about it. I bet she'd be helpful in coming up with questions for you to ask on the tour, for example. Is there no way your mother can manage to get together with you and your DH and address some of his fears? It just seems to me that a mother who was a childbirth educator, even if she's not any more, is an amazing asset for you!</div>
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I agree. I also wanted to point out that I've never taken classes, either<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy">:. I just read a lot.
 

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<a href="http://www.transitiontoparenthood.com" target="_blank">www.transitiontoparenthood.com</a><br><br>
I think it's important to have a class with a good teacher who can answer all your questions and give you techniques that you may not think of on your own. I've had two children naturally one at a birth center and one at home and I am a doula I also have a book of all natural birth stories and I am STILL learning new things about birth every day. Think about what you really want to know that will help you prepare the best and research that online.<br>
Best wishes,<br>
Jessica
 

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2nd (or 3rd?) the Penny Simkin book THE BIRTH PARTNER for SO's. It's a handbook; for some reason guys loooove those. It's the only book I got my DH to read.<br><br>
You might also try the public library for videos, etc. If they don't have something you want you can request it via interlibrary loan.
 

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I recommend getting the HypnoBabies home study course. I think it's $150. Do it on your own schedule. Really it's most important for you to do the studying, less so for DH. But he should read the Birth Partner. And you should read The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer.
 
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