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Hey ladies,
my midwives uber-recommended childbirth ed, particularly calling out as useful the bradley method, birthing from within, bliss born, and supplementing any hypnosis methods.

It's our first, and I'm hoping that childbirth ed will help give us a clue about what's coming, but I don't know what to expect or require out of my childbirth education experience.

Can those of you who've gone through it already shed any kind of light on what you thought were the pluses or minuses? What was it useful for, how did it set you up well or on the wrong foot? What was it and wasn't it able to cover, and do you think it would be different with a different program?

Thanks for anything you've got!
<3
 

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I took a class through the hospital with DS and found it useless. I have recently read Mindful Birthing and it has been helpful in everyday life and I hope it will help during labor/delivery as well. My midwife recommended hypnobirthing. :) I think we will take a class by the midwife (childbirth educator) that will be on a weekend...due to my husband's work schedule and lack of childcare for DS.
 

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Your midwife's list sounds great to me. We took a homebirth childbirth class taught by two homebirth midwives. I would say it was necessary preparation, but not sufficient to be all anyone needed to be prepared for a good birth. Many in-person classes happen so late in pregnancy that you can't count on that alone to be your preparation. Our class touched on elements from all of your midwife's suggestions, but not in depth. So being familiar with the principles in advance of the class was great, because the class served to jog my memory, made the book learning more practical, and enabled me to discuss with my partner as well.
The class was also nice because all of us who took it are now friends :) One other bonus was that because my midwife was out of town, the class teachers ended up being the ones to catch my baby - So I felt comfortable with them!
 

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We took a birth class with a natural perspective - not teaching a particular "method" but educational with strategies and tips. Honestly? It was helpful, but in retrospect instead of eight weeks going through the minutiae of birth, we wish we had done a crash course in childbirth and spent the rest of the time talking about how to cope with the massive live change of having a baby! DH in particular really wished he had taken a daddy boot-camp. I'd recommend taking a basic short birth class (using a method like Bradley or hypnobirthing if you wish), and read Birthing From Within and/or Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, and be confident that you're prepared enough. Trust me - your body will know EXACTLY what to do!
 

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for our first (this is our second) we took a birthing class at a hospital which was pretty much common sense stuff and way dragged out. we also went to a massage-based class that was really helpful. it was just a couple of hours of stretches and massage techniques. they said one really helpful thing that really stuck with me and i've passed on to other pregnant friends- unclench your jaw when you're contracting and pushing. it makes the process go faster.

if you have a partner that will be there with you for your journey and will be your birthing partner, i highly recommend penny simkin's the birth partner.
i vaguely remember watching some videos and downloading hypno things but eh, they weren't for me.
 

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I took a hypnobirthing class and a general class at kaiser (similar to the old lamaze style) and both were nice but didn't really help me... I had my 1st in a hospital and wish I tool Bradley so I would have felt empowered to say no to interventions. I don't think it is a waste of time if you and your partner have it. I felt like it brought us together even if it was not helpful during the birth.
 

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We did a class at the hospital with our first. The gal that taught it was both an L&D RN and a CNM who did birth center and homebirths. She was awesome. She gave the low down on medical and non-medical interventions/options. I found some of the techniques useful for labor with DD.

We also took a breastfeeding class. I didn't find it helpful, but I have a lot of breastfeeding/feeding experience from my regular job. DH found it informative.

We aren't planning on any classes this time around.
 

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I agree with FluffyFlamingo that the breastfeeding classes weren't helpful. I found the LLL meetings were awesome and we went for almost 3 years and made some friends there as well.
 

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I could see the breastfeeding class we took as being helpful for someone completely ignorant or on the fence about the whole process. The dads that came said they learned a lot, so if anything, it was beneficial for them because the information was presented in such a way as to help them understand the ups and downs. It may depend on the class and instructor, too. I would think that many men would find a LLL meeting intimidating. :D
 
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