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<p>Can someone tell me if they're REALLY worth going to?  Honestly, give me your best feedback.  I've read lots of stuff, how much else could my husband and I learn at these classes?   Thank you ladies!<br><br>
Julie</p>
 

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<p>We took Bradley classes when I was pregnant with DD, and honestly, I think we really got a lot out of them! Like you, I was/am a big time reader/researcher, and I will say that I didn't learn anything in the class that I didn't know already, but it was nice to have a time set aside where we were totally dedicated to preparing for the birth.  DH and I were able to talk about our assignments on the way to class each week, and we spent the ride home reflecting over that night's class; I think it really helped DH feel comfortable about being my main support person (he was fantastic at it by the way!)</p>
<p>We gained the most by meeting with a handful of other couples every week for a few months who shared our same beliefs regarding childbirth.  It was nice to be in a "safe" place to discuss our plans; our families and friends were supportive, but we couldn't talk to them about fears we had, etc...</p>
<p>Also, I am still in contact with a few of our classmates and have become quite close to our Bradley instructor.  These were wonderful contacts to make.  </p>
 
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<p>I think that for a first birth a class is a good idea, especially if you're taking it with your partner.  I feel like it made things more real for DH and I and it helped get us both on the same page.  It also allowed for questions and topics that are easier to bring up in a group.  </p>
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<p>We took just a general class offered by the city and it was OK.  If I could have done that over again I think I would have taken a private class.  </p>
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<p>I took a Bradley class with my cousin as her coach and, even though I had birthed before, I did learn a few things.  </p>
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<p>Other positives: </p>
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<p>Chance to get out together</p>
<p>Possibly meeting new people  </p>
<p>New book suggestions </p>
<p>Reminders about exercise and diet </p>
<p>Review of providers from the people in class with you  </p>
<p>Hearing other's questions, concerns, joys, problems </p>
 

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I did the Hypnobabies home study course and a ton of reading (books and online) on my own before and during my first pregnancy. That really was enough for me to be as educated as I needed to be. But for my DH's sake, we took a 4- or 6-week long birthing class at the local birth center and a day-long "Yoga for Birth" class at the place I took my prenatal yoga classes. They didn't help him provide support for me during labor, but they did help him feel more comfortable with the idea of natural childbirth and home birth.<br><br>
This time I'm focusing more on my hypnosis techniques by taking a class with a hypnotist in addition to practicing my Hypnobabies regularly. I've accepted that DH is just not cut out to provide support for me while I give birth and I should plan to rely on myself and my birth attendants for that this time and just let him be an observer.<br><br>
I immerse myself in birth blogs, natural-birth-related facebook groups, and boards like MDC while pg, so I would be unlikely to learn something new in a class. Plus, good classes are generally expensive and all the same information is available in books and online for free. I get all the socializing and support I need from my numerous friends that are pregnant along with me IRL and from DDCs like this one.<br><br>
I gained much more from going to the mom's groups at our birth center and LLL meetings before and immediately after my son was born than from our birthing classes. I made a strong network of friends and acquaintances who parent similarly to us and when we struggled with milk supply issues later, that network provided donor milk for my son as well as emotional and breastfeeding support for me. It was really helpful to me to have friends who had kids older and younger than mine and not just people who had all had babies within a few weeks of mine, like you would meet at a birth prep class.
 

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<p>DH and I attended Bradley and got a lot out of it. Knowing the process, the medical options, their reasons and risks, the way contractions progress through labor, what would early labor, active labor, transition be like, to push as my body cued me to not some counting or anything, comfort measures, encouragement to eat healthy and exercise, encouragement for DH to massage me in pregnancy, a set aside time to focus on planning for birth together, all great stuff. It really helped DH decide firmly natural birth is best for any birth without complications, he's even more vocal than me about that since I'm more about everybody needs to make their own informed choice one way or another. It helps normalize and demystify everything and make you and your DH feel like experts on the subject, ready for whatever happens. Especially great for husbands or partners that aren't into reading and need a push toward preparing for all this.</p>
 

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<p>Yes, yes, yes yes and yes. Take a class, a good class that will make it real for your partner. I hear that a lot of spouses (including my own who I thought was well read and prepared as I) really open their eyes and see what is taking place in a childbirth class. I have heard great things about Bradley, if you are planning a hospital birth the classes sound great. I've heard they are not as useful for homebirthing moms because of the time spent focusing on controlling the hospital environment. I took Hypnobirthing with Ds and want to take it again. It is for both hospital and home birthing moms, they show you footage of each setting. I liked the guided meditation and felt I received a lot of benefit from it. My husband also received a lot of benefit from it and it made him enthusiastic about the method, which I think before the class he thought was rather silly. The technique worked very effectively for me and I hope to use it again this time.</p>
 

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<p>YES! Just a brief hospital class won't be very helpful but a full series (like Bradley) in childbirth is more than worth it! My hubby was reluctant at first, but after our first birth has become an advocate for every couple to invest in their childbirth classes! We even took it again with our 2nd! More than worth the time and money!</p>
 

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<p>I think it's helpful, particularly for partners who don't do as much reading as most of the mamas here probably do. Before our first we took a 4 week hospital series, which wasn't really helpful for me, but DH did get some useful things out of it. Before our second, we started taking a Hypnobirthing series, but I went into labor the day of the third class.. it was still very helpful, particularly the CD, which I had listened to for a month before labor. I had an amazing birth thanks to HB.</p>
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<p>Whatever class you take, it should ideally be aimed at the style of birth you want (natural, medicated, hospital etc). It will do nothing to help you if you're wanting a natural birth and you're in a hospital class that poo-poos natural birth (which I think many do, subtley), and it may instill preconceptions in your DP's mind that you don't want to be there.</p>
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<p>One thing I would caution about Hypnobirthing is that it doesn't go in depth into the mechanics of birth. It does this on purpose as part of the philosophy, but I think it does a disservice to first time moms who don't know much about the labor process. Even if you're planning on hyonobirthing through labor, I think it still helps to understand what your body is doing. So if HypnoBirthing is the class you choose, a one day hospital overview might be a good idea in addition.</p>
 

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<p>I agree with the PP about the hospital class. IMO it was a waste of time and money. However, both my husband and I got a lot out of the breastfeeding class that we took...I have also heard many good things about the Bradley course. I would also go to LLL meetings while pregnant if you are planning to breastfeed. It was a huge help to me.</p>
 

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<p> </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Bebe's Mom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284616/first-time-mom-childbirth-classes#post_16108291"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>. I would also go to LLL meetings while pregnant if you are planning to breastfeed. It was a huge help to me.</p>
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<br><br><p>Yes! Definitely! You can learn so much, see breastfeeding happening in real life, ask questions, and make connections that can be invaluable after birth.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>bleumoose</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284616/first-time-mom-childbirth-classes#post_16108442"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p> </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Bebe's Mom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284616/first-time-mom-childbirth-classes#post_16108291"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>. I would also go to LLL meetings while pregnant if you are planning to breastfeed. It was a huge help to me.</p>
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<br><br><p>Yes! Definitely! You can learn so much, see breastfeeding happening in real life, ask questions, and make connections that can be invaluable after birth.</p>
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<p>I third these recommendations!!! We don't have LLL meetings near me, but I met a local LC who owns a small shop in my town when I was first pregnant and she hosts weekly BFing support meetings.  It was a HUGE help to see and talk to other BFing moms.  I had them (and the LC) to go to immediately after DD's birth when we were having some issues with bad latch.  This group is still my biggest source of mommy support today!<br>
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<p>Absolutely!! We took bradley classes and they were very helpful not only for me but especially for my husband.  You might know a fair amount about childbirth but going through a class with your husband will be great for both of you. The classes at hospitals don't teach much....they're more like classes to learn about hospital policies as opposed to the process of childbirth.</p>
 
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