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First of all, I know relaxation is key, so I should first quit being nervous. I had wanted to take a childbirth class, but living in the rural area I do, it just wasn't happening. Actually, my husband and I went to one of a two day intensive class, but we didn't think we really got anything out of it and so we decided to avoid the two hours of driving and skipped the second section. The class was the only one I could find and it was given by the hospital. This hospital has about a 95% epidural rate and therefore the class was basically geared to that population. I am hoping to have an unmedicated, intervention-free birth and have actually switched hospitals since to one that has three midwives, and feel way better with this.<br><br>
Anyways, back on topic..... does anyone have any opinions, recommendations? I have been reading a Bradley Method book and Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and listening to Hypnobabies. Do people think this will be enough, or have I missed out on not attending an actual class? I am also exercising fairly regularly (which consists of walking my dog a few miles), occasionally doing prenantal yoga and other stretches, and drinking red raspberry leaf tea on a daily basis. Any opinions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated. And by the way, I am almost 32 weeks along.<br><br>
Thanks!
 

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I never took a class with either of my first two and I had pain-drug free births, with DD it was completely unmedicated, not even an IV! With DS... I was induced but there had been complications earlier in the pregnancy and we just wanted him out where we didnt have to worry about it anymore... he was induced at 40 1/2 weeks<br><br>
Self educating can be JUST as helpful if not moreso for many women. Dont fret over it!
 

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I think you should be fine. I didn't take a birth method class, my midwife talked a lot about the physiology of birth and had some suggestions for relaxation and coping during labor, but most of it was stuff I had picked up before by reading birth stories, Ina May and other stuff. I was a little nervous that I didn't have a definite strategy, but I think birth is something you have to take as it comes. What you think might work beforehand could be completely wrong and vice versa. I had a great birth, it was not painless, but there was never a point where I felt like I couldn't do it. As long as you have a good support person and unobtrusive hospital staff, and no interventions as you plan, I don't see any reason why you can't just wing it.
 

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You can do it online too! about.com has an online childbirth class you can read along with in weekly installments. The host there is lovely.<br>
Also, lamaze.com has some really nice videos in their library you can watch.
 

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I didn't take a class with my first pregnancy and my labor and birth were both totally fine... 6 hours from start to finish and relatively painless. I read Ina May and Hypnobirthing, drank red raspberry leaf tea, and walked a lot with and without my dogs.<br><br>
I think that my husband remaining calm and supportive of my birth plan (even when *I* wasn't) really helped the 3 hours I labored in the hospital go smoothly. Childbirth preparation classes geared at natural birth help prepare partners to take on that role. I honestly think the classes might benefit birth partners more than the laboring woman. My husband is a ped and knew what labor/birth would look like and was comfortable with the hospital birth center because he had lots of newborn patients born there.<br><br>
So I guess the one thing I would recommend is that your husband is also well-versed in the possible interventions available in a hospital and under what circumstances you do/don't want them. Also it might help to have him watch some videos of vaginal births and read up on the basic physiology of normal labor.<br><br>
But YOU should be totally fine without a class <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I think you'll be fine! Relaxation IS the key, and I'm sure with your reading and such that you'll learn enough about that. Practicing is really helpful, too, just so you know what it feels like to TOTALLY relax. I like to feel like I'm dropping further into whatever I'm on as I relax more and more and more. If your friend or spouse is observant, they may be able to help you practice a bit - if they see tension in your forehead, eyes, hands, etc., they can coach you (quietly, gently) to let it go... That has been helpful in labor for me, too, as you can tense areas without realizing it.<br><br>
I have a friend who's had 4 home births (all water births) and has never had a class. I'm not even sure she's ready any books on relaxation, though she may well have read a Bradley book. At any rate, she's done very well! I'm sure you can, too!
 

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Do you have any doulas nearby? If so, she may be able to come to your house and do a "class" om comfort measures--positioning, aromatherapy, pressure points, etc.<br><br>
The hospital class I took was a joke. Not a funny one, either. The only thing I got out of it was free apple juice (heh).
 

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I just did the hypnobabies home study with my first and was fine. What do you think you're missing?<br><span style="font-size:xx-small;"><i>Posted via Mobile Device</i></span>
 

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Gonna be a bit of a naysayer here. I thought I was educated with my DS1, having read Ina May and others. Well, the scenario WE ended up with was one I hadn't concentrated on - back labor and poor positioning. Labor was excruciating and ended in a c-section. I was with a midwife in a birth center before the transfer.<br><br>
My feeling is that if you want to be home educated, you should read something more comprehensive than Ina May. Hopefully you won't have the bad luck I did.
 

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Read gloria lemay's blog. she has some really good articles <a href="http://www.glorialemay.com/blog" target="_blank">http://www.glorialemay.com/blog</a><br><br>
I especially like:<br><a href="http://www.glorialemay.com/blog/?p=204" target="_blank">http://www.glorialemay.com/blog/?p=204</a> - about vbacs but applies to anyone<br><a href="http://www.glorialemay.com/blog/?p=72" target="_blank">http://www.glorialemay.com/blog/?p=72</a> - pushing for first time moms<br><a href="http://www.glorialemay.com/blog/?p=293" target="_blank">http://www.glorialemay.com/blog/?p=293</a> - about staying home as long as possible<br><a href="http://www.glorialemay.com/blog/?p=293" target="_blank">http://www.glorialemay.com/blog/?p=293</a> - titled 'don't let them induce you'<br><a href="http://www.glorialemay.com/blog/?p=242" target="_blank">http://www.glorialemay.com/blog/?p=242</a> - 'slow birth' movement
 

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My personal feeling about childbirth classes is that they are more for the dad, than the mom. Especially if you have a dad that isn't into reading childbirth books (many aren't). Then at least they have some idea of what birth is and what's going to happen. Otherwise they are clueless.<br>
It is great to be educated and ask a lot of questions of your dr (or whoever) and get an idea of how you would like the birth to go and what you want (aka birthplan). Amazingly enough, woman have given birth for eons without childbirth classes! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">
 

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I'd recommend reading <span style="text-decoration:underline;">The Birth Partner</span> with your partner.
 

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I'm going on baby number 3 without a birth class. Don't beat yourself up about it, do some reading and know what to expect.
 

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I don't think you need a child birth class. I took one through the hospital and I already knew everything they had to teach. Not to mention that it only served to make me upset because they mostly talked about IV's and epidurals and c-sections and pit. I wasn't planning any of that, but everyone else in the class was, so of course that's what we talked about. I didn't do any hypnobirthing, bradley classes or anything. I ended up with a non-medicated water birth in the end. It was completely tolerable until the last 45 minutes. I lost some control during those intense contractions that were moving baby down, and then <i>really</i> lost control during crowning and the ring of fire. My labor wasn't typical though (long story) and isn't what I'm expecting for this time. Anyway, point is I could have been more prepared, but I don't think any class would have done it for me. Nobody can tell you <i>how</i> it feels or how you will react to it. Nobody can tell you what type of emotions you'll have in that moment. It's great to be prepared, but I think that sometimes over thinking it can lead to anxiety about it. It will happen the way it happens and my best advice is to be prepared to <i>not</i> have control. Best thing to do is to relax and allow your body to take over. I have some serious control issues, so that was the part I prepared for the most. For me, I wanted as much control of the situation as possible to allow me to feel comfortable when it came time for my body to take control. I set up music I liked and wore my own clothing. I had an extensive birth plan, and essential oils, and everything in it's place. All of that helped me way more than any class could have.
 

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Loving this thread... great info.<br><br>
FWIW, DH and I took Bradley the first time (3 months?) and we went to three different childbirth classes at the hospital (when I realized it was a C-section factory and switched hospitals and OBs). We had lots of "class" experience. And I ended up with a C-section (still debatable about whether it could have been prevented, I don't think so, but am still sad about it).<br><br>
And after all that, I think I should have just *chilled out* and really trusted myself (rather than just knowing I should, if that makes any sense). I'm not sure if I would have really heeded this advice or if it would have helped me avoid the C-section, but I think it might have done more than all the classes.<br><br>
Good luck! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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are you going to have a doula at your birth? this is what I would recommend to ANYONE having a hospital birth (esp. first timers). also, like a PP said, a doula will give you a rundown of what to expect, pain relief measures, etc. my doula was worth EVERY PENNY. I wouldn't step foot in the hospital without one. Too many unknowns and a doula can keep things on track and protect the space. I think the biggest thing I hear from people without doulas is that they don't know when to go in and go too early. Then the interventions start to move things along and things start going downhill. A doula can labor with you at home and tell you the optimal time to leave, etc. My doula was amazing and had great "tips" like having DH and I buy cheap $3 pillows at walmart to take to the hospital. She said there is never another pillows there, and she had plenty to shove under parts of my back, knees, etc. to make me more comfortable. All of this made a big difference in my outcome (an epidural free induction).<br><br>
XOXO<br>
B
 
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