Mothering Forum banner
1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,451 Posts
I didn't think they were very necessary with my first - I figured I knew most of the "facts", and most birthing classes assume you are headed straight for an epidural and hospital birth flat on your back.

Then DH and I took a Birthing from Within class. It made ALL the difference. It wasn't the "facts", it was the questions she opened up for us - what will you do when your partner is unable to speak, for example. And the ice journey... well, I'm not sure there are words for the ice journey, but DH still talks about it 3 years later. The most important part was that it really helped wrap our heads around birthing as a powerful process that directs itself - our job was to stay present in the birth.

I had a VERY different labor and birth with DD than I expected. We went to the birthing center with 2 days of food, 40 hours of music, and a plan for me to labor on my own until I really "needed" DH's help. Due to family history, I just expected a long labor. Ha. My contractions never got closer than 8 minutes apart (15 minutes when I got into the water tub), and our daughter was born 2.5 hours after we got to the birthing center in "mild" active labor. It was fast and intense and I really credit my birthing from within class for empowering us to stay with what was happening, and rejoice in the birth of our daughter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,244 Posts
what i liked about taking a class (btw- i had a hospital birth) was that it broke big chunks of info into easy to remember "soundbites". i had done a good deal of reading and research too but having someone help me to organize all my knowlege was very useful too me. if finances permit i'll prolly do a class next time too even though i've done evne more reading and research and may not be at a hospital.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,227 Posts
ditto what mamafish said.
it was teh Birthing Within classes that really allowed us to "connect" for the final journey. no real facts, ect. just an opportunity to be around like minded parents and understand taht it would be a journey like no other.
OTOH, the Lamaze classes i took prior to my ds1 (16 years ago) did not empower me. they did not make me trust in my body, etc. they were a waste of time and money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,959 Posts
Didn't do it at all and found that I was fine without it. Probably better off without it. I might have done birthing from within if it was available to fit my budget/schedule/finances, but it wasn't and I'm glad I went it alone.

If I were doing a hosp. birth I'd probably do Bradley.

I think we make pregnany ore stressful than it needs to be by committing to all sorts of classes that make scheduling difficult.

I did miss the socialization with other women tha tI would have gotten from classes, but hallfeway through my pg I started going to local MDC coffee nights and that made all the difference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,678 Posts
i REALLY don't recommend hospital classes, i'm sure there are good ones but most aren't. i would recommend taking a private class. we took bradley and i'm really glad we did, mostly for dh. i did LOT of reading and research but he didn't and it was great for him (honestly it was good for me too). i KNOW he used it in labor. the social aspect was also nice. talking about post partum was also helpful because on my own i never got past birth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,093 Posts
we planned a hospital birth and took bradley classes. like the PPs have said, it was a great opportunity for my DH to really focus on learning about pregnancy, l&d. i was researching everything, but he had learned that much yet.

what it was really helpful for for me was to keep me accountable with my diet and exercise plans (kegel, kegel, kegel!) and to have a sounding board for my thoughts about the kind of birth i wanted. some of the practice with squeezing ice cubes and trying different coping mechanisms helped get that in my muscle memory for when labor came around... i definitely was not operating at an intellectual level during labor... it all had to be in the body already!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
887 Posts
I do not think they are necessary at all IF you are willing to take the initive to teach and research yourself. I read pretty much every book on the list to read regarding natural birth. No classes and no regrets.

I would read Ina Mae's book, Henci Goer, Birthing from Within, The Bradley book (by the woman not by Bradley), and throw in one or two books about breastfeeding (Newman, That's what they are for etc).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
227 Posts
I could not agree more with the pps who took Birthing From Within classes. I am in the "it could happen at any time" phase of my first pregnancy, and I feel so much more prepared and connected to my DH about the birth than I did before we took the class. We'll see how we do when actual labor arises...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42,824 Posts
I think a lot depends on where you're birthing. I had a homebirth, didn't take a class and didn't miss it. BUT in a hospital it would have been harder to cope (not that I'd be caught dead birthing in a hospital short of an emergency....)

-Angela
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,093 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by alegna
I think a lot depends on where you're birthing. I had a homebirth, didn't take a class and didn't miss it. BUT in a hospital it would have been harder to cope (not that I'd be caught dead birthing in a hospital short of an emergency....)

-Angela
we did spend some time in our bradley class talking about hospital interventions and how to avoid or manage them, but for the most part it was about relaxation, test-driving different positions, and learning about the phases and emotional signposts of labor. it was really helpful to me to have this all there ready for automatic recall instead of having to be coached by a doula or midwife during labor. my labor was quick for a 1st timer - 2 hours at home, 4 in the hospital.

i didn't feel that i actually learned any new information from my class- i'm just a research junkie anyway - but the other aspects of the class were great for me, and my DH got a lot of information without having to read a ton of books.

anyway, i don't feel the point of the childbirth class was to prepare me to birth in a hospital - though it was certainly part of what i was trying to arm myself with to go into a hospital birth. but we would have gotten good use out of it for a homebirth, too. you can't spend 24 hours just talking about hospital practices - way too depressing


btw, the bradley book by the woman that was mentioned by a PP - it's called natural childbirth the bradley way by susan mccutcheon. and i agree - it's great... and much more worth getting that one than the one by bradley himself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42,824 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by mezzaluna
it was really helpful to me to have this all there ready for automatic recall instead of having to be coached by a doula or midwife during labor. my labor was quick for a 1st timer - 2 hours at home, 4 in the hospital.
Interesting you mention this. This was one reason I chose not to take any class. I didn't want anyone elses' ideas in my labor. No one coached me.

-Angela
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
I took a Lamaze class with my first birth and the Bradley class with my second birth, both were hospital births. Looking back the Lamaze class was a total waste of time and money; the Bradley was helpful. However for my third and forth birth I used a midwife and learned more than any class or doctor ever taught me. I also read anything I could get my hands on!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,125 Posts
I had ONE of the 12 class Bradley series before DS decided to come early (putting me in the hospital when I'd planned for out-of-hospital). I was on hospital bedrest, absorbing steroids for 4 days, and my Bradley teacher came by and gave us a crash course the day DS was born. Contractions actually started while she was still there.


Since I was stuck in bed in a hospital for my labor, the Bradley class was definitely really helpful. I don't know that I would have *needed* it had I been able to birth out-of-hospital with a midwife, but I also have a family history of fast labors, and true to form, mine was only 2.5 hours. So there wasn't that much time to have to deal with the pain, ya know? But during the short time I was in labor, the side lying relaxation was super helpful, and I had a drug-free vaginal birth.


This time around, I'm not taking any classes, but I did get the Bradley Method book mentioned by PPs.

I have friends who have been taking the hospital birth classes lately, and I had to laugh at the weird counting things they were learning. I'm really glad I did NOT take a hospital birthing class! That would have drove me looney! Anyway, read lots of natural birth stories - particularly UC stories! See what women do to cope with pain, and you'll have a nice big toolbox of techniques you can try as needed.
And your midwife will probably be able to suggest things if you need it - something OBs in the hospitals don't bother to do (except "here, have an epidural"
.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,936 Posts
I found the classes helpful. I really enjoyed having other women that were going through the same process. It made it easier for dh to process all the information I was trying to tell him. It was fabulous to have people who had btdt gave their ideas and experiences and also to personally demonstrate different positions to try, I am a visual person who likes to try things out a few times. So, having a class where we tried different positions was helpful to me and dh. It really helped having a vague of the different stages of labor. To me demystifying the experience and knowing exactly what my body would be doing helped removed the fear. I read tons of books, but for me the classes just really cemented all of that in my head and was a good support and motivation, especially in the area where I live (I traveled 2.5-3 hrs one way for 10 weeks for the Bradley classes). I had an intervention free, med free hospital birth. This time I am hoping to find a midwife (although even the state midwife assoc. hasn't a clue of anyone close by still holding out hope andn looking though).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,153 Posts
My mom is a CNM and so I can't remember a time when I didn't know how babies are made and how they come out. I was REALLY familiar with labor and the process of it. However, DH was totally unprepared and had NO idea what to expect. WE had lots and lots of long talks with my mom and that took the place of a class for us. I think that a class (or lots and lots and lots of research and talking to BTDT moms) are really, really useful. Labor is something that we have to let go of and allow our bodies to do, but it is nice for our DHs (and ourselves) to have some idea of what to expect and what kind of suggestions will help and what kind of reactions you might expect to recieve!

I don't think that classes will give you all the answers and I'm not sure they are for everyone, but I think they are a good source of information (for the most part) and being infomed helps!

(I don't know if this makes any difference, but I've had one hospital birth due to emergency appendectomy and two homebirths.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,105 Posts
If you take aa class, I would absolutely take one that is not associated, at all, with your hospital. Those classes tend to be about how to be a nice, passive, quiet "patient" and not make any trouble. Also, they cover everything in dreamy icing, instead of being realistic.

My birth class had all sorts of info on breathing, which was fine. But also said 1st births are up to 24 hours (mine was 42), how you could use a tub, how the midwives could do accupuncture, massage, offer gas for pain relief.... Well, no mw was ever with me long enough to ever offer me accupuncture, massage, gas.... nothing. And once they break your water to "get things going" then you are tied to a belt and a diode is on the babys scalp, so you can't move around - you are flat on your back and definetly not in the tub. I thought the whole thing was a lie and I felt cheated.
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top