When it comes to preparing for childbirth, no one has all the answers and it’s hard to know which is the best answer! Here is a short quiz to help guide you if you’re still deciding if it’s worthwhile to take a childbirth class.
- Is this your first or your partner’s first childbirth?
- Are you giving birth at a hospital or birth center?
- Do you have between 8 hours and 20 hours to learn between now and you’re expected due date?
- Are you concerned about not being empowered/confident/having a “successful” birth?
- Are supportive family members who can give advice living far away/hard to reach?
If you answered Yes to 2 or more of these questions, a childbirth education class is right for you!
- Your first or your partner’s first childbirth: For most modern day partners, both parents and other family members can be in the room during birth. It’s a strange, exciting, sometimes scary event! But a lot of the fear can be taken out when taught by a skilled instructor on what to expect during labor, delivery, and postpartum.
- Even though a mom may have already delivered a child, her new husband per se could be taking his first steps towards fatherhood and not have a clue on what to expect. Taking a childbirth class can be beneficial for the couple to help each other grow, learn new tips and tricks, and be prepared confidently as a couple for the birth.
- Giving birth in hospital or birth center: Most locations offer childbirth education classes, usually led by a certified instructor who also works in the Labor & Delivery ward or birth center. The extra benefit is learning how that facility works, what procedures are to be expected/could happen, rules for entry to the facility at night, who to call when in active labor, and other information that can vary per facility.
- Have a short amount of time to learn: Some of you may LOVE to research your hearts out with hundreds of tabs open on the internet, going down rabbit holes, and ending up watching a YouTube video with NOTHING to do with what you were Googling! But this takes time, and most of us are super busy with work, family, friends, life. Taking a class can reduce the amount of time you may end up using trying to find the right material and tools to have a successful birth. (Plus what I’ve found personally is too much searching actually leads to more anxiety! Having the correct amount of information for yourself to have a confident birth is essential.) Side Note: there are several types of childbirth class – including online! There are classes for just moms, just dads, both partners, the list goes on with the different types of classes that are out there.
- A Successful Birth – I’ve used this term often, but successful doesn’t mean a freebirth in a stream without the use of medicine (you can YouTube that one). Successful is a term that every woman creates for herself. Sometimes for medical reasons you know you’ll have a C-Section – is your birth still successful? Yes! And a childbirth class can teach women in different scenarios to have a healthy baby and birth the best that they can. And that is success. What does success mean to you? And is that an expected, not-too-unrealistic success? A childbirth educator can help you create that realistic goal.
- Family Members Hard to Reach – Women for eons have been supporting and growing one another through friendships, motherhood, and sisterhood. With families more distant in modern times, relationships that are not healed, and other factors, it can be hard to gain motherly knowledge. Plus, a few centuries ago we had some information about birth and babies but not nearly as much information as we know now! And sometimes, knowledge from word of mouth and internet forums/support groups is not based on evidence and can be partially biased. Having a childbirth class with an unbiased educator, combined with friend and family advice, can lead to a richer, holistic discussion on pregnancy, childbirth, and raising a child.