Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers… strong, competent, capable mothers, who trust themselves and know their inner strength!”Barbara Katz Rothman
If you start to research and look up childbirth education classes, you can find a plethora of options available! From private to group, to online and in person (or a mix of online and in person!), to hospital class or independent class, to different methodologies and teaching styles.
There are a few things to think about when picking a class that works for you: the right professional, the right type of class, the amount of time you have, and what budget works best for you.
The Right Professional
The first thing to remember is finding the right teaching professional who can deliver the information you need, and can connect with you. Look at their education and credentials, their passions and beliefs, and asking for reviews or looking at past testimonials. See if what they teach aligns with your birth principles, vision, and goals.
There are multiple ways to be credentialed as a childbirth educator such as Bradley Method, Hypnobirthing, International Childbirth Education Association, Lamaze International, Birth Arts International, Birth Boot Camp, and many more! All of these methods and organizations of childbirth education have their pros and cons, and it really depends on what you are looking for in a class…
The Right Type of Class
What kind of class would you like? The values you have as an individual throughout your entire life from your own birth to today will shape your birth principles and goals. It’s important to find a class that matches what you would like to learn, and how you learn. For example, if you think having a birth at home would be the worst type of birth, seeing an educator who specializes in teaching about home, natural births may not be the best course of action. Or maybe you know that a home birth is the best option for you and your goals, and you want to seek out that professional!
Whatever you choose, it’s important to have a well-rounded, holistic education. Babies plan their own births as much as we want to plan and have the experience ‘just right.’ Having a class that helps prepare you for various scenarios, with evidence based facts, and helps you to feel confident in your birth is what really matters.
The Right Time in Your Schedule
What is your time frame? In today’s modern world, it can seem like time is flying even faster with more work, more side hustles, more exercise, more and more things we try to fit in our lives. Especially with a little one on the way, it can be a time to save time and priority for work and other priorities! Luckily most childbirth educators understand this and there are several options available!
The ‘classic’ childbirth education lasts anywhere from 4-8 weeks with classes once a week for a few hours in the evening. This is still one of the most effective classes, where you can have multiple sessions with the childbirth educator, and with more information spread out, the information can be retained better and practiced more often to help prepare for the big day!
There are also classes that are ‘express’ one day courses where you learn the basics of everything you need to know in the time frame of 8 hours or a weekend class. These are excellent if you have a busy schedule, but one of the downsides is since it is so fast the information can be hard to remember and retain over time.
Another option is an online class, or where you meet via Skype or another video conference with an educator that allows you to schedule your classes based around your particular schedule! There are other online classes that are pre-recorded. Some say YouTube can be an educational way of learning, but there has to be some caution given to videos on YouTube and their credibility.
The Right Cost
What is your budget? Another way to rephrase this question is how much is the monetary value of preparing for a new, tiny person in your life?
Different important life events are valuable. And sometimes that involves a monetary value. For example, if you are married, you might have put a lot of money into the marriage ceremony and preparing for that life event. Or if you got a higher education degree, there was time and money put into getting that degree.
The value of knowledge and education can be priceless, especially with childbirth education and preparing for a new life in your family.
Childbirth education can be worth the money for new parents that did not grow up helping to deliver or raise babies, or who currently do not have family nearby to help educate and support them. The phrase ‘it takes a village’ is so true not only to raising a child, but prior to that. It takes a village of women to support another woman through pregnancy and childbirth. In our modern era, in developed countries especially, these birth supporters and family members can be out of the picture for various reasons such as geographic location, relationships, schedules, and other reasons.
In conclusion, the four things to consider when finding a childbirth education class that’s right for you are finding 1) the right professional, 2) a class that mirrors your values and goals, 3) a class that fits your schedule, and 4) a class that fits your budget. If you have any questions or comments, please write below!