Birthing classes

November 12, 2012

Birthing classes

When you become pregnant for the first time, it is a time of your life that is filled with excitement and lots of new experiences. Decorating the nursery, buying baby clothes, choosing names, trying out all of the prams and joggers that are available – and then towards the later stages you begin feeling your baby move around and kick. Yet throughout all of this joy there is one experience that may be playing on your mind and making you worry and feel stressed. The birth. Hundreds of women have horror stories about the pain and stress of hours of labour, but if you go into the labour prepared and fully understanding what is going to happen and the best way to deal with it, you will find it much easier. This is why birthing classes are a great idea – especially so if you are pregnant with your first child and have never experienced childbirth before.

Why should I go to the birthing classes?

Birthing classes are a great place to get answers to all of the questions you may have and also learn about things like breathing methods and how to deal with the high levels of pain that occur during the birth and the time immediately following when your body is healing. The classes will also give you a great idea of what to expect from becoming a parent with regard to sleep, getting into a routine and information about feeding as well as caring for your newborn baby.

When should I start birthing classes?

Birthing classes are most commonly attended by women who are at least 7 months pregnant, but it depends on personal preference and what is available near your home at the time. You can also get to know other expecting parents that live in your area and form a support group for post-birth experiences.

Some of the things you can learn about at birthing classes include the development of your child both during pregnancy and afterwards. This can be really useful information to have, but remember that each child is different so nothing is a concrete, textbook example of how things are going to be! However alongside this you will also be told what to look out for and how to tell if something is wrong. Birthing classes also deal with actual aspects of the birth including different pain relief options, writing a birth plan and how to tell when you have gone into labour. They will educate your partner on how to help you during the birth and be your coach, reminding you when to breathe and bringing all of the information learnt at birthing classes to the forefront of your mind. If the baby’s father is going to be your labour partner, it can be a great bonding experience for you both. Some courses offer a class specifically for the father to attend so that he can learn about the birthing process and some of the ways he can assist during and following the birth.

What can I learn during the classes?

Two of the most common methods of birthing techniques used in the United States are Lamaze and Bradley methods. These are philosophies of relaxation and breathing that aim to make the birth a more comfortable experience for the mother and baby alike, enabling you to look forward to the birth with confidence and giving you the necessary tools to approach pain with a positive attitude. If you want to involve the baby’s father more during the process, the Bradley method may be the best way for you to learn good birthing techniques. It helps you to avoid medication as much as possible and gives the father a really strong role as the birthing partner.

During birthing classes, you can also learn about the importance of a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy including getting enough exercise and eating really wholesome and nutritious food. This will give you the optimum amount of strength once it comes to giving birth.

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