Will taking a class really impact my birth experience?
Definitely!! Couples who take the time to educate themselves about birth report less fear and anxiety during their birth experience, more feeling of being in control during the process and overall greater satisfaction with their birthing experience. Taking a face- to- face class is also a great way to connect with other people and normalize this experience for you. Connecting with real people is still the best way to learn and process information.
I'm afraid 5 weeks is a long comitment. Is there really that much to learn?
Yes!...and no. Your body already knows how to do all of this work, so in a sense, you don't need to take a class at all. However, because we live in a time where birth is not part of daily family life and most of us have never seen a birth...and most of the messages and beliefs we have about birth are generated from the media there is a lot to learn about the normal process of late pregnancy, birth, brestfeeding, and newborn care. Learning the information is just part of childbirth preparation. Connecting the knowledge to your emotions, beliefs, and desires about your birth is the other big work. This takes time, and is much more effectively done over time. Our 5 weeks together will teach you many important things about becoming a parent, but it will most importantly give you the time to process this information and emotionally prepare for parenthood with your partner.
The hospital we're planning on giving birth at offers a class, should I take theirs?
Most hospital classes stick to the basics about what to expect in a hospital. They probably do not spend much time talking about the emotional and physiological side of labor or spend much time if any on laboring at home, processing fears, coping with the pain or stress of labor, or building up your confidence to birth. My class will delve further into the actual birth process and help prepare you for the physical, emotional, and practical parts you will experience in all different settings. My class will provide you with good evidence based information in a format that allows for personal instruction, discussion, and hands on practice for you and your partner. Your hospital's class might help orient you to your chosen birth location and answer specific questions about that particular hospital but will probably not be a comprehensive or holistic prepartion for childbirth.
Can I take this class without a partner?
This class is designed to benefit the birthing woman and her partner weather that be a spouse, the baby's father, or friend or family memeber who will act as birthing partner. It is important to have someone at your birth with you the whole time for physical and emotional support. Please contact me if you would like to take this class but your circumstances prevent you from having a birth partner
Will you teach a specific technique for coping with my labor?
There is not one best way to cope with labor. There are a variety of tools to use to cope with labor ranging from breathing, massage, pressure point, hydrotherapy and medications. During my class you will learn about the most effective tools available and be given time to practice these new skills and learn the benefits and risks associated with each tool. My goal is to help you and your partner form a sense of what will be beneficial for your personal expereince.
I'm considering having an epidural, should I take a class still?
Yes! Whether or not you choose ahead of time a medicated labor and birth, there's still a lot to learn and many decisions that will need to be made. The reality is we can all have our preferences, but until the big day onfolds we do not know what set up circumstances will fall on that day, or how will we actually feel meeting the challenges of birth. Taking this class will help you focus on the benefits and risks of certain medications and interventions and lead you to your best decisions.