In an information saturated world, it can be hard to decide where to gather information to prepare for your birth. You’ve likely heard mixed reviews on whether or not you should take a childbirth class and have been given a handful of suggestions of books to read, blogs to check out, and podcasts to listen to. The sheer quantity of options can feel overwhelming.
While talking to friends/family, surfing the web, and reading books can be helpful in your preparation, a childbirth class has a significant impact on your birthing experience. According to a Cedar-Sinai study of more than 14,000 women who gave birth, those who attended a childbirth class were 25% more likely to have a vaginal delivery and women who had a birth plan were almost twice as likely to avoid a C-section. (https://utswmed.org/medblog/prenatal-childbirth-classes/).
While taking a childbirth class is beneficial, taking an out of hospital childbirth class presents some additional opportunities. A childbirth class that is taught by an independent instructor (not affiliated with a birth place) and who teaches a class that is multiples weeks long provides additional benefits. Here are some key benefits of choosing an independent multi-week childbirth class:
• Personalized Information – Taking an out of hospital class gives the instructor more freedom to discuss information that is more curated to the student’s questions and needs.
• Time for questions – By taking a class that is over a period of weeks, couples have time to process the information before determining what questions they want to ask.
• Education on pregnancy and birth – Many out of hospital classes teach you not only about the birth experience, but also about things you can do during pregnancy to stay healthy and low risk, which allows you to have more options when its time to birth.
• Accountability – As you are learning strategies to stay healthy during pregnancy and strategies to prepare for a positive birthing experience, having a weekly class can help couples stay accountable to utilize and practice those strategies.
• Community – Taking a class that is over a series of weeks allows you to build relationship with other couples that are also preparing for birth.
• Informed to choose your provider – Taking an out of hospital childbirth class allows the instructor to give the students information on how to choose a provider and birthplace that is a good fit for their childbirth experience desires.
• Comfort measures – Because an out of hospital class is filled with students who will be choosing to birth in a variety of settings, hospital, home, and birth center, the class will provide a variety of strategies for comfort that can be utilized in any setting.
Choosing to take a childbirth class is a great way to focus in on the information that is most useful as you prepare for birth, and cut back on the preparation overwhelm. It’s great to start a childbirth class around week 20 so you have plenty of time to complete the class, explore the material, write your birth plan, and get comfortable with your childbirth desires.
Sara Paine is an independent childbirth instructor who teaches the Bradley Method® of childbirth. The Bradley Method® is a 12-week class series that teaches both mom and partner nutrition and exercises to stay healthy and low risk in pregnancy, what to expect in pregnancy and childbirth, strategies to have a positive natural childbirth, and how the partner can be a support for mom during pregnancy and birth. Out of the students who take The Bradley Method® classes, over 80 percent have a natural birth. If you are interested in taking classes with Sara, contact her at www.bradleybirth.com/sarapaine. Sara has upcoming classes that will be offered in person at the Lander Chiropractic office and virtually through Zoom