Take A Childbirth Education Class
Birthing classes are an essential part of a good pregnancy experience. The classes will not only teach you techniques on how to deal with the pain associated with labor and delivery, but also about proper diet and exercise during your pregnancy. It is a great opportunity for bonding with your partner as well as meeting other people that are experiencing many of the same physical and emotional changes that are related to pregnancy and a new baby.
It is not unusual to feel apprehensive about the actual birthing process and to wonder what is really going to happen the day of your delivery. Getting education during your pregnancy can serve as a tool to help you prepare for that day. Some women are concerned that they will have no control over their labor and delivery, but with education you will feel much more confident and in control when the actual time arrives!
There are three common childbirth education techniques that are taught. These include: Lamaze, Bradley, and Read. The techniques are all slightly different, but the basic theories revolve around how to manage pain by using special breathing techniques, along with exercise and diet during pregnancy. While some of them are more focused on dealing with the pain of labor without any supplemental medication, others support medication as well. It is important, before you take a class, to decide if you are planning on medications or an epidural so that you take the appropriate class for you and your focus on childbirth.
Many classes will help you in developing a birth plan. It’s probably better to think about your birth preferences, because there are too many surprises in the birth process to make a firm plan. If you do outline preferences while in the class, just be sure that they will work hand in hand with the hospital where you are planning to deliver. Every hospital has different policies and procedures that they follow. Often the hospital you choose for your delivery may have childbirth classes available in the facility.
Reviewed By: Irina Burd, MD, PhD, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.