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Is it worth it to go to birth classes?
Are birthing classes worth it? What an excellent question! YES! Birth classes are based on the idea that knowledge is power. Whatever prepares a woman in both mind and body to have her baby is what she should do. Pregnancy differs for every woman, and birthing classes help you prepare for your new baby, learn about caring for yourself and your baby, and also help families prepare for the upcoming adventure.
Why Childbirth Education Began
In the early 20th century, most women were giving birth at the comfort and familiarity of their homes. But, there were high rates of infant and maternal mortality.
Advancement in maternal-fetal medicine and obstetric technology shifted birth from home to hospital.
The chances for medical intervention during pregnancy and childbirth influenced the practice of obstetrics remarkably during that time.
A more focused effort began that recognized two distinct needs that forwarded the development of childbirth education:
A better prenatal self-care as well as a means to cope with childbirth. The desire to find a means with which to cope with childbirth without the use of analgesics or anesthetics.
There was a subsequent increase in the need for more consumer education and preparation.
As perinatal morbidity and mortality reduced, the expectations of a perfect outcome went up.
The women’s movement began to question the safety of hospital procedures and wanted to become more knowledgeable in their childbirth experiences.
If you want the best online class for you AND your husband to attend, make sure you check out this online prenatal class for couples, I will give more details about it towards the end of this post too! 🙂 This class is well worth it!
Classes were set up
Organized classes were set up and taught to entice women to care for themselves better during pregnancy.
This shifted childbirth and focused on more participatory and family-centered maternity care by involving even the expectant father.
By women demanding control over, and more knowledge about their childbirth experience, more time and effort in preparation for parenting began through the attendance of various childbirth education classes.
These types of childbirth classes continue currently.
How Childbirth Classes Are Changing
Babies are born the same way they have been born for generations, so childbirth by itself has not changed at all.
It’s the things and experiences associated with the delivery that has dramatically improved, including:
- The technologies used during pregnancy and birth
- The economics of healthcare systems and childbirth
- Options used for pain management
- Expectations of women on childbirth
Several trends have evolved and have eroded childbirth education attendance.
The popularity of epidurals: many women are opting to receive epidural medication for pain relief from having more comfortable labor.
Rising cesarean rates: some women may even request for surgery ahead. So, it’s not unexpected of them to question the need to learn about a natural delivery.
Many moms prefer to get childbirth information closer to home: some women are using the internet and magazines as well as getting information from family members and friends.
Some feel the information is enough, so they don’t see the need to attend childbirth classes.
Some view it as a culture that portrays childbirth instructors teaching philosophy of natural, drug-free childbirth. Most moms lament that they don’t like pain, so they don’t see the point of having classes.
Time: childbirth classes are often demanding and may take whole afternoons and evenings stretched over weeks. This time arrangement might night work for some moms, making it not possible to attend these classes.
Why Childbirth Classes Are Still Relevant
Going into childbirth blindly can be something you later regret.
Childbirth classes like this one offer so much information on different ways to cope with your pregnancy, labor, birth, postpartum, and other essential issues.
These classes are aimed at helping you prepare for what’s coming and go into childbirth more empowered to make informed decisions and with less reservation.
The information you get at childbirth classes is relevant, no matter what your desires for the use of medication in labor.
Benefits of childbirth classes
Childbirth classes help you discuss fears about birth and labor.Birthing classes help you build confidence with your body’s ability to give birth.
You learn about medications, breathing techniques, relaxation, massage, and other pain relief options.
Your partner also gets a chance to learn about childbirth, and this might help create a special bonding and support on your big day.
Touring the birthing facility before delivery allows you to see the staff in action, and you can have a great time to ask your instructor questions.
For instance, you may ask about freedom of movement during labor, electronic fetal monitoring, and many more.
What Do You Learn in Birthing Classes
Things you learn at a childbirth class:
Position of birth
You will learn the various ways you can give birth, including squatting, in the bathtub, sitting on a stool, or while lying down.
There are tools available at birth centers, to help you, such as huge showers and birthing bars. If you don’t attend childbirth classes, you may not be aware of how to try out these things during labor pain.
This will make you reluctant to do anything unknown when in pain.
Various types of pain-relieving medications
Pain killers have side effects, and this is where you will learn the types and effects of epidural.
You will also learn when it is necessary and know until when you can avoid taking analgesics, and this is an essential part of any childbirth class course.
Rehearsal through different stages of labor
The educators will explain to you about the three stages of labor.
And, during the rehearsals, you will be taken through what will happen during each stage of labor.
Handling the newborn
Breastfeeding and other things for managing your baby are essential to learning.
You will also learn the importance of skin to skin, among other common topics taught at pregnancy classes.
Complications and Emergency While Giving Birth
You will learn about delivery complications and c-section.
Another crucial thing you will learn in these prenatal classes is the induction or augmentation of labor.
Pregnancy Health-Related Information and Nutrition
During these classes, you will learn about the foods to avoid before labor.
As part of the curriculum of any pregnancy class, this is important plus other essential information.
Does Insurance Cover Childbirth Classes
Childbirth classes, like the services of all the others who help you when you have a baby, do cost money. You can talk to your insurance company about coverage for childbirth classes.
When it comes to health insurance and pregnancy, taking the time to sort through options, coverage, and costs can guide you to attain a carefully considered delivery.
To avoid last-minute surprises, you need to know what’s included and what’s not covered under your existing health insurance plan.
When to Take Childbirth Classes
It’s often recommended to take childbirth classes in the last trimester of your pregnancy, and it will be helpful before you go into labor.
If you feel you need time to build knowledge and confidence, you can take classes earlier.
More often, classes are offered for weeks and in series during the last trimester.
Keep in mind that the sooner you register, the more flexibility you’ll have in terms of class dates and times.
Classes for first-timers
There are classes available for early birds that you can take in the first or the second trimester.
They cover sex, fetal development, exercise, and nutrition among others.
Classes for second-timers
Every labor and delivery is different, so even seasoned pros can benefit from a refresher course. You may need to consider taking a class even if it’s not your first pregnancy.
It can also be an excellent opportunity to check new childbirth options that were not there during your previous birthing.
Just remember that no matter how well prepared you are, giving birth can be full of surprises, so try to get ready to roll with whatever comes your way.
Online Birthing Classes for Couples
If you expect your delivery to end up in a hospital, consider this online prenatal class for couples which entails information for all classes of moms:
First-time moms: things to expect from the third trimester all through to months after delivery.
Second-time moms: a refresher course that fits your budget.
Moms wanting a natural birth: a realistic look of how a hospital delivery looks like.
Moms who want an epidural: this procedure explained in detail.
Moms who want induction: why and what to expect.
Moms who don’t have an idea of what they want: all options in-depth so you can choose the best option for you.
Moms on a budget: pick the option that fits your budget from the three options.
Moms who are having a cesarean: what to expect in the operation room.
Moms who feel they are getting pushed into things: not all hospital deliveries are great, get to know what works best for you.
Moms with complications: get to know what to expect.Moms with questions: buy the full course version and have all your questions answered.
Moms who don’t need guilt: leave the guilt at the door, every birth is different.
So, are birthing classes worth it? from the above explanation the answer is YES, they are worth it!