Thursday, February 7, 2013

4 Reasons to Consider Childbirth Education Classes

In-person childbirth education classes remain one of the most valuable sources of information for expectant families.

Pregnant woman

Expectant women and their families have a plethora of resources for information on pregnancy and childbirth. Websites, blogs, books, TV shows, chat rooms and forums beckon to pregnant women, promising to reveal all the “secrets” and important “need to know” facts.

But the long-standing tradition of in-person childbirth education classes remains one of the most valuable sources of information for expectant families. Life is busy, and the thought of adding another obligation might seem overwhelming. But childbirth education classes offer several important benefits with the potential for lots of positive rewards:

  1. Childbirth class time is an opportunity to sit down with your partner and talk about the upcoming birth for a focused hour or two. It allows parents to connect with each other and their unborn baby in a positive way.
  2. Being in a learning environment with other families who are going through similar experiences can be enriching and help you connect with peers. You might make friendships that continue on after the babies arrive, creating a community that can help you navigate the transition to parenthood.
  3. Information can come from many sources, and it is important to be sure that the information you are taking to heart is evidence-based, current and accurate. A good childbirth class will offer up-to-date information and provide references for you to get more information to help you make decisions that feel good to you.
  4. Practice makes perfect, and childbirth class is the perfect place to learn and practice positions that can help promote your comfort and minimize possible complications during your labor and birth. A good class will offer plenty of opportunity to practice different coping techniques and modify them for your own personal style.

Taking a childbirth class should build your confidence, answer your questions, provide clarity on factors important to you and your partner, and offer you a chance to make decisions on how you want to birth your baby. And it should be fun!

Select a class with a good reputation, an experienced facilitator and lots of interactive activities that create a positive learning experience and get ready to meet your baby.

— Sharon Muza, CD(DONA, PALS), BDT(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, certified birth doula, Lamaze certified childbirth educator, birth doula trainer and faculty at Bastyr University’s Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations.

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