3rd Trimester

Childbirth classes

Did you take a childbirth class?  Was it worthwhile?  What did you get out of it?

I've done quite a bit of research on labor/delivery and what is normal and what could happen and the options for various scenarios.  I feel like my technical knowledge is good, and I feel prepared, but people seem to think I'm nuts to not take a childbirth class.  I talked to my OB and RN and neither found it odd that we weren't bothering.  The only comment the RN had was that her patients have consistently agreed that BF classes were very good.  We are taking classes to prepare for taking care of the baby, just not the birthing classes.  My friends who have taken childbirth classes say that they did it to meet other couples or that the classes just gave them peace of mind.  Those same friends said they were completely unprepared for the first week when the baby is home.  I feel like taking birthing classes is almost stereotypical and not really the best use of my time.  Am I crazy?

Re: Childbirth classes

  • I don't know that they are never beneficial.  My husband certainly gained more from the classes than I did, but that's only because I've babysat for years and years and know some of the basic stuff.  Plus, I'm the one who has done all of the reading up to this point. 

    We were by far the most intelligent couple in our class (yes, judging a book by its cover here) and we definitely learned a few things.

    If nothing else, it's nice to have the chance to talk to a L&D nurse, ask questions about the hospital's procedures, and become familiar with all of the equipment they may use.

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  • It all depends on what you and your SO feel comfortable with. We're going to the birthing class at our hospital. If nothing else, they will tell us hospital policy, where to go when we arrive, and it will go through birthing basics. While I am pretty well read, my hubby is not. It will help him to feel more comfortable with the whole labor process.I am not going to feel like explaining everything to him when I am in labor! Plus it can't hurt to hear it again. Some of my friends have gone without taking the class and they were fine. Like I said, it just depends on your comfort level.

    We are doing a separate baby basics course at the hospital  to help us be a bit more prepared when we come home with the baby.

    After 2 years of TTC, our daughter was born on Oct 31, 2011!
    7lbs 13oz  20 inches long
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  • We did Breastfeeding, Infant Care and Lamaze.  DH LOVED lamaze and found it to be very beneficial.   I enjoyed them as well.  I gained a few tips from each of them.
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  • We just took the childbirth class at our hospital.  There were probably only 2 things I learned that I hadn't already read somewhere else.  What I did like, since it was at the hospital we are using, they talk about what resources they have there, how labor works there, etc.  It's no use reading about how and when to use a hot tub or birthing bar if your hospital doesn't have them.

    DH said he thinks it was more useful for him than me, but that he watched videos online later that gave him all the information anyway.  He also liked finding out about the hospital and touring it. 

     I would have liked to take a more in depth class or one of the specific birthing methods, Bradley, Lamaze, etc, but we did not have the time or money!

  • I took a breastfeeding class FREE at babies-r-us which was very helpful and also DH and I took a birthing class it covered basically everything from labor, lamaze, birthing, looking for a Dr, after baby goes home and so on.

    But really we knew most of it by reading "What to expect when expecting". But we enjoyed the classes and learned a few things and we got to bond with other couples.


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  • Ditto PP, it was more beneficial for my husband than myself but I still do not consider it to be a waste of time. It was nice to take a tour of the birthing center though.
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  • image FlashMeyer:
    Ditto PP, it was more beneficial for my husband than myself but I still do not consider it to be a waste of time. It was nice to take a tour of the birthing center though.

    This! DH got a ton out of it, but I have read and researched so much that I didn't learn too much from the class. I did really like my BFing class though. Learned a ton there. We are taking a baby basics class this Thursday, but again this is for my DH. I grew up around babies (I have siblings as young as 5) and have 3 nephews so I'm pretty much set on diaper changing and fevers for sure!

  • We are currently in the middle of our 5 week class. I enjoy it, because as a FTM I don't believe I can learn too much about the whole process. Our instructor is very open and honest, always answering our questions and being very thorough. She makes class fun. So we enjoy it while we learn. :) Plus it's free, so there is really no loss if we don't get ANYTHING out of it (but I think you'd have to be sleeping in order to get nothing out of it).
    Wyatt 9/6/2011 Tessa 7/5/2013
  • I just called to schedule my class thru my hospital and found out that it starts on Oct 3 and goes for 5 weeks.  which means that the last class will be on 10/31 and I am due Oct 30!  Not sure if I should look elsewhere or if its ok to miss the last one or 2 classes?
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  • image Rawkongirl:
    I just called to schedule my class thru my hospital and found out that it starts on Oct 3 and goes for 5 weeks.  which means that the last class will be on 10/31 and I am due Oct 30!  Not sure if I should look elsewhere or if its ok to miss the last one or 2 classes?

    You may go late, in which case you wouldn't miss the class at all. :)

    Wyatt 9/6/2011 Tessa 7/5/2013
  • I took Lamaze and Breastfeeding classes.  The Lamaze was worth it because I did end up needing the breathing techniques quite a bit.  The instructor also told us a piece of advice that was very helpful during this class- When you're pushing a lot of people push down like they are going to have a bowel movement.  Try to remember to push like you've just urinated and you need to push a little more out for a sample at the doctor's.  She said this will minimize tearing and hemorrhoids and she was right. (In my case.)

     

    The breastfeeding class was VERY helpful.  I feel like I gained a lot of empowering information through that class that has really helped now.

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  • image Amanda&EricB:

    image Rawkongirl:
    I just called to schedule my class thru my hospital and found out that it starts on Oct 3 and goes for 5 weeks.  which means that the last class will be on 10/31 and I am due Oct 30!  Not sure if I should look elsewhere or if its ok to miss the last one or 2 classes?

    You may go late, in which case you wouldn't miss the class at all. :)

    Or you may take a class that should have you done in time and deliver early.  You can do your own research on anything you may miss in the last classes, too.


  • i just took the Childbirth Class on Babycenter.com cause it was free. Plus DH works all the time so its hard to find time to make it to classes. But I got decent information from the videos.
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  • I liked that we got to practice breathing and birthing techniques and positions.  It was nice to find out things that we thought would work were really uncomfortable and some things that we thought we wouldn't like were really fantastic for us. 
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  • We took a childbirth prep class for our first. I was in your shoes too. I thought, why do I need to take classes when women have been doing this for years...but then again we were also having a homebirth so I felt we needed the classes. And I am very glad I did take them. I did learn a lot that I didn't gain from looking up stuff online and in books. I found out things that if I hadn't taken the class would have scared me in the process of labor and would have had me thrown in the towel. It really depends on you and the class. I think it is more important to take a childbirth - labor & delivery course than an infant class. It also depends on who is teaching the course and their ideas and beliefs of what a normal labor & delivery entails. It wasn't only breathing techniques and birthing positions. It was about nutrition, the medication and drugs (if transferred to the hospital) and understanding your body and what it is going thru. There was also a session in which we got to meet new moms and could ask questions (all kinds of embarrassing questions that you want to know the answers to!). It did also cover breastfeeding..anyway, again it really depends on where and who you take the childbirth class from.

    Good luck and congrats! 

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