Class recommendation? — The Bump
Natural Birth

Class recommendation?

First let me preface by saying, I'm open to whatever gets me and baby healthy in the end, but I'd really like to avoid medication if possible so natural childbirth is my preference. I have a history of reactions to meds, and I know women have given birth for centuries w/out medication so I know my body can do it.  I have been considering taking a childbirth class, but not sure what would be most helpful. I have read the hypnobirthing book (most of it) and I really like the idea of it, but I know I'm not good at being focused on breathing as I learned in my yoga class, so I'm not sure its the best option. I know plenty of women go through the process without taking a class, and I've seen a bunch of posters recommend Ina May's book (which I'll be ordering this week), I just wondered if the hospital class is even worth attending? My options are somewhat limited by my location, but there is a group that does a one day, 5hr class, that is not associated with the hospital and seems more focused on relaxation techniques that might work.  Just wondered if anyone had any recommendations, or had gone med free and felt the hospital class helped them and was worth taking.  TIA!
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Re: Class recommendation?

  • I think taking a class for a FTM is worthwhile so if you have limited options, the hosital run courses are probably better than nothing and you can read up a lot on the method you chose to know what recommendations from the class are just hospital policy versus what's actually good for your & baby's health. Bradley instructors seem to be rather numerous in my area so you might have an easier time finding a Bradley class than a hypnobirthing one - I just completed that course and found it really helpful but the one disclaimer I would give is that it's a huge time commitment, on both your part & your partner so if you have conflicting schedules and only get to see each other on the weekends, you'll struggle to get the daily practice in. I'm not sure I would have systematically gone through all the material without a class so I think it was worth it.

    I'll let the hypnobirthing people answer the Q re: if the class is necessary.

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  • One thing to consider is your DH or other support person. *I* probably could have learned what I needed to know from books and online research, but especially with our first baby, the classes we took were tremendously helpful for getting DH involved and on the same page as me. From that perspective, a hospital-based class would be OK, if it's your only option. At least it will help your DH/support person learn some of the basics of labor and better understand what's going on.

    But I do strongly recommend taking a class outside the hospital if at all possible. Reason being, hospital-based classes will be geared towards the options preferred by the hospital -- which may or may not be the full range of options available to you. For example, if your hospital doesn't allow eating/drinking during labor, they probably won't spend a lot of time going over all the benefits of eating/drinking during labor... but YOU might want to know that information Smile

    Mommy to DD1 (June 2007), DS (January 2010), DD2 (July 2012), and The Next One (EDD 3/31/2015)

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  • We did take breastfeeding and infant CPR classes at the hospital. We took Bradley classes so we did not feel a birth class at the hospital was necessary. Overall we were very happy with our Bradley class.
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