Birthing Classes — The Bump
2nd Trimester

Birthing Classes

I'm starting to get to the end of my second trimester and am looking into birthing classes. There's Bradley, Lamaz, and Hyno-birthing (am I missing any others)?  They're all around $300 and my insurance does not cover any of them.  I know myself and will not read any books that these classes are based on.  I've looked at the curriculum to some of these courses and I really don't need to spend an entire class learning about staying fit and eating right - those are no-brainers to me.  But I could possibly benefit from some of the other things they teach.  Are you planning on taking these classes?  Do you think they will be worth it? 

Re: Birthing Classes

  • I took one with my first...it was a Christian based class that our hospital offered for $25.  (Catholic Hospital).  I didn't find it helpful.  It actually made me more nervous and more anxious.  I did find that with my second one, I loaded my ipod with music and every time I had a contraction I'd up the volume to keep me from tensing up so I wouldn't prevent my body from dilating.  Also remember, the nurses and doctor will guide you through everything!  Good luck.  I personally wouldn't spend that much ($300) for a class that you aren't sure on and know you wont really follow.
  • mc0113mc0113
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    If you're looking into Bradley Method, you might be too late. Classes run for 12 weeks and should be completed before week 37. We're starting ours next month when I'll be 23 weeks and we're right about when the instructor suggested to start. 

    The reason we're taking the Bradley Method is because I hope to have a natural/drug free birth. Also, I really really like to be prepared for anything.  What if I do decide to get an epidural and it doesn't take or for some reason I can't get one, I really would want to be prepared and have some pain management techniques that I could use. 
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  • jac409jac409
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    Check with your hospital because they usually have them much cheaper than $300. They typically include a hospital tour of the maternity wing as well. We did one, and I found it helpful, but definitely not necessary.
  • We're doing our classes through the hospital.  It's 4 weeks for $50.  DH doesn't think it's as needed but as a FTM I still wanted to have the information.  I've heard from other girl friends that it was pretty helpful.  More importantly they tour the Maternity Wing so I like to get a layout ahead of time and know what to expect.

    My parents are doing the one day Grandparents class for the same reason.  The information is nice to know but really they want to get a better understanding of the logistics of the process and location of everything.

  • Your question made me look into classes in my community, and I also found that the hospital I will be going to has 4 part classes for $100, $25 per class and you don't have to go to each class so if you read the class description and see that you are interested in class 2 but not class 4 you only have to pay for the course you want to go to. 

    I will be taking these classes. 
  • I agree that you may be too late for Bradley -  we signed up for a 12 week course that starts Sept. 10th (I'm due December 10th).  We signed up when I was about 8 weeks and it sold out shortly thereafter - and this seems to be the norm in the area, but we live in a major metropolitan area.  

    I can't speak to the other options because we knew we wanted Bradley.  DH isn't so sure it's worth the time & cost, but I know for peace of mind it will be good for me.

    Most of my friends have mostly just done classes offered by their hospital of choice, which are usually less of a time commitment and much cheaper.
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  • I'm taking the basic childbirth class at the hospital I plan to deliver in. They offer a tour of the Maternity Wing which is a huge reason I signed up. Its a Friday night/all day Saturday class and is $50. They also offer free classes for infant CPR, dads to be, and breastfeeding. 

    I didn't look into the Bradley or Lamaz etc classes in our area because I don't plan to go natural. I've heard they run pretty expensive though.  

  • I'm not going to lie, I was FTFO when my husband told me he didn't want to shell out $90 per class for the birthing class, breast feeding, and another class that I can't even remember now (but I thought it was life and death at the time). I didn't need the infant CPR class again, so I felt good about just taking an online refresher for that. In retrospect, I'm glad we didn't waste the money. My labor was induced after my water started leaking, and them stalled at 5cm, resulting in a c-section, so that class would have been pointless to me. I watched you tube videos on breast feeding and any questions I had, the L&D nurses and LC were able to answer. The third class was infant care (I'm too lazy to go back and edit above), and the nurses showed me things like bath time and diapers. Everything else was based on instinct, you tube, observing questions on my BMB, and talking to my family. I really don't think classes are necessary in the long run.
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  • aditigirl said:
    Never took a birthing class. Just followed my instincts. It went fine.

    This.... well, almost this. 

    I'm not sure about where you are, but our hospital offered classes that were really informative, and included the L&D tour.  It was more about labour education - the stages of labour, how delivery works, etc.  It wasn't really a "labour preparation" class.  Really more of a "this is birth, how it works, and what options are open to you for medical intervention" (although they really encouraged natural methods).  This was in Canada, so I'm not sure if this is a standard part of our healthcare system (it was free), or whether most hospitals do it complimentary.

    Without any Bradley or hypnosis or anything else, I've delivered two babies with no intervention or pain medication (aside from some laughing gas).  You can try to be prepared, but the most important thing is to just roll with what is coming.

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  • Thank for the tip KylieDanielle!
  • I think taking classes are worthwhile, but if the expense is a barrier I think you can recreate the benefits on your own.  The key benefits for me were that it gave my husband and I an opportunity to talk about some of the options and make sure we were on the same page.  The hospital tour that was part of our classes was also one of the best parts- and I assume you could do that for free without the class.  The rest of the information you can educate yourself about by doing some of the recommended reading...I liked the Bradley stuff and Ina Mae Gaskin.
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  • I didn't take a class for my DD. I knew the layout of the maternity floor of our hospital and that would have been the most beneficial thing about the classes, so I didn't take them. DD was born at 34 weeks and I was sent to another hospital an hour and a half away so it would've been a waste of our time to take them anyway. The doctor that delivered her actually asked me in the middle of delivering if I taught birthing classes. I think you just instinctively know what to do when the time comes, so I won't be taking any classes with this LO either. 

    I think that if the classes are going to benefit you and put your mind at ease, then go for it. Just do your research.
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    Quinn was born at 34 weeks weighing in at 5lbs 8oz and 19in long
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