A most common part of pregnancy for many moms-to-be is attending a childbirth preparation class.
Also commonly called antenatal classes, birthing classes, or baby classes, a childbirth preparation class has one main goal in mind – and that is to prepare you as much as possible for the big day!
However, in recent years, attendance at such physical classes as these has unfortunately begun to dwindle.
With all of us leading such hectic lives and those pregnant women no exception here, all expectant moms must have access to essential information and guidance regarding pregnancy, labor, delivery, and those first few weeks of life with a newborn.
For this reason, attending some form of childbirth preparation class remains one of the most crucial ways to ensure a safe and sound birthing experience.
Here at MomBible, we’ve put together a short but ever so essential guide as to why a childbirth preparation class should be your top priority during pregnancy.
What Can I Expect at a Childbirth Preparation Class?
Antenatal classes were designed to empower moms-to-be as well as their birthing partners. This means offering as much information about pregnancy and childbirth as possible.
With the emphasis on education to increase expectant mothers’ confidence, these class types also work hard to dispel many frightening and unhelpful myths, many women encounter throughout pregnancy.
A good childbirth preparation class will, therefore, work as closely as possible to a standard core curriculum. This includes:
- Offering a history of the biology of labor and delivery. Many classes choose to do this via videos and using replica models to demonstrate what happens when a woman’s body goes into labor. Despite the method selected in childbirth, they should ideally take you through the first signs. This includes how your body and baby respond, and what is going on at each stage. It should also emphasize in detail the way your body signals to you during the three stages of labor.
- Providing you with the many different types of pain relief methods on offer. Though you may well have made up your mind here, those excellent childbirth preparation classes will arm you with all the possibilities. Knowing full well that women are likely to change their minds as labor progresses, the best course will empower a mother and note everything that is available to her here. That is regardless of whether she will be accessing it or not.
- Advise on how you can help yourself best throughout pregnancy and labor – such as exercising to nutrition and breathing exercises to birthing positions.
- Work to cover the potential complications that can arise – alongside how to manage them calmly if they do. These may include talks on C-Sections, fetal distress, and episiotomies. The idea here, though, is not to scare you but to approach such subjects knowledgeably and be prepared to deal with them, just in case.
- Give out vast information regarding the more practical aspect of childbirth. This can include hospital admission processes, visiting hours, and even the importance of performing those all-important pelvic muscle exercises immediately after birth!
- Encourage you to connect with other moms to be and parents taking the same course. For many expectant mothers, the bonds forged at this stage of pregnancy develop into some beautiful friendships for many years to come.
Where Can I Attend a Childbirth Preparation Class?
Many places hold childbirth preparation sessions. From hospitals to specialized birthing centers, practitioner rooms to churches and community centers, it is merely a case of locating one to suit your immediate requirements.
With a small number of these classes free, several of them will likely require payment of some form. It’s therefore worth making a list of their advantages and disadvantages and comparing potential courses before going ahead and parting with your money.
For many years, physical antenatal classes that require your attendance were the norm. Yet, in recent years more parents to be are turning to the internet when looking for the best childbirth preparation classes online.
A fantastic idea, such online classes allow you to make better and updated choices while taking the lessons at a time to suit both you and your partner. What’s more, all the subjects you cover will be permanently available for you in your account.
The practical aspect of childbirth classes here is dealt with by videos, link-ups, and usually private Facebook and social media groups. So, by taking part in an online course at this stage, you continue to get the best from such preparation classes. Meanwhile, you also begin to forge some strong friendships in the process with other parents online.
You may prefer to take a mixture of both in-person and online courses. Or you may decide to attend a physical class and then realize you can’t commit to the set hours and days it requires. For this reason, it is highly worth looking at potential online antenatal classes for their sheer practicality here.
Tips When Looking for A Childbirth Preparation Class
Now that you’re aware of the benefits of attending an antenatal class, whether it be in person or online, we strongly recommend making sure that your chosen course type offers if not all, then at least several of the following features:
- Practical advice from new parents, couples, and health professionals
- A video series
- Cheat sheets!
- Extras aimed at dads-to-be
- Practice segments after each session for increased preparation
- Potential private Facebook group links
- Vast amounts of bonuses alongside standard material
- An emphasis on nutrition, exercise, health during pregnancy, breastfeeding techniques, natural childbirth, and many other specific topics of great help to expectant moms.
Ultimately, whatever childbirth preparation course type you choose to take part in, it’s crucial to make it one that you feel the most comfortable with and one that you know will satisfy your unique pregnancy requirements.
Either way, the decision to undertake such a course will put you in a better position not just throughout your pregnancy but, most importantly, when it comes to the big event – that of labor and delivery.