As a birth worker, mamas and families I encounter ask me in many different ways, Why are childbith prep classes so important? Not to sound like a broken record for those who have already asked me but here's why I feel so strongly about them.
First picture yourself going on a vacation, however step back to the first moment you are planning your vacation. You may pick a place to go immediately or take time to figure out the best option for your destination. Once you've picked your spot, you figure out travel plans to get there, place to stay, make dinner reservations or schedule tours, etc. You may leave some of your vacation more open so you can relax or decide what to do once you are there. Heck, some of you may take a spontaneous trip, book a flight 2 hours before it takes off! However, most of us don't live like the latter and flying by the seat of your pants may be more stressful than hoped.
Knowing these small details of planning a vacation can help you understanding why taking a day or 6 week childbirth prep course before baby comes is so beneficial for you and your partner. You both will benefit immensely by taking the time to learn more about the journey you will be going on to meet your sweet babe. Also knowing the majority of mamas or couples didn't grow up around birth, it may make us uncomfortable or fearful of the unknown. It wasn't always that way. Many years ago and in some cultures today, giving birth was very much a community effort. Women helping women, men support the community collectively and so on. Our society has gotten away from birth as a community and family effort, supporting mama and in turn we don't talk much about labor and birth. Thus, so many unknowns when it comes to childbirth.
How do you learn about childbirth? Books? Blogs? Asking parents? All sound advice, some I'm sure are specialized in childbirth, however nothing beats a hands on learning experience from an expert in Childbirth Education. PA good childbirth education class will include:
- Anatomy & physiology of labor & birth
- Stage of labor (physical & emotional)
- Position practice for labor, birth & optimal fetal positioning
- Hands-on coping techniques, pain management (medical & non-medical), dealing with the unexpected & the role of the birth partner
- Birth videos
- Birth Handouts/Packet including birth & postpartum resources and information
No matter what type of childbirth prep class you choose, it is the first step in preparing you and your partner in welcoming your baby. Learning about the birth process, how mama and baby work as a team while giving birth and talk about how to prepare for postpartum. My own personal belief, are certain birth classes go beyond that, teach both you and your partner coping techniques (there are many out there!) and how your partner can support you. Giving both of you the boost in confidence that you can birth your baby. You also learn about various medical interventions and their pros and cons, why they were introduced and how they do become necessary, presenting these to not scare you but empower you to know what your options are, if you may need them.
Here are a wide range of independent childbirth prep courses for you in the Eastern Iowa.
The Bradley Method: http://www.bradleybirth.com/erinsimmer
Iowa City Birth Services-Childbirth Education: http://www.iowacitybirth.com/childbirth-education-classes/
Mindful Birthing: https://www.icmindfulbirthing.com/
Nested Mama: https://www.nestedmama.com/childbirth-ed.html
Nurtured Journey: https://nurturedjourneycbe.com/childbirtheducation/