Purpose of Childbirth Education Classes
If you're expecting your first child, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by questions, fears, and not knowing what to expect. Many soon-to-be parents find that birthing classes really help calm their worries and answer many questions.
These classes cover all kinds of issues surrounding childbirth including breathing techniques, pain management, vaginal birth, and cesarean birth. They can help prepare you for many aspects of becoming a parent: the changes that pregnancy brings, labor and delivery, and caring for your newborn.
Usually, expectant parents take birthing classes during the third trimester of the pregnancy, when the mother is about 7 months pregnant. But some classes might begin both sooner or later than that. Ask your doctor about what's offered in your community.
Benefits of Taking a Childbirth Class
A childbirth class can be a great forum to ask lots of questions and can help you make informed decisions about key issues surrounding your baby's birth. Information you can get from a birthing class includes:
- how your baby is developing
- healthy developments in your pregnancy
- warning signs that something is wrong
- how to make your pregnancy, labor, and delivery more comfortable
- breathing and relaxation techniques
- how to write a birth plan
- how to tell when you are in labor
- pain relief options during labor
- what to expect during labor and delivery
- the role of the coach or labor partner These classes also address what to expect after the baby is born, including breastfeeding, baby care, and dealing with the emotional changes of new parenthood.
You might also find support from other expectant couples at a childbirth class. Who would better understand the ups and downs of pregnancy than couples who are going through them, too? Many people find friends in their childbirth class who last long past the birth of their child.
If your birth coach is the baby's father, taking a class together can mean his increased involvement in the pregnancy and can act as a good bonding experience. Like the mother, the father can also benefit from knowing what to expect when the mother goes into labor — and how to assist in that process.
Of course, some people get more out of childbirth classes than others do. But even if you find the techniques you're taught don't work for you when you finally go into labor, you may get other benefits from the class. The common goal of all birthing classes is to provide you with the knowledge and confidence you need to give birth and make informed decisions. This includes reducing your anxiety about the birth experience, as well as providing you with a variety of coping techniques to aid in pain management. Remember that the ultimate goal is to have a healthy mom and healthy baby.
For more information visit the kids health website or contact: Cornelia Murchison at (910) 875-3717 x2104.