Here's what StorkNet parents felt about childbirth education classes . . .
From Misty . . . My husband and I took childbirth classes. I think it gave me a little bit of what I should have expected. I had the works; long labor, two different pain meds, and vacuum extraction because my son was so big. I think childbirth classes are a good idea. Plus you
get to meet other couples who are expecting and share in their different levels of experience.
From Manon . . . When I got pregnant the first time, I did not have the opportunity to go to childbirth classes because my husband found a job in another town (300 km away). I had to finish the contract I was working on. So he moved away when I was 26 weeks pregnant, and I joined him at the end of my contract, when I was 36 weeks pregnant. I did not want to go to those classes alone, and I had already worked in a nursery before. If I had taken these courses, I would have done it for my husband because he did not know a single thing about babies. Meanwhile, we had a lot of time to read to prepare ourselves and then at the end, we were ready. I think that if you're interested about reading instead of going to classes, it can help you the same. I am not planning to go to childbirth classes this time again (I'm
pregnant a 2nd time) because I don't see the need for it, because I work a few days per week, I'm away from my son during this time and because if I'm going to classes in my free time, when am I going to spend some good and enjoyable family moments? But I will prepare myself mentally and physically to the delivery by exercising and reading.
From Paul's wife . . . My husband and I took the Bradley class and loved it. It was very focused on us as a couple and the journey of pregnancy and childbirth. The leader was very realistic about expectations and used practical relaxation methods.
From Debi . . . My husband and I attended Bradley classes (12 weeks long; my hubby is a champ!) and we then decided 6 weeks before our due date that we wanted a Doula as well. I had a 22 hour
labor (only the last 7 hours of it was in the hospital), and we brought our 10 pound boy into the world drug free. Bradley classes helped prepare us and educate us on the birth process as a natural process, but we think that having the Doula had the greatest impact on us having the birth experience we wanted. I still consider many of those laboring hours to be our most joyous moments together; so powerful and connecting. I'm looking forward to
#2 baby sometime soon (I hope!).
From Elaine . . . Our hospital offers a series of 6 prenatal classes, with each class focusing on a different aspect of pregnancy or parenting . . . first, second & third trimester changes, labor & delivery, breastfeeding, cesarean birth, infant care etc. I felt like most of this would be a repeat for me, since I have a 7 year old son . . . but I thought a refresher couldn't hurt, plus my husband had never been through it, so I thought the classes might help him feel more like a part of the whole process. The prenatal classes are separate from the prepared childbirth (Lamaze) classes, though of course a mom-to-be can take both if she would like. However, I would highly recommend the regular prenatal classes even if the mom is not interested in a 'natural' childbirth.
From Cath . . . My childbirth classes were a disaster. The first 3 or 4 were great, and the stuff I learned about breathing were incredibly helpful during my labour and delivery, but the remainder of the classes were cancelled due to a strike by the public health nurses in my city. I couldn't get into any other class at the last minute, so I had to rely on borrowing videos on pregnancy and childbirth, which were not exactly what I had planned. The worst part was that I missed out on the breastfeeding information and the demonstration by the nursing mother. I had some difficulties learning how to breastfeed and latch correctly when Bill was born and because the strike was still in progress there were no community health nurses to help me. Fortunately, I was determined to persevere and I got the hang of it in a basic kind of way and muddled through until the nurses came back to work. I would definitely recommend prenatal classes to all women even considering breastfeeding, and if I had my time over again, I would have contacted a private lactation consultant before the baby was born (or gone to LLL meeting) just so i would know what to do in the early days.
From Vicky . . . I did take childbirth classes (it was required by my doctor). My husband and I took a quickie weekend course. On the last day we watched a c-section, and I said, NO WAY! not me. Well 3 days later I had our son, by emergency c-section 3 weeks early. I felt that the classes prepared us quite well, but my L&D nurse wouldn't let me close my eyes to try to relax. Something that was suggested in our class! All and all it was a good experience.
From Rebecca . . . I took a Bradley class before my first child was born, and thought it was an excellent class giving me a lot of information. It also prepared me for dealing with labor and dealing with my doctor, not letting him take total control away from me in my childbirth choices. I wrote up a birth plan as was emphasized in the class, and was fortunate to be able to have a drug free birth and no episiotomy (even though my ob-gyn thought it might be necessary). I was also informed of the benefits of breastfeeding in my Bradley class, and went on the have a wonderful breastfeeding experience with all three of my children. They were all completely breastfed with not one ounce of formula introduced into their bodies. Bradley classes started my family down the road to a healthy, happy family with no regrets with any of my children's births!
From skoobysnack . . . I took Bradley classes during my first pregnancy and enjoyed the experience. My daughter was born big and healthy (APGAR's of 10). With my current pregnancy, and since I'm looking to become certified as a childbirth educator, I plan to test out another method (for comparison and inspiration).
From Stephanie . . . My husband and I took both took childbirth classes, breastfeeding classes and newborn care classes. They helped so much. For instance we did not want to end up with a baby who was afraid to sleep by herself. (We both slept with our parents until we were 5). We were both always scared of being in our rooms alone. In the newborn care class the instructor said, "Where your baby is sleeping at four months, is where she will sleep until she is 5 years old." Several of our friends had babies at the same time. They all allowed their babies to sleep with them. Now none of them can get their two year olds out of their beds. Which is fine if that is what you want. We just wanted her to be secure in her our bed. The same holds true for the breastfeeding classes. Those of my friends who did not attend, did not do well, or even breastfeed past the hospital. The actual childbirth classes, I felt were just a repeat of every book I had read for the previous eight months, though it was good for my husband. I ended up with a three hour drug free birth, with no problems.
From Kari . . . We took the prepared Childbirth class offered by our hospital. It was nice to get a tour of the birthing rooms ahead of time, but I found that to be the best part of the class! We spent less than an hour on relaxation techniques, and most of it was Lamaze-based. I'd already read most of the information they gave regarding the process of birth.
I didn't find the Lamaze techniques helpful in labor. All that worked for me was to keep my eyes closed and focus on breathing slowly. It did nothing to alleviate the pain, but did provide a distraction . . . until I reached about four centimeters dilation, after which nothing helped! :-)
I think that next time we will try the Bradley method, since their style of
breathing was the only thing that helped me through . . . I'm wondering
if I'd taken the Bradley classes if I'd learned more to help me
cope with the rest of my labor.
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