If you’ve been researching birthing classes but are unsure if they’re necessary, my mission for this post is to highlight a few things you may not have considered to help you make a decision. So, what’s the point? To illustrate the answer to that, I’m actually going to ask YOU a few questions.
- Do you want to participate fully in your baby’s birth and take an active role in shared decision-making with your provider?
- Do you believe husbands/partners deserve to learn some of the things you may already know about the pregnancy and birthing process so that they feel less in the dark about the whole thing?
- Do you want your husband/partner to know something about how to know when it’s time to head to the hospital if you’re in labor and having a challenging time communicating your needs?
- Do you believe gaining some confidence about a big, important event in your life has the potential to remove fear?
- Do you want to learn some simple techniques that bring more comfort during contractions which are useful both with and without the use of an epidural? (There will be no judgments here about choices, only helpful information.)
If you answered ‘yes,’ or maybe even ‘maybe,’ to any of the above questions, maybe you’re ready to sign up for my Reston class or contact me to learn more about what kind of classes I offer. When you envision what’s taught in a birthing class, it may seem simple, unnecessary or even silly, right?
What I can tell you is there’s a whole world of knowledge in the field, including current research, that is absolutely critical for people, especially pregnant people, to know about. The U.S. is failing miserably in terms of good outcomes in maternity care. Cesarean rates are too high and postpartum complications are through the roof. The reason for that is that generally speaking, providers are intervening too much.
Think your provider knows everything and will tell you everything you need to know? There are absolutely many wonderful and well-meaning providers in practice. This is not an us vs. them kind of thing. But they are simply working within a broken system which is throwing money at all the wrong places. It takes change from the inside out and that starts with the consumer becoming educated about the issues.
One of the things you’ll learn in my class is not that turning down procedures is always recommended, but how to tell the difference between something that is done for convenience or for the sake of procedure itself, (“we always do it this way,”) and something that is truly helpful for you and your baby as individuals. Nurses and doctors simply do not often have the time in their busy day-to-day jobs to spend walking you through various options, even when it’s perfectly safe to do so. So we do that in class ahead of time so that you can insist on having meaningful discussions with those caring for you and making decisions that affect you. This will help you to have a better experience that will improve both your mental and physical health and your baby’s.
We as a human race need healthier, stronger, more informed and aware parents. Education is one solution. You are on the right track. I would be delighted if you would join me for birthing class! The skills you will learn will amaze you and your partner. (This is not your mother’s Lamaze.) Read more about what we cover in class.