Childbirth Education

Wednesday, September 1, 2010
When I was seven months pregnant, I began to explore my options in childbirth, working where I work helped me a lot and I was able to get my hands on a lot of research. I decided to take childbirth education classes and went through Lamaze. I had great experience and I was recently featured on the new blog Giving Birth with Confidence, where I talk about the impact the class had on me. The article is below but feel free to click here for the original post.

Why did you decide to attend a childbirth education class?

As a first-time mom, I didn’t know what to expect. I wanted to take a class to help prepare my husband and myself. The last thing I wanted to feel was anxious or nervous – I just wanted to be focused on meeting my baby.

Why did you choose a Lamaze class?

The main thing that attracts me to Lamaze is the Healthy Birth Practices; they are so simple and so natural. I did not want to go in to the hospital on birth day and follow blindly whatever a doctor or nurse said just because they are professionals — I wanted to be an informed woman. I have always been like that; my dad always told me that I started asking why to everything as soon as I could talk. To me, Lamaze was all about educating yourself to make the best decisions for you and your baby and that made me feel comfortable. I also did not want to have to learn a technique; I wanted something that would come naturally and relax me.

What was the format of your classes?

I took a class one evening a week for 2.5 hours for a period of 4-5 weeks. I took my class thru the DC chapter of Lamaze.

What were your impressions of the first class?

Our class only had four other couples, so it was very intimate. I didn’t know what to expect, but our instructor involved the dads first. She got them to talk about their fears and expectations. Listening to them talk made me and I’m sure the other moms feel more relaxed and free to voice our feelings as well. Being 7 months pregnant when we took the class, I really liked the relaxation exercises and massages we practiced too!

Talk about some of the more notable details of your class.

The one thing I noticed is that we were all first time parents. One of the first questions the instructor asked was if anyone was planning to take advantage of the pain relief options at the hospital. She was not judgmental, but rather let the course information present itself to help women make their decision. All of the moms present at the beginning of the course were planning on getting an epidural because of their perception of childbirth. I remember one of our classes had to be rescheduled because our teacher was also a doula. She came to class the next week and told us about her client’s birthing experience. She told us the client was moving around during labor and trying different positions – several of the moms didn’t even know that was possible. At the end of the class, two of the moms decided to find a midwife instead of continuing to see their ob/gyn and one mom decided to find a hospital that would allow a water birth.

How have your emotions and thoughts and the way you feel about childbirth changed after taking the class?

For some reason, when people see that you’re pregnant, they decide to tell you about their labor experience and of course, they are all scary stories of people laboring for days with 4th degree tears! So naturally I was very nervous about giving birth, and I didn’t think I could do it. That fear is what drew me to take a childbirth education class.

During the class, the teacher made it seem like birth wasn’t so bad. That was the first time anyone described birth to me that way. She showed us a video where a woman was laboring at home but was sitting on the floor watching TV with her husband – she was so relaxed! Nothing like the movies! I was starting to feel like, “I can do this!” The class left me wanting to educate myself even more! I searched for more videos, blogs and articles on natural birth and the more I learned, the more natural it seemed. It seemed like the only way to go and made me wonder why people were not exploring this option more. I came across one woman’s blog who had her natural birth with her family and friends present and after the baby was born, they celebrated with champagne. She looked so happy in the pictures, even while she was pushing I didn’t see pain in her face, but rather determination. I knew that was the experience I wanted!


Be on the lookout for the birth story coming soon!


Sarah said...

Great post!! I was scared to take a childbirth class...I do better going with the flow and didn't want to obsess over anything bad, maybe I should have checked it out! It sounds like you had a really great teacher.

(New follower from MBC, stop by if you'd like! Cars, Trucks and Teething Rings

April said...

Hi there
I'm your newest follower from MBC! I would love for you to stop by sometime. Have a great day!!!

Nikki Cupcake said...

following from MBC

stop by some time!

Surviving Motherhood said...

Found you from MBC and am now your newest follower.

You know I have 3 kids and they were all c-sections, but I took the childbirth and lamaze classes before my first because I wanted to try it all natural. I was in labor and got up to about 8 centimeters before they found out my baby was breeched....long story....but all I have to say its alot of mind over matter.

You can do it!!!!

YayaOrchid said...

Found you via MBC 'simply follow'. As a Grandmother, I know it's important to be very educated about the pregnancy and birthing process. Good job in sharing your knowledge with others!

Hope you visit my blog. TIA!

Kerry McCullough said...

Oh man, I took a Bradley class and absolutely loved it, but unfortunately ended up having to get a c-section :(

I'm following you from MBC. Looking forward to reading more. Mine is Stop by any time :)

Kari said...

Hi! I am a new follower from the Mom Blogger's Club. I hope you can stop by and visit my blog.

Have a great day!

Leigh Edwards said...

Hi...I'm so glad you created this post. I share your experience. From the moment that I realized I was pregnant I decided that I would not engaged in dialogue with anyone who wanted to share their negative experiences of child birth. I did my research on the long-term effects of drugs on infants and I opted for natural childbirth. I felt as if I would bare anything as long as nothing affected my little one. I wanted the birth of my baby boy to be as peaceful and relaxed as my mind would allow. During labor, I requested low lighting, no loud talking or music (because I knew it would be a distraction), practiced hypo-birthing techniques, meditated, and worked with a doula. Everyone in the delivery room, including my OBGYN, was absolutely amazed at how smooth and peaceful the birth was. They all said it appeared as if I was asleep throughout the entire labor process and before I knew it, I was fully dilated and ready to push. The arrogant anesthesiologist didn’t like it much (I had him removed from the room with a simple finger point to the door) but, I did care. I achieved what I wanted, a drug-free, drama-free, peaceful birth for my baby:)

Following you from MBC. Hop over to my blogs and share a comment or two when you have a moment.


And then there was Anna... said...

Leigh I love the simple point to the door to kick the anesthesiologist out. LOL

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