I try not to judge too much when it comes to personal preferences. In this line of work, every woman is unique- and we respect and honor that. But when something gets me fired up, I can’t help but to say something. Today’s topic: Childbirth Classes. Do you really need one?
There’s a pregnant lady I see almost every day at my kids’ school. I knew she was getting close to her due date but hadn’t wanted to appear as a “know it all” birth freak so I hadn’t said much to her- just casually asking her how she’s doing and all that. Well, I finally told her what I do and told her to let me know if she wanted to have coffee or chat about anything. Here’s what she said,
“Oh! wow! Yeah, I didn’t take any classes. I’m just gonna wing it! You know, go with the flow! But if you have any tips or tricks, maybe jot them down for me or something.”
Dumbfounded look on my face probably.
Jot something down??? Like Cliffnotes for birth? The most major life-changing event that will change your very existence forever? You want me to bullet point that?!
Now here’s the deal: Some people say that and they really trust the birthing process and they just have such faith in their bodies and Nature and all that that they really may not need a class. They aren’t that scared or nervous and their birth actually goes off without a hitch.
But then there are the women who are so scared and freaked out about a baby exiting their nether regions that they almost deny their pregnancy until the week before they give birth. Meaning- they don’t take a class, they don’t read any books except Jenny McCarthy’s Belly Laughs or something like that, and they are just in a HUGE pit of denial about this major life-changing and exciting event that they are about to be a part of. They have the most beautiful nursery you’ve ever seen but don’t even want to talk about labor or childbirth because they are so scared.
It’s taken me about 4 years to not judge these people. But I don’t anymore. I promise. People are where they are. Everyone’s backgrounds are different. Everyone’s expectations, ideals, and circumstances are all varied. And I love them where they are.
Fear is a scary, rotten, ugly liar.
And that’s the very reason you NEED to take a class!!!!!! I don’t care if it’s the class put on by the hospital, a tree hugging class out in the woods, or Lamaze.
A birthing class can be a game changer- for both the moms AND the dads. Time and time again I watch couples come into my HypnoBirthing class on the first day like a deer in headlights- nervous, scared, and skeptical. After all, HypnoBirthing is all about having a calm, peaceful experience. Those are NOT the two adjectives most people describe when it comes to childbirth!
But after the 5 week class comes to an end, I literally have Dads hug me and tell me how excited they are about the upcoming birth. They sheepishly tell me how much they were dreading the class on day 1, but that they can’t believe how much they learned. Moms walk out with shoulders back and head held high, more confident, more secure, and more empowered than they ever knew possible.
Of course I’m partial to HypnoBirthing, where we talk extensively about mindset, self-talk, and saturate our brains with positive videos, birth stories, and overall thinking patterns. But there are childbirth classes out there for every type of person, so do some research to find one that fits your personality type. And here’s another tip: Call the teacher and chat with her by phone. Many times it’s the teacher that makes the class. You’ll learn way more from someone you enjoy listening to.
So why take a class? Won’t the baby come out eventually?
One of the top reasons to take a birthing class is what I call the “anxiety list.” Everybody has their “list.” Their list of worries, fears, unforeseen circumstances and general unknowns of Labor. As many “items” that you can check off the “freaked out list” as possible, the smoother you labor will be. And guess what? You learn about all this stuff in- you guessed it- a CLASS! Here are just a few of them:
- What will Mom look like in labor in the various stages? There are changes in demeanor during each stage. Do you know what’s normal?
- When do I go to the hospital? What happens when I get there?
- What exactly happens during a contraction? What muscles are doing what? What does it feel like?
- How in the world am I going to get a 7 lb. baby head out of my nether regions? And will I ever be the same down there again??? (yes, that is a concern)
- What if I go past my due date?
- What does an induction entail?
- Why wouldn’t I want my mother there with me? How bad could it possibly be?
- I want a natural birth but everyone says I’m crazy/stupid/not strong enough/it’s not possible.
Don’t “wing it.” The information you’ll get in a childbirth class has an immense amount of value in whether you have a satisfying experience on your birthing day. And don’t say you just want a healthy baby because it’s so much more than that. You may have more children, but this is THIS baby’s only chance to enter into this world. Do all you can do to ensure it’s a smooth entry. Sure, things happen in labor that we can’t predict. But why leave the majority of this amazing experience in the hands of someone else. Be a part of it. It’ll change the way you view yourself, the way your Partner views him/herself, and the way you both enter into Parenthood together. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’ve listed a few resources for you below.
Fight Gone (Sorta) Bad
In this version of FGB, you will have more rest and more rounds. The idea is to push yourself at a pace that you can maintain for 60 seconds. This is NOT a balls to the wall all out mad sprint to get as many "points" as possible. Be smart. This is labor training. Maintain control in your movements and in your breathing.
60 sec. of work/ 30 sec. of rest. After each round, rest for at least 60 seconds before starting the next round.
- Row or Run/Jog
- Ring Rows
- Box Step ups
- Push Press
- If using a barbell for the push press, take from a rack to accommodate a growing belly. You can also use Dumbells or KBs.
- During the 30 sec. rest, take deep, long breaths to bring heart rate down and recover.