If you’re pregnant with your first and you’re the kinda gal who appreciates being informed, educated and aware of the labor + delivery process, you might want to look into taking a birth class. If you have zero interest, if you believe that whatever happens will happen, and if you have a general laissez faire attitude towards birthing (or life in general), then sit it out.
These days there are way more education options than your mother’s old school “lamaze” classes. You can opt for a birthing class that mimics almost exactly how you want to give birth. For example, if you don’t plan on using pain medication, you may want to sign up for a birthing class geared specifically to pain management, and what you can expect sans epidural. You may not know how you want to give birth, which is totally fine (and, let’s be honest, it may not matter anyway), but at most birthing classes, you can expect to be taught the following:
- When to go to the hospital
- Signs of labor
- How to track contractions
- The deets on different pain interventions + other medical interventions
- What to expect from the birth process in general
- Various positions the baby might be in and what that means for birth
- Different pain management strategies that exist like hydrotherapy and birthing balls
- The deets on fetal monitoring during labor
- How dilated you are and when
- Possible procedures and what to expect in the event of a C-section
- What decisions you will need to make about your new baby upon his or her birth
- Pain coping strategies
- Infant care
If you’ve got the time + are slightly curious as to the MIRACLE waiting to happen, taking a class will help you become aware of the process, as well as your decisions + how to better advocate for yourself during labor. Just remember to bring your partner along for the ride. Anyone who considers him/herself a co-parent should join in on the fun.