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So today was the childbirth class I signed up for, and I have to say, I'm a little disappointed. The class was 3 hours, and it was pretty much only about what to expect when you go into labor, and going over a number of different terms that we should be familiar with, but if you're an internet junkie like me, you already were aware of.
The good thing about the class was it familiarized us with the hospital and their policies, and we learned that the hospital is very "crunchy." They have a nursery, but it's only where they take the babies if the mom has a c-section, and has to go to recovery, but then they reunite with mom in postpartum. The babies never leave the room, everything is done in the room with mom (except if you're having your boy circumcized, that happens in the nursery as well). But they promote immediate skin to skin and exclusively breastfeeding, which were things I was worried I would have to argue with them about and stand firm with.
I am super disappointed there was no birth methods part of the course, so we're in search of either a Lamaze class or a Bradley Methods class. Although with the Bradley class, we won't be able to do the whole 12 weeks, since I'm 29 weeks today, and the next class the lady offers starts April 1. And I'm also going to sign us up for a parenting class, so that DH and I can have some information about what to expect when we bring that little baby home.
Bummer about the class, but the hospital sounds like a good one as far as baby care. You could always try the Hypnobabies self study. I have heard great things about it. I read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth to prepare. It has some good techniques for breathing, but great birth stories too
I am so up in the air about childbirth classes. The hospital I'm delivering at is a half hour away. Their classes don't really mesh well with mine and DH's schedules. I don't know what we're going to do. I hope you find a better class.
The class we took with DD was a disappointment for me. It was 8 weeks or something and I came out of it feeling like it was a cheesy review of everything I'd already read. We're not going to bother this time, but we are taking a VBAC class and I hope it's as good as I hear it is. Glad your hospital seems to be a good fit for you!
Eliza Rose, born 6/9/10 ...and getting a little brother for her birthday! Baby Henry Wilder, due 6/7/13
Yay for a good hospital!!! 3 hours is not a lot of time so I'm not surprised they didn't cover birthing strategies. There are some very different schools of thought there. Like Hypnobabies is actually against the Lamaze technique of shallow breathing, it teaches that any fast shallow breathing will be bad for your oxygen supply and anxiety level, it teaches very slow and deep breathing instead. But overall I would say you don't necessarily *need* a special class and training, if you read Ina May Gaskin and youtube/google around a lot of natural childbirth stuff, you will learn plenty just from that. Having a supportive hospital and not showing up there too early in your labor is sufficient for many women to have a great natural childbirth. If you can afford a doula or doula-in-training, that could help a lot too. Good luck!!!
I took a BF class and it was worthless, I learned more from the lactation specialist after having DS and I didn't even bother with childbirth classes - I just did home study. All those classes seem to just be generic info anyone can find online or in a book.
I just ordered the books "The Birth Partner, Third Edition: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dads, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions" and "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" from Amazon. DH and I think that spending $25 on these books plus finding videos around the internet will probably be more useful than anything we can find in person. This way we can move at our own pace and prepare to what we know will help us personally. Any of you use these books? Were they helpful?
I think what I found most helpful about Ina May's book was how positive it was. The birth stories were amazing. Some were easy, but some were really hard, but the whole point of it was that we are strong women and can do this. If you talk to random people, they love to scare a pregnant woman with horror stories of their labors. That is the worst thing you can do. Fear will paralyze you. We don't need to fear labor. Yes it is work, but our bodies can handle it one way or another whether by NCB, epidural, or c-section.