Blog Carnival Round-up: How Did Childbirth Classes Help You?

Thank you to everyone who submitted posts and responses to our blog carnival on “How Did Your Childbirth Classes Help You?” When I became pregnant with my third child, I was determined that, for the first time in my motherhood career, I would take a childbirth class. I did it as much for my own education as I did for my husband, who, even though he knew more about birth than the average guy, could benefit from an in-depth course. After taking a five week Lamaze childbirth class series, I was blown away. I wanted to go out and tell all expectant couples to take a childbirth class (from a reputable organization, of course). Even though I had read (and read and read) books upon books and articles about birth, there is something about an in-person class that can’t be replicated in a book. And for some partners, the education that comes from a class may be the only instruction they receive before the big day.

Lisa, a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator in Calgary, Canada, writes about her first experience with a childbirth class as “life-changing.” Lisa said:

Childbirth class with Nichola changed me from an educated women to a confident expectant mother. Calm and collected, Nichola guided us through the overwhelming amount of information in a way that made sense. Each individual came to their own, different conclusion based on the same information. I was able to choose my own birth adventure, thanks in part to the knowledge and support of a wonderful childbirth educator.

Lisa’s childbirth class experience extended far beyond her pregnancy, sparking a passion that led to becoming a childbirth educator herself.

For Laura, it wasn’t until her birth experience that she realized the full value of childbirth classes:

They had talked about the cascade of interventions, how one can lead to another. I steered clear of them all. I started to feel scared and panicky. They had talked about transition, that it is normal and means you are close to the end. I remembered and relaxed, continuing my rhythm and ritual. Before I knew it, my body was pushing.

Beyond birth, Laura viewed childbirth classes not just as means to an end, but as a catalyst of change:

Childbirth classes gave me more than just confidence or tools to achieve my ideal birth, they were a rite of passage. They helped me become a mother.

Crystal’s experience with childbirth classes was initially overwhelming:

How would I possibly master everything I had learned so that I could be completely prepared for whatever might come my way during labor? How would my sweet D be able to handle what could potentially be a very long labor without the help of a doula? What if I can’t get this little one lined up properly for birth?

But somewhere along the line, while learning to summon her inner strength in preparation for birth, she discovered what it was that gave her strength — her faith. From that point forward, Crystal felt prepared to handle the information and her upcoming birth:

Our childbirth class did more than just prepare us for birth. It helped prepare us for new life all around us, in whatever form it may show up.

Mariam’s strength in birth came from her practice of techniques learned in childbirth instruction:

…there was no other explanation for the calm end to my birthing time and my [eventual] ability to relax other than the fact that I’d practiced remaining collected and confident in my body’s ability to birth all along.

 

 

Avatar of Cara TerreriAbout Cara Terreri
Cara began working with Lamaze in 2004, two years before becoming a mother. Three kids later, she's a full-fledged healthy birth advocate and the Site Administrator for Giving Birth with Confidence. Most recently Cara began study to become a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator and DONA certified doula (learn more about her services at www.SimpleSupportBirth.com). She continues to stand in awe of the power and beauty in pregnancy and birth, and enjoys helping women discover their own power and joy in the journey to motherhood.

Comments

  1. I recently spent a day observing on an L&D floor and had a chance to chat with a young mom who had just been admitted because her water had broken. The nurse asked if she was having contractions and she said “no”. A few minutes later she made a face and put her hand on the top of her belly. I asked her what was going on and she said, “Oh, nothing. My belly is just really tight.” I smiled and said that was a contraction. Her eyes got wide and she said, “Oh! I’ve been having those for a while!”. I asked her if she had taken any classes and she said no. I then asked if she had any questions and she said she had “so many she didn’t even know where to start.” I tried to do a quick list of the possibilities of the day depending on different pieces.
    I had to leave at that point so wasn’t able to stay with her and answer more questions. It blew my mind, though, that she was entering this process and had very little information about what was going on. It made me want to make Lamaze or other good classes mandatory. :) Is it a continued trust that the medical professional will just take care of everything that prevents some women from learning about their pregnancy and birth?

  2. Avatar of Cara Terreri Cara Terreri says:

    I agree with you on the mandatory childbirth education! Unfortunately, I think it’s a combination of factors contributing to women not learning more — fear of knowing the particulars, feeling that they plan on getting the epidural, so what more is there to know, misconception about what childbirth education is, relying on [sometimes unreliable] information from the internet, books, and friends and family, and then yes, the feeling that medical professionals will take care of it all, though I think women are slowly moving away from that notion.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] that many (often too many) things compete for your time. On our blog, we’ve already presented reasons why attending childbirth classes are worth your time; now we’re going to talk about how to make [...]

  2. [...] life, it’s true that many (often too many) things compete for your time. We know there are reasons why attending childbirth classes is worth your time; now we’re going to talk about how to make that [...]

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