With the many free ways to get information nowadays, spending money and devoting time to taking a childbirth class might seem unnecessary. Here are 10 reasons that might change your mind.
#1: Get Insider information
Here at Milford Regional, our childbirth classes are taught by our very own maternity nurses, many of whom are experienced mothers who have given birth themselves. When you take a childbirth class you have exclusive access to their expertise. Your instructor is bound to divulge all her best tips so get your pen ready – you won’t get that kind of information from a book!
#2: Answer your questions
What’s the problem with reading at home? It’s a good starting point, but it only goes one way. What better way to take advantage of your time in class than to ask your instructor all the questions that your books couldn’t answer? No question is off limits or too embarrassing, so ask!
#3: Review and build upon what you’ve already read
Adults learn in many different ways. Your class instructor will utilize a variety of different approaches to breathe life into the words you’ve read on the pages of those books.
#4: Learn practical tips
Many partners are especially concerned that they “won’t know what to do” once labor begins. Imagine that your instructor is giving you an imaginary toolbox that she will fill with practical tips, strategies and techniques throughout the class to help your birth team be the best labor coaches they can be.
#5: Practice what you learn
With the help of an experienced instructor physically showing them how to do it, your partner is likely to feel more confident in trying hands-on touch techniques that can bring you great comfort during labor. It is hard to try new things in an unfamiliar situation but with practice, your partner is much more likely to give it a go come delivery day.
#6: Set realistic expectations
Childbirth class will teach you that labor pain is different than any other pain we have ever felt in our whole lives and that “being in pain” is not the same thing as “suffering in pain.” Learning about what labor is really like is important preparation for birth.
#7: Address fears & increase confidence
Addressing your fears about labor and birth is an important part of labor preparation because the hormones of fear (like adrenaline) can decrease the body’s ability to respond to the hormones of labor (like oxytocin) which can result in a slowed or dysfunctional labor. And while being nervous about labor is normal, you also have a lot to feel confident about! Like the fact that the uterus is the strongest of any human muscle when in labor. Or that your body has so much wisdom that is manufacturing an entire human being from just two single cells. Increased confidence: a side effect of taking a childbirth class!
#8: Meet other parents
The first year after having your first baby has been dubbed “The longest, shortest time.” Swirling through your mind might be a vortex of self-doubt: Am I a good parent? Am I doing this right? Is this NORMAL?!?! Making connections with other adults that are in the same boat as you before you give birth helps you to establish a support network of new friends once the baby arrives.
#9: Your partner will leave more knowledgeable
Even if your partner is an enthusiastic participant, many assume that the nurse will take care of everything at the hospital and fail to realize that a big part of labor will be spent at home before admission to the hospital. Therefore it is important for them to be knowledgeable of ways to help you feel comfortable during your “early” labor at home. Many partners struggle to find time to read pregnancy books. Bringing them to class helps you bond and learn together.
#10: It’s FUN!
That’s right…FUN! Honest! Your childbirth instructor will certainly have a knack for making all things “birth” interesting and engaging. We hope you will join us!
Milford Regional offers a wide variety of maternity classes including Childbirth Preparation, Breastfeeding, Baby & Me and Sibling Class, as well new parent support groups.
For more information, visit our website for a full view of our class listing or call 508-422-2206.
Written by Melissa Anne DuBois, RN, BSN, CCE, CLC
Melissa graduated from the UMass Amherst School of Nursing in 2006 and has been a maternity nurse with Milford Regional Medical Center since 2017. Her professional interests include natural childbirth, breastfeeding, infertility, postpartum depression and contraceptive education. She is passionate about teaching new parents how to have a safe, positive and empowering birth experience and thrive during their first year of parenting. She loves ethnic food, tea, cooking, scrapbooking and dressing up for theme parties. She lives in Millbury with her husband, three children and a crazy dog.