Updated: Oct 23, 2020
If you are expecting, I highly recommend taking a childbirth education class! And I not only recommend this as a Doula/Childbirth Educator, but also as a person who missed the chance to take a childbirth education class before the birth of her own son. And, let me tell you, it is one of my biggest regrets regarding my birth experience. To be fair, I did make an attempt to book our hospital's childbirth education class, but it was too late. It was FULL. And the dread I faced when they told me that... Oof. At the time, I was overwhelmed with other issues surrounding my pregnancy and didn’t even consider the option of taking a childbirth education class outside of my hospital. I figured “My body is gonna have this baby, one way or another” and went into the experience with some barebones knowledge of childbirth. And now, because of my resulting experience, I am a Doula and Childbirth Educator!
You have a few options when it comes to classes that are available to you. Your hospital may offer a class that is tailored to their facility. You may also find classes offered in the community that range from classes that are tailored to those wanting a completely non-medicated/holistic birth, to comprehensive childbirth classes. They will also vary in length. Some are presented in a series over a few weeks, and some offered as a day-long/half-day class. Chelsea Rae Doula currently offers childbirth education.
What you will learn:
-Anatomy during pregnancy
Your body changes immensely during pregnancy, and each pregnancy is different. Learn about the changes you are going through and how they are affecting your body and life.
-How to prepare for labor
Labor can kick off in a number of ways. Learn what to watch out for and how to prepare for when it is finally baby time! You will also receive insight as to what to pack in your hospital bags.
-The labor process
Learn about the intricacies of the labor process! It’s about SO much more than cervical dilation. Know what to expect emotionally along the way.
-Coping techniques and comfort measures (medical and non-medical)
Now that you know what to expect through labor, learn a variety of coping techniques and comfort measures you can utilize. Massage, hot/cold therapy, hydrotherapy, movement and positioning, as well as medical options such as narcotics or epidural.
Learn about a variety of positions to labor in and how they make a difference
Know about common interventions during labor and birth, the benefits and risks, and how to make important decisions regarding interventions.
Remove the stigma and fear surrounding cesarean birth! Learn about what to expect, the procedure, and recovery.
-Standard newborn care procedures
What to expect when your baby makes their grand entrance!
Having a newborn is a huge transition! Learn tips on how to prepare for those first few weeks home with your baby.
-Learn about valuable resources
Your childbirth educator will be able to provide you with great resources to support you along the way. At Chelsea Rae Doula, we have an entire document dedicated to local resources!
Why it makes a difference:
-Know your options
Many times people are not even aware of ALL of their options. And how can you fairly plan for your experience if you aren’t aware of what is available to you?
-Knowledge is power
Did you know that fear can hinder labor progress? (Yet another thing you learn about in a Childbirth Education class) Having an understanding of what is happening within your body and how you can cope with that will help reduce fear.
-Know your rights
Learn about your rights and how to advocate for yourself during your birth experience! Your rights don’t disappear the minute you walk into a hospital.
-Develop your personal philosophy on birth
Since you will be learning about all of your options, you will be able to develop a birth philosophy based on what is right for you!
-Help guide you in creating your birth plan
And that birth philosophy? It can be used as a base in creating a clear and concise birth plan with the help of your childbirth educator.
Walk into your birth experience like the boss you are! You can do amazing things! Having the knowledge gained in a childbirth education class will help boost your confidence, as well as your birth partner’s confidence! You’ve got this!
So, do it! There is no better time than now. Prepare yourself for your experience. Chelsea Rae Doula is currently offering group, private, and virtual options for comprehensive childbirth education classes. For more information visit chelsearaedoula.com/classes
I guarantee you won’t regret having this knowledge!