Birth education has taken off as an industry, and there are more classes now than ever. The upside to the wealth of information available is there is something for everyone. From home study and videos to immersive multi-month programs there is a learning environment that best suits your needs. Don’t become overwhelmed with the amount of content available to you.
Keep in mind, you know what is best for you. These classes, books, and informational materials give you the tools to channel your natural wisdom into a successful birth experience. The following five classes are a sample of the classes you can take for childbirth education:
Lamaze classes were all the rage if you were pregnant in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Known for the signature ‘hee-hee-hoo’ breathing, these classes are best known for their guided breathing instruction. Lamaze adapted their breathing techniques to best suit mothers in the modern day. These classes aim to increase the self-confidence of the mother and prepare her with natural pain management methods. Many women make the claim that Lamaze is a more hospital-based method and can carry some dated content. These classes are quite affordable and take up about two six-hour classes.
Bradley Method classes are an evidence-based curriculum that centers around making birth a supportive, safe and healthy environment. There is an element of ‘Partner-Coached Childbirth’ that is integrated and clearly educates the partner on their role in the birth. The information provided in these classes is comprehensive and quite expansive. While there is a holistic focus, many claim the 12 weeks of classes is too long.
Birthing From Within focuses on birth as a rite of passage rather than a medical scenario. It emphasizes elements of self-discovery and tailors the approach to each couple taking the course and their needs. A main goal of the program is to limit the difficult emotional aspects and prepare the couple with helpful pain management methodologies. Artwork, journaling, and creative expression are other techniques involved in the curriculum. It is one of the more holistic approaches and takes around six weeks to complete the course.
Hypnobirthing is a method that teaches expectant mothers basic hypnosis techniques to create relaxing and peaceful births. This method is said to alleviate the fear around birth and manage pain in a self-directed hypnosis manner. There are classes, but many mothers opt for the self-taught version of this course. Regardless of your method of study, practice is what makes this technique successful.
The Alexander Technique is a movement-focused techniques class improves the body’s orientation to best suit the birthing environment. The classes focus on correct posture, movements, and positions for labor. Yoga mats, birthing balls, and other movement props are utilized to best modify positions for the mother. These classes prepare the mother with a physical focus for the upcoming birth. The course is in-person and for the duration of a few weeks.
If you are pregnant, there is no need for you to go out and sign up for all the classes. It could be of assistance, especially for a first baby, for you to find one that resonates with you and pursue the classes for applied knowledge during labor and delivery. Remember, it is often a good idea to put the books down and trust your gut. The best birthing guide is you and your intuition.