Are Childbirth Classes Necessary?

Updated on April 28, 2007
C.B. asks from Weatherford, TX
56 answers

My husband and I are expecting our first child, a daughter at the end of June. We had been interested in signing up for childbirth classes, but have not been able to find one to fit our schedule or in a location convenient to us. Most of the classes we have seen seem a little pricey, and I am wondering how necessary the classes are. I am reading up on a lot of childbirth topics, like hypno-birthing and lamaze. . . . So, do you think it is absolutely essential that I take one of these classes before giving birth?

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C.C.

answers from Dallas on

We didn't have time to go to a class because my husband and i have such different work schedules, so we got a video, and it was pretty good. I'm glad I did that.

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H.L.

answers from Dallas on

I think the more info you take in, the better. It's a good thing to take whatever class your hospital offers, but also look into other options. With my first child, we took the class the hospital offered...it was OK and helped settle my nerves.

With my second child, I wanted to have a more natural birth so we took a private class lead by 2 midwives. It was expensive, but oh so worth every dime!!

Another thing to think about is breastfeeding. If you are planning to breastfeed, I highly suggest taking a breastfeeding class before giving birth. I think this one is often overlooked by first time moms, and thats a huge mistake!!

Arm yourself with all the knowledge that you can get your hands on & have fun....you're just beginning the most amazing journey that you've ever been on!!

:-) H.

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L.H.

answers from Dallas on

C.,

Knowledge is a very important thing, especially during childbirth. Mothermedoulas.com provides lamaze classes for $125.00. I believe it is 4 classes on Friday nights. Check the webpage. Naturalbeginningsonline.com provides bradley classes and a new session starts in May and goes through the middle of June. The bradley method is different from the lamaze method. The next class starts in May and ends in June. The cost is about $300.00. You might also want to check where you are delivering. Most hospitals have a mini-childbirth class for a low fee.

But my answer to your question, is absolutely. You can learn so much in these classes. If finances are a problem, ask if you can work out a payment plan. As a doula (someone involved in the childbirth scene), I know the women that provide these services are business women with a heart.

You might also consider a doula, which is a woman that provides comfort measures, relaxation techniques and visualization for the laboring mom. Even if you are not planning an unmedicated birth, the classes and a doula provide excellent knowledge and support. You can find a no cost/lowcost doula on bellywomen.net. You can't do a search by state (which is a bummer), so you will have to look at each doula's location by hand.

Congratulations on your pregnancy and I hope this has helped you.

Blessings,
L. H.

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K.

answers from Dallas on

YES! They are ABSOLUTELY necessary! You want to be able to have the information and skills necessary to create the birth experience you desire. You just can't get everything you need from books. Plus, in order for your husband to be the birth partner you need, he needs to be educated too. That being said, all childbirth classes are not alike. I'd recommend Linda Worzer (www.naturalbeginningsonline.com). My husband and I took her class before the birth of our son and it made SUCH a difference. Because of that class I think of my son's birth (and the labor preceding it as the most defining (and greatest) moments of my life). Think of it this way, would you run a marathon without any training? Good luck!

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G.W.

answers from Dallas on

Forgot everything I learned in class once those contractions hit...

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K.C.

answers from Dallas on

I took the classes with my first pregnancy and was very disappointed to find that I had wasted alot of time and money. The classes were very informational but when it came time for labor I used none of it. The doctors and nurses will tell you everything you need to know and what you need to do. I don't recommend them unless it will make you feel better.

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J.B.

answers from Dallas on

I would highly recommend Bradley classes. Take the classes from Linda Worrzer in Richardson. She is awesome and she is so worth the drive! You will find yourselves looking forward to the classes every week. It is so much fun and you learn so much. It prepares you for child birth and after the baby is here. You and your husband will be very well prepared if you take the classes. Good luck!
J.

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K.T.

answers from Dallas on

Hi C.,
Congratulations on the upcoming birth of your daughter. I can't answer your question completely - just speak from personal experience. I am expecting my second child in August and I don't plan on attending any classes. I did, however, attend a child birth class when I was expecting my first. I wasn't sure if I needed to (or wanted to) but I did anyway. A lot of the information I had already read about in books. I do think it helped get my husband prepared. I was reading books and gathering information about the birth but he was not. Having an overview given to us helped ease anxieties during a time when the baby's heart beat dropped and they gave me an injection to stop a contraction and placed an oxygen mask over my mouth (the oxygen was for the baby). I had a normal vaginal delivery. I think I would be even more gratfull for having taken the class if I had to have had a c-section. If you choose not to attend the class, the nurses are well versed at helping you through each stage of the delivery. You won't be left to your own devices. I did not live in Texas two years ago when my son was born so I can't tell you about classes in the area, however, the hospital where I lived at the time offered a free class. Hope this helps! Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy and on the delivery of your little joy!

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C.M.

answers from Dallas on

I took Bradley childbirth classes for my first born. I was in labor for 15 hours with no drugs and dialated only to a 1cm. The whole thing went out the door after that and we ended up using all the traditional methods (i.e. epidural, pitocin, etc.). So my advice would be, to definitely take a child birth lesson or read as much as possible to get educated on all of your options....but if you are giving birth at a really reputable hospital, they KNOW what they are doing. BUT...I do think that knowing what your choices are and being in control of what happens to you and your baby are a great asset.

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B.S.

answers from Dallas on

Dear C.:

The important thing is that you have a very supportive birthing environment for the special day you become mommy & daddy.
Lamaze is all about promoting normal birth and yet, very few births in the US are truly normal anymore - mothers, physicians and hospitals seem to prefer lots and lots of interventions.
If you are not aware of the process of normal birth versus highly technical birth, you could experience a less than satisfying birth experience.
It is important that you and your husband discuss what your goals are in the birth of your little one and set up a birth support system to help you achieve a more positive birth memory however you define that.

Please feel free to contact me off-list if you'd like to arrange a free birth plan counseling session. I offer this in my office at 3310 Live Oak, Suite 201, Dallas 75204.
love,
B.
www.MotherMeDoulas.com

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D.N.

answers from Dallas on

Honestly, I wish that someone would have told me when I was expecting my first child that the childbirth classes were not very useful at all! If you plan to have an epidural or anykind of pain relief, you certainly don't need the classes. The only thing that my husband and I got out of the class was that we got to see the birthing rooms at the hospital and we liked that. Everything else I learned I just really never needed to use. I think that you can get all the info you need from the nurses there. You will be totally fine!! Good luck and Congrats!!

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L.G.

answers from Dallas on

I don't think they are 100% necessary, but very helpful. I didn't really learnt hat much about breathing, but they taught my husband how to rub my back ( and he still does what they taught him, best backrubs ever!),gave a tour of the hospital, showed a video of a live birth and c-section. I found it to be really helpful and ease some of my fears. I ended up with a c-section and I felt well prepared.
We did our classes at Harris in downtown Fort Worth. I don't remember them being too expensive and we did a nights and weeknds class.

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K.H.

answers from Dallas on

I wouldn't say that childbirth classes are "necessary", no. I had a baby girl last June and never attended birthing classes. Like you, my husband and I wanted to, but were unable to find any classes that fit our schedule. My labor and delivery experience were wonderful. I think an important thing to keep in mind is that while you can have preferences, labor and delivery are not something you can control. It can be very unpredictable. What is going to happen will happen and you can deal with it when it does. I think that reading up on everything like you are will give you plenty of information to work with. That way you will feel prepared to handle things when they start happening. Honestly, I don't feel like I missed out on anything by not taking the classes. I was nervous about it at first, but everything went fine and I was surprised to realize that through all of my reading I had learned enough to realize what was going on or what to expect. Best of luck to you and congratulations on your baby girl!

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R.W.

answers from Denver on

Congratulations! I have had three children and my vote it to take a class. It has a lot of great information and you may learn something you have not read about.

My biggest recommendation is that if you think you are going to breast feed is to take a class on breastfeeding at the hospital or though La Leche. To me it was not natural and I felt totally clueless!!!! I was lucky to have my mother in law with me who used to be a lactation consultant....highly, highly recommend a class on this as well as infant CPR.

Good luck! It will be worth your time and money.

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A.D.

answers from Dallas on

When I was pregnant with my first child (my daughter) I was encouraged to take those classes. Like you, we could not coordinate a time to do one - plus the cost was a little high. We opted not to go any classes. After all, women have been having babies for thousands of years before anyone ever thought of Lamaze.

Anyway, when delivery time came, my daughter got here safe and sound without me or my husband feeling unprepared or anything.

In fact, my husband delivered her!! He asked the doctor if he could and the doctor said "sure". The doctor just stood behind him and coached him through it. My husband has since delivered our 2 sons as well.
(He's a high-school Science teacher, such things fascinate him) :)

Each birth has been a wonderful and blessed experience - with no classes. Don't feel pressured to do anything you don't want to. Your baby will get here just fine - with or without any classes.

Good luck and God Bless!!!!

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M.H.

answers from Dallas on

I have had four kids expecting my fifth right now, i was 17 when i found out i was pregnant with my first. between trying to graduate and work i didnt have time for child birth classes. when I got to the hospital i was scared but after talking to the nurses and everyone. they told me i had nothing to worry about no class could really perpare you for this and if i had any questions about anything along the way they can give me a better answer then the classes can. because they were there with me and knew my situation they could tell me what was going on where a child birth class was just a generization. they can base things only on statistics, not what is happening in your case solo. I have dilivered all four of my kids in the same hospital and have had the same nurses, for the most part i have had them at least twice. I will go to same one for this one too, and still without one childbirth class. I did have a friend that took those class and they had her so scared and stressed that she almost lost her baby. she has the same doc as i do and he told her not to go back. I dont know if her class focused more on what could go wrong or what i never went i just know she would come over to my house crying asking me if it was really that bad. Its not, I am a big whinny i will cry forever if i stump my toe, and i have still have four kids. go in positive and leave happy. You are going to have trained people there at the hospital that have done this a thousand times they can always help you with anything you need help with.

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A.E.

answers from Dallas on

C.,
My husband and I took a childbirth class that lasted one full day at the hospital we were going to deliver at. To be honest, I think the class was better for my husband who was a little nervous and I think it answered some of his questions. I read lots of books and message boards while pregnant, so I feel that that answered most of the things they covered in childbirth class. The one advantage for me, was the hospital tour after the class when they took us into the delivery rooms and nursery, etc and that made me feel more comfortable about the delivery. So, basically, I found that all the things they told us in class kind of went right out the window for me when I was actually in labor...I was in so much pain I pretty much forgot to breath! They coached me while I was in the delivery room anyway, so I would have done ok without it...but ended up having a c-section right after going in to the delivery room so I wouldn't have been able to use anything much from the class anyway. As long as you are reading lots, etc. then I think you will be fine. I found the message boards at webmd very helpful during pregnancy and talked to a lot of other moms, and lots of moms that had already delivered so I felt prepared by that! I also made some connections and "friends" there. Best of luck to you. My daughter was also born last June. What an amazing gift you are about to receive! Congrats!

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E.L.

answers from Dallas on

I know you have received alot of responses -- -and the last thing you want when you are pregnant is more advice....right?
Well I have given birth to 3 boys - and without those classes my husband and I felt so uninformed about this very important event. The classes help you and your husband to understand what will take place - and to keep you from panicing. It also allows you and your husband to have more of a say in how you will give birth and what is available. Just because the doctor says it has to happen that way - does NOT mean it does. With my first child we did not do the classes - and we still regret that one. (We thought we knew EVERYTHING- and we did not have a clue!!!) The next 2 births were so much better - we did not feel we were being pushed into procedures that we knew were not necessary.... My husband knew techniques to help keep me relaxed and focused - and I was able to deliver without any medication at all and no episiotomy .... ... With the 1st I was screaming for pain killers.... I would advice any new parents to be to take the classes -- they are well worth the money.....

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C.P.

answers from San Diego on

Hi C.,

The classes are very helpful. The biggest part of mine that I gained from it was the breathing techniques. They helped me focus and calm me down while I was in labor. Without them, I don;t know what I would have done!! Plus, at the end of most classes you'll get a tour of the hospital's labor and delivery and they walk you through everything from when you get there, what's it like while you're in labor and waiting, to recovery and what to expect afterwards. It's worth the $100 or so. And it's great to be able to meet other moms and dads in class and share your experiences and learn from them as well. Plano Presbyterian breaks their classes up in two weekends. But sign up for one now, the sooner the better. Good luck and congrats!!

-Char

S.R.

answers from Dallas on

For sure take a class, or at least get the video. I think you can rent them at blockbuster. It just help to know what to expect. You will be hurting and at least you will have a clue as to what is going to be happening to you and your baby each step of the way. I think they are needed for the first baby at least! Congrats and good luck!

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A.E.

answers from San Antonio on

I had a wonderful and easy labor and I did not take childbirth classes. I went into preterm labor at 6 months and was on bedrest so I couldn't take them had I even wanted to. My doctor and the L&D nurses were helpful and I did fine. If you want to take them, I'm sure they're great! I wouldn't say they're necessary though and actually, I've been told by a few other moms I know that when it comes down to go-time you kind of forget all those breathing techniques anyway. When I was in labor, my doctor told me to take a deep breath, hold it and push. Then when the contraction was over I could breathe normally again. There was no weird breathing like you see in the movies. So if you can't fit them in your schedule, I wouldn't stress about it.

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E.O.

answers from Dallas on

I did not take childbirth classes with my son and I did just fine. I gave birth to my son Ryan in four hours. The classes are not nessesary, although I have heard that they do help.

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J.J.

answers from Dallas on

Personally I felt like my class was a waste of money, and I started dreading it because after a long day of work, sitting through a class for a few hours when you're pregnant is the last thing you really want to do. If I could have taken a shorter version I think it would have been better. I don't mean to sound rude and antisocial, but I really wasn't interested in taking time for ice breakers and getting to know others around me. I wanted the info and then to go home and get some rest! However, the information was very important. You definitely do need to read up all you can, if only for your confidence level. You will freak out way too much if you don't have a basic understanding of all the terminology. I suggest calling a few different hospitals. It doesn't have to be the one you plan on delivering with. And try to find a short course to give you the low down. If you can't fit it in though, don't worry you'll be fine with some books.

L.A.

answers from Dallas on

I too recommend taking them. I also read tons of pregnancy books, but I was still worried about timing and the whole event, exactly how the birthing process happens. I wanted to fully understand what was happening, the more you know, the more calm you are. I loved understanding what was going on, and it empowered me to make more decisions and to really relax and enjoy the experiance.

I just took one Saturday class with my husband, it was about 4 hours long. Most hospitals will offer a series of classes, or one long weekend class like what I did. It was nice, and remember, just b/c you know whats going on, it's really great for the man too, b/c they are just as nervous as we are. And he will be the one that supports you, so it's important for him to understand what's going on too.

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K.

answers from Dallas on

You already have lot of great responses, but I thought I would add it depends on what kind of childbirth you are planning. Are you planning for an epidural? Hypnobirthing is usually for women who want to try for a natural childbirth without drugs. I took it for my 2nd daughter. We decided to go natural with her, and it was extremely helpful and made natural birth very manageable. However, if I had been having an epidural, it would not have been very useful. The hospital classes can be helpful just to prepare you for what to expect, but I am sure it depends on the hospital.

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J.R.

answers from Dallas on

Will you feel like you missed out on part of the experience if you don't take them? Just a thought to consider. My husband and I were signed up for them when I was pregnant with my twin girls but I had to have an emergency c-section two days before our 1st class. Because I was having a repeat c-section with my little boy this last summer I didn't think it was necessary. I did feel a little cheated that I never got to have the experience. Best of luck with your baby, your life will be forever changed for the better.

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J.S.

answers from Dallas on

I really recommend child birth classes, it really helped when I had my son and I believe it really helped my hubby to know what was going to happen.

As for the cost, our hospital didn't charge us if we were giving birth there. So you might want to check with your hospital and see if they do the same. I delivered at Medical Center of Lewisville.

Good Luck and Congrats.
J.

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J.C.

answers from Dallas on

I hope you get a lot out of classes like the other moms who posted. My husband and I took classes at Arlington Memorial and were really disappointed. The lady rushed through it and the vidieos suggested that the hospital gave you choices about your delivery plan. (ie: walking epidural) The doctor was very cold and we were not given much choice on anything. (we have insurance) I'm sure my experience is rare but we got more good info from books than from classes. When you have your baby you will be overcome with more love than you could ever imagine and that outweighs any negatives. Congratulations and make sure your doctor and their group understand what you want.

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J.R.

answers from Dallas on

I was so glad that I took the childbirth and Breastfeeding classes and had my hubby with me for both of them. I took the Natural Childbirth class at Presby Plano, as it was really important to me to go natural. I had a wonderful instructor who did such a great job of explaining the stages of labor, what to expect, and excellent breathing techniques, positions, and using things like scented lotions, music, massages, etc. to help the woman relax during labor. And I was so glad my hubby came to the breastfeeding class (although I did have to make him.) He had no idea how much time it would take to breastfeed a newborn, and also the incredible nutrients and immunities and benifits and most of all.... cost savings of breastfeeding (yeah, he admits that he's cheap!)

And I've actually found the relaxation/breathing techniques really useful for other situations. So I guess I really got my money's worth out of the classes!

I had several friend who either didn't take the classes or got put on bedrest and so they couldn't take the classes. And they will admit that they weren't prepared for it... esp. the labor transition that happens around 7cm. They ended up getting epidurals, and their labor stalled, and they had to have c-sections. And one friend still has a ton of regret about not sticking it out and about not delivering naturally. After she had her kiddo, she did more reading, and realized that 7cm can be a tough transition for women, and she thinks that if she and her hubby had known that, she wouldn't have gotten the epidural, and then maybe wouldn't have had a C-section.

So this is why it was so important for me to take the classes. We took them once a week at night, and made the time for them. We had several people in our class who were delivering at Presby Allen, but the classes at Presby Plano fit with their schedule better. So I would suggest looking around at other nearby hospitals to see if their class schedules work better. Then you'll just have to make sure to go to your hospital to get the tour so you know where to go during and after hours, and also what their specific policies are.

My hubby was such a huge help during labor, as it was hard at times. But I made it through and only got a 1/2 dose of pain medicine, which I then regretted since it made me so drowsy.

There are lots of great books that talk about labor and delivery. Here is a link to a site that has some great recommendations: http://www.ajoyfulbirth.com/Library

Best of luck and congrats for the soon arrival of your little one!

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A.S.

answers from Dallas on

We didn't really learn anything we didn't already know and when it came to labor, I didn't use any techniques (in too much pain.) Although it was nice to meet some other ladies who were about to go on the same journey, it isn't something that will make all the difference! :)

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C.R.

answers from Dallas on

It really depends on you...I had my first daughter Lily 5 years ago. I didn't have any classes. I just watched ALOT of Discovery channel...Babies and Birth Day. I saw all the scary stuff..So I knew all the things they were talking about..Pitocin...Emergency C's...I ended up having a 3 1/2 delevery. No doctor...he didn't get there in time! The nurses were great! And when they tell you to push...your body knows what to do!

But wveryone is different. Only you know if you need to have classes and if you (and your husband) will feel confident! Good luck! I hope you enjoy your new family! Your life will never be the same!

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J.W.

answers from Dallas on

I have had three children and never took one.

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D.R.

answers from Dallas on

Hello!

I am expecting our first baby girl on June 25th!! We have a lot in common, lol. I too was thinking maybe I didnt need the class, but then a few weeks ago I went into preterm labor (thankfully they were able to stop it) but it really scared me that I wasnt prepared and didnt really know what to do. I think the class will be really informative and help prepare me. I just signed up for one yesterday at Presby Allen (not the hospital I am delivering at, but the times worked.) Its only $100 for 4 classes, and that includes the husband. They will cover everything, and even do a tour of the labor and delivery. They also offer it at several other hospitals. If you are more interested, PM me and I can give you a link to the website where I found all the schedules.
Good luck, and congratulations!!
D.

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R.T.

answers from Dallas on

C.,
I took a one time labor class that the hospital provided for $20. They didn't teach lamaze, but they did go over some important things to know like how to know the difference between real and false labor, the different ways to cope w/ the contractions, etc. I thought it was pretty helpful, but not so much that I felt it necessary. My doctor and the nurses told me that I did very good through my labor that was the only class that I took. But, I think I would recommend a breastfeeding class. I didn't take one and I tried breastfeeding. I was only able to breastfeed for 5 days due to me not knowing at all what I was doing. Just like one of the ladies already said, the doctor and the nurses are very good help, but when you go home it's just you (your husband certainly wouldn't be able to help). I do regret not finding help w/ breastfeeding. Good Luck!

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C.A.

answers from Dallas on

Hi C.,

I didn't have childbirth classes with either child. I think a lot depends on what you want. I wasn't very interested in them and didn't think I'd be getting much out of them. But, if you feel you want one and would be more comfortable taking one with your husband, then you should really try to get into one. But, I wouldn't call it essential by any means.

Good luck! C.

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E.P.

answers from Austin on

I didn't take any classes with either of my kids and I don't feel like I missed out on anything. My thinking was the nurses and doctors weren't going to just stand there and let me try to figure everything out on my own while I was in labor. I had epidurals early on with both kids so I really didn't need the breathing techniques. Both of my kids latched on immediately, so I definitely thing breastfeeding classes would have been a waste of time and money. And if you need help, there are lactation consultants. Unless you think you're going to miss out on the whole experience, don't worry about taking the classes. Nothing can prepare you for those first contractions!

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K.K.

answers from Dallas on

Hi C.,
Well,I kind of read the responses below...not sure I am of much help, but you can be the judge of that. I believe we have to empower ourselves with knowledge so that we can make informed decisions when the time comes. Patients need to rise up and start playing an active role in their medical experiences. With C-section rates, inductions, scheduled deliveries...we are getting away from the natural process. Don't get me wrong, I had two c-sections, but not by my first choice, but due to having educated myself (read "Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way"; attended 13 weeks of Bradley classes--not within hospital; attended Breastfeeding class; newborn class; prepared childbirth class; and infant CPR classes at the hospital) I felt confident in the decision we made. Absolutely you need to educate yourself!!! I had such a naive view of the process until I started reading and then I found out the real story. I had a birth plan detailing my preferences as long as things were stable---the staff followed it perfectly. The classes that were the MOST beneficial: Bradley by far; breastfeeding; infant CPR. The book I read (title above) was GREAT in encouraging, detailing, explaining the process. I would at least read this if you are unable to attend a class. I did labor unmedicated and in control (no screaming drama)and it was wonderful and a memory I hope to never forget. It did end in a c-section after pushing over 2 hours and I felt something was wrong...sure enough she was tearing me internally and it was a great thing we did the c-section. Nonetheless, I am so blessed to have experienced the natural methods taught by Bradley, my husband was involved ( a big component of Bradley), and we had the experience we desired (of course a vaginal delivery would have been awesome, but we had a healthy baby healthy mommy). In all things in life....seek knowledge. Be your own advocate. Doctors these days have people walk in with no idea what to expect, so naturally they have gotten use to just making decisions, treating all patients the same, and the individuality has disappeared. Make your experience your own. It is a memory you will carry for the rest of your life.

Sorry for carrying on....this is a button of mine---can you tell. LOL.

If you have questions or need suggestions beyond this...feel free to PM me.

K.

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T.W.

answers from Dallas on

Hi C.
Congrats on your first baby. Being a mommy is THE greatest joy! I was really glad that I took the childbirth class, because it let me know what to expect and helped me decide which methods were best for us. I suggest that you take the class, at the hospital where you plan to deliever, so you can learn the check in process, the procedures etc. I found it very helpful and it kept me from being nervous about the "unknown." Good luck and God bless!
T.

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W.C.

answers from Dallas on

I was unable to take childbirth classes due to health problems. I was put on bed rest with both of my boys. So instead I did alot of reading with the first pregnancy. You can get videos about the classes. Me and my husband watched them and it is just like the classroom but without all the other expectant parents. The video helped my husband to understand more about what was going to happen and helped us bond together with the pregnancy. Even with all the research, when it came time to give birth, everything I learned went right out the window :). Your body takes over and you just know what to do. God made us in a way that as mothers it just came natural.

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C.P.

answers from Dallas on

The only thing I found helpful was the baby-care class (I never had changed a diaper, fed a baby --nada before my baby) and the tour of the facilities. Everything else I could have learned by watching episodes of A Baby Story on TV. I also read a whole lot beforehand, so I really didn't learn anything new in the classes. Yes, I was one of those who got "plugged into an epidural machine" and it turned out fine. My daughter will be 9 years old in August and we both made it through- no problem. I didn't see where the hospital was paying bonuses or handing out awards to women who withstood the most pain during labor and delivery. My anesthesiologist was a very wonderful woman who stayed with me throughout the whole delivery (30 mins of pushing, and all the hoopla after the baby comes)checked on me continually, and gave me a huge hug after my daughter was born. She talked to me off and on all day while I was in labor after she got the epidural started (9 hours)--she was just awesome.

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T.O.

answers from Dallas on

Yes, take the classes and the breastfeeding classes and the baby first aid. Take it all! It's such a great time to share with your hubby before the baby comes and you learn more than pushing and breathing.

They'll tell you about other things that can happen during labor and what to expect. I had 3 kids, 3 different ways, emergency c-section, vbac and vaginal without drugs. I went to refresher classes for the 2nd and 3rd and it was really worth it.

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M.B.

answers from Dallas on

Hi C.,

We live in GP and took childbirth classes at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas on Saturdays. I'm very glad that we had the classes because it made me feel more confident about what was happening, even though due to circumstances, my birth plan wasn't followed. We also met some very nice expectant couples and it was fun to share stories. I really recommend taking a class. I don't think you'd regret it when you're in labor! :) Congratulations!

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T.S.

answers from Dallas on

When I had my second child (after 14 years) my husband and I were both very busy with work and my son having special needs and didn't have a sitter, we opted to look online and found a lamaze video. I can't remember where we ordered it from but it is by Great Expectations called Laugh and Learn about Childbirth. It is done by a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Instructor named Sheri Bayles, RN. I think we bought it from Amazon. Anyways, the class is always better, but this is something we were able to do on our own time at our own pace and very affordable.

Hope this helps.

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N.S.

answers from Dallas on

Hi:

I found some free classes (breastfeeding, infant cpr and an introduction to hypnobirthing) at BabiesRUs. I went to the one in Mesquite near Town East Mall. The classes are in the evening (like at 7:30 or 8:00p.m.). The classes are usually Monday through Thursday but you can ask if they have any Saturday classes.

The lady who gives the class' name is Virginia McConnell. Her email address is [email protected]____.com is also certified in Hypno birthing and gives the classes. She trained one of my co-workers when his wife gave birth to their first child and they had a really great experience. I mean they raved about how great hypno birthing is. They are going back to her for the birth of their second child later this year. Virginia is great. I hope this helps. I think it is worth taking the intro class and the breastfeeding class since it is free.

I would say decide what kind of birth that you want and then look for the resources to make that happen. Good luck and Congratulations. Let me know how it goes.

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K.J.

answers from Dallas on

We just signed up for childbirth classes at Baylor Grapevine for $125 for 6 weeks of 2 hour classes and that includes a breast feeding class. We will also tour the hospital one night as well. Because this is where I will be having the baby I thought it was a good way to be familiar with the hospital. My doctor also recommended a place called The nesting place. They have a website and have classes in various areas of the DFW area I think. They were a little less, but didn't include the breast feeding class. If you want to do an all day/one day version Baylor has a Saturday and Sunday version for $85 i think. it looked like Baylor had classes at all their hospitals so if there is a more convenient one try there. Good luck!

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C.P.

answers from Dallas on

My husband and i were feeling the same way about the classes. We went ahead and took them and are really glad that we made that decision. We are also expecting our second daughter in the middle of June. I think that this time we will take some sort of childbirth class just to refresh our memories. They are wonderful! Good luck!

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A.D.

answers from Dallas on

C.,

As a fellow teacher, I am sure you have done all the typical research. When my husband and I had our daughter we took the classes at Baylor Dallas and after 5 sessions we felt the best part of the classes was the tour of the facility and the 15 minute demo of an epidural. Your OB/GYN can talk to you about the epidural and other types of pain manegement and the hospital will allow you to schedule tours for free on your own schedule.

Best of Luck!

A. D.

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T.L.

answers from Dallas on

I would recommend them as well, especially the breast feeding one (if you're going to). I too had read a lot of books, but hearing a nurse talk about all kinds of things that I had NEVER even heard of was great. It made myself and my husband a little more prepared for this HUGE life changing event. Really, the more you know going in, the more you will be able to handle during the birth and after.

I think most new moms would agree that the labor and delivery is a piece of cake compared to the first month or two. Even if you don't have a horrible delivery and post-delivery like I did, the first two months are rough and I believe the new parenting classes are WELL worth it. I had babysat all through JRH and HS and I practically raised my little brother, so I thought it would be a breeze. WRONG!! It's totally different when it's YOUR baby. The more you are prepared, the more you will enjoy the process.

So basically, I would say work the classes into your schedule. Even if you have to drive a bit or go on weeknights, you will be glad you did. Plus you'll get to meet other new mommies who are going through the exact same thing! Congrats by the way! Girls are SOOO fun! :) My princess is now 4!! Cherish every second, it really does FLY by!!!

D.G.

answers from Nashville on

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! If you want the dr/ nurses to do it all for you & just plug you into an epidural machine, then you probably don't need classes. If, however, you want to control your birth as much as possible, if all goes smoothly, and you have any desire to do a natural or near-natural birth, I'd recommend something like Bradley classes. The hospital clases I took at Baylor G'vine prior to my first birth was what I called, "How to breathe until you get your epidural"- worthless for me trying to go natural. Bradley can be a bit, um.."militant" about natural birth, but glean from it the best parts & it can help much!The various coping strategies, positions, practice, info about stages , etc. was great!

If you really want to make it a good experience, get a doula!

D.

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L.M.

answers from Dallas on

Hey C.,

I have 2 children and I never took a childbirthing class. I do not think it is necessary. Your body will know what to do. If you want to know more about it there's a ton of info on the internet and also most women love to talk about their birthing experince(I know I do) just ask some friends about it or if you have some specific questions I would be glad to help in anyway I can. I'm not a Dr. or anything but I do have experience. I had an epidual with my first and a completely natural child labor with my second, both vaginal deliveries. Again if you want some info or opinions I will be glad to help. Good Luck!
L. M.

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V.M.

answers from Dallas on

I recommend taking the childbirth classes. My husband and I just had twin boys 4 weeks ago, which are our firsts also. We took the classes and enjoyed them and learned a lot. Check with your Dr. they should have a list of childbirth classes also check with your hospital they usually have classes they offer as well. Good luck and enjoy it! It is an amazing experience!

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C.B.

answers from Dallas on

Hi C.,

We have a few things in common - my name is C., last initial B AND I am also 28 - not pregnant though - we have a 3 yr. old boy.

Anyway, I did not take a childbirth class, did take a car seat class and that was very informative! I don't know if I'd recommend them or not, I am a reader and reading books helped me enough - we had our little boy with an epidural and I was in labor for about 11 hrs. Not bad at all, really. I think the classes are good for meeting other people and socializing - which is great, but it comes with a price! If I had it to do over, I still wouldn't take one - just my 2 cents though!

I did always want to take a prenatal yoga, but fitting it into my schedule was tough - never happened!

Best of Luck,

C. Brady

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K.

answers from Dallas on

I wouldn't worry about it! Your dr will help you, you'll know what to do!

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R.M.

answers from Dallas on

C., yes. I had four children all natural. I took classes with the first one and it was great. I still had the 2nd one natural - but the hospital - Arlington Memorial - would not let my husband in the delivery room, because we had not re-taken classes. Their policy might have changed, but I would check in advance, what the hospitals policy is. The classes help reinforce your faith that they are gonna work and YOU CAN DO THIS. I still did great with the others but not such an easy time with the 3rd because it had been awhile and I did need a refresher course. 4th one, I started practicing my exercises early on during the pregnancy and used the teqniques and he was a breeze. (None of them were a breeze, I was in labor over 24 hours with them all.) But either way, just practice, practice, practice the breathing techniques.

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A.

answers from Dallas on

C.,

I have had two children, both with epidurals, and I never used anything I learned from the class. I only took it the first time. I think it is good if you feel you may need them, but the be honest, my husband and I slept through the breath exercises (pretty bad, huh?). I think when it comes down to it you do what is natural. We didn't get anything out of them-hind side I think they were a waste of a Sat and money, but I am very athletic (I still play very competitive soccer at 30) and I am used to high intense situations. I hope this helps.

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B.S.

answers from Dallas on

With my first child, I took the hospital classes that taught you how to be a good patient but did not prepare at all for an unmedicated birth. I thought I had read a lot and could do it on my own. Ended up with a safe delivery, but an epidural.

With my second, I took childbirth classes from Jean Sala and Betty Hoffman (midwives) who teach Birthing from the Heart. Here's the email for Jean's birth center if you want more info inannabirth at verizon.net

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