Seeking Advice for Birthing Classes

Updated on December 29, 2006
S.E. asks from McAllen, TX
21 answers

is it important to enroll in a birthing class?what's he best birthing method?

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answers from Houston on

Take a look at This is where I had my two daughters and they are wonderful midwives! I had waterbirths.

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answers from Denver on

Congratulations on your pregnancy.
Definatly birthing classes are worthwhile. It helped alot and it was a great experience for both myself and my husband. I had a mid-wife with my first child, it was awesome. Was able to relax in a jacuzzi for part of my labor, the more natural the better but talk with you physician. The more exercise you get now the easier your labor will be. Hope this helps, C.



answers from New Orleans on

I recommend fully researching the effects of an epidural before deciding to get one. Epidurals can cause problems that can be worse than the pain of childbirth. I got a staph infection from mine and it created an abcess that made it excruiating to even move a little bit. With the conditions of the hospitals after Katrina, staph and other dangerous infections are happening more often.



answers from San Antonio on

As a childbirth instructor I do believe classes are very important. A good birth experience is the key. If you are educated and have good support then you increase your chances of feeling good about your birth whether you decide to do it with or without medication. You will remember your birth for the rest of your life. Good Luck.



answers from Houston on

Hi S., I agree with the responses I've read. Taking Childbirth classes gives you a perspective on all the things you can expect, so nothing is totally a surprise. I would suggest an independant educator, Bradley or Lamaze, because hospital based classes tend to be more of an orientation to what happens in that hospital.

I especially agree with the families who birthed at a birth center, because there you truly are supported in your birth plan. (I own my own birth center, and all desires are supported!) I am a Lamaze Certified instructor, but have not yet completed my plans to begin childbirth education classes. Should be read to begin in the nest month or so.

I also suggest you find a doula to assist you with your birth. We provide a doula at every birth at the birth center.

Feel free to contact me for more specific info,

K. V ###-###-####



answers from New Orleans on

i found the courses at Touro very helpful with my one (as for now) only pregnancy. check with the hospital where you're planning on giving birth, they should offer a wide array of classes, if not call Touro.

oh yeah and i didn't do a specific "method" like lamaze or the hypno etc. and if i had i don't think it would have helped, i think when labor comes you just kind of have to go with what feels right and what your doc reccommends.



answers from Houston on

I would recommed enrolling since you are a "newbie".
My husband and I took the bradley method class, but nothing we learned carried over to what happened in the delivery room LOL.
It really does give you perspective but just remember that all deliverys are different and the way you envision yours going, might not happen at all.
Good luck :)



answers from Houston on

Dear S.,

Our favorite class is the Bradley Method ( It has a solid reputation for being one of the most informative concerning birth. We enjoyed it also for the emphasis it places on the husband being highly involved as a coach. This was especially great for us the first time around, as my husband was unsure about the whole thing. Three times around now, we've put the things we've learned to practice - it's been extremely helpful!


Supporting you as you nurture your family.



answers from Austin on

My last birth was 15 years ago, but I took the birthing classes that a midwife held. I was the only one in the class that was expecting a hospital birth but it was the best thing I did. She taught us what we really needed to know and how to cope without drugs. The other classes tend to tell you what the hospitals want you to know and all about the different drugs. I ended up having a c-section (23 hours of labor and I was tired!). But, I did it all (except for the surgery) totally drug free. I doubt I would have done that without being empowered with the knowledge I got from the midwife.
Good luck



answers from Little Rock on

Hey S.!

Congrats on your pregnancy!

My husband and I went to the Childbirth classes that were offered at the hospital where we had our son. They covered everything from child birth to breast feeding to giving your newborn a bath! It was great and very informative. These classes were free. I wanted to go to the Lamaze classes but we never made it. I would definatly recommend some kind of class though, it helps you to relax a little more.

As far as the birthing method, I had the epidural. IT WAS GREAT! It wont take all the pain away but it takes almost all of it away! This was our 1st child though, and I really didnt think about other options. It might be worth checking in to though!

Well good luck! And cherish every moment with you newborn because they grow up so fast!! It seems like i was just bringing mine home from the hosptial yesterday and he's already 15 months old! They are definatly little Angles!

God Bless you and your family!




answers from Longview on

Hi, S....

I highly recommend taking a birthing class from an independent teacher. You need to be informed of your choices in labor and birth so you can make good decisions for yourself.

I personally did not take a class before my first birth. I did read a lot, and knew that staying relaxed was a good thing. So I just breathed deep and slow the entire time and thought about relaxing. However, I was lucky and was only in really hard labor for a couple of hours.



answers from Corpus Christi on

We bought the DVD. It was great... We could watch it on our own time. But really in the heat of the moment the only thing that matters is someone telling you to remember to breath. The nurse will of course tell you when to push. But it is good to know about apgar scores and the doctor lingo that come with being in labor.



answers from Baton Rouge on

I could never find a birthing class that was not during my work hours, so I never did make it to one. I made it to a weekend seminar about breastfeeding and car seat safety, and rented some videos about breastfeeding from my local Woman's Resource Center in Baton Rouge near Woman's Hospital. I found that watching shows about giving birth, problems that could arise during birth, and life with newborns was very helpful. Most of these shows are on Discovery Health Channel and TLC. Definitely get the epidural! I don't see how women go without it. Once my water bag was broken by the doctor (I was induced due to high blood pressure), those labor pains came in full force! It was so much pain, I wouldn't have even thought about pushing except to get the pains to stop. And don't believe what you read about epidurals slowing down your dialation during labor. I was 2cm for a month before I was induced, dialated to 3cm before my epidural, and was fully dialated in about 2-3 hours after my epidural.



answers from Austin on

Hi S., congratulations. I was really glad I took birthing classes. I was set on having a natural birth (I am a yoga teacher and was certain I could) but then the baby was breech and I had to have a c-section. So even though I didn't use a lot of the techiques, I felt emotionally prepared for accepting the type of birth that the "birth fairy" brought me. I went to and was really happy. They combine a few of the popular techiques.



answers from Houston on

S. E,
I would say, yes, it's very important to enroll in a class. It helps you prepare, and to know exactly what will be happening. I can't imagine my fear and indecision, if I hadn't practiced, and had time to go over different scenarios beforehand, with my husband. (He was my coach.) I think the most important thing, is to have a support person. When it's time to give birth, whether you're going natural, with drugs/epidural, or c-section, you need to have someone who can speak for you when you can't. Pain kind of numbs your brain, so you're not able to make decisions well. Your support person will know your wishes beforehand, and can speak for you. As far as a class, I took Lamaze, but I think any method that involves relaxation and a role for your support person, will be an enormous help. I wanted to go as natural as possible, and walking helped speed the labor along, as well as staying vertical (leaning on my husband when I couldn't walk anymore) as long as possible. (My labor was 12 hrs, but only a couple of them were really painful. And the actual birth was quite fast, once I started pushing.) I can offer one last bit of advice - find a birthing place as opposed to a hospital, if you can, and if your insurance will cover it. Mine was like a hotel with nurses. It was incredible. We had a private room, I had a jacuzzi tub, and my baby got to stay in our room with us. By the way, I did end up going totally natural, and I can not tell you the incredible pain relief that a jacuzzi tub can give you. I couldn't even speak through the labor pains when I came in - I got in the tub with the jets on my lower back where the pain was, and I was talking like they were just gas pains. The nurses even put my IV in while I was there, so I was nice & relaxed. God bless & good luck with your pregnancy and upcoming birth. It's the most amazing thing you'll ever experience!

M. B



answers from Little Rock on

Congrats on the pregnancy! Enjoy it because it goes by so fast!!

I loved going to birthing classes. It's a way to meet other expectant mothers and to learn about things you might not know about. It's nice to kind of get a feel for what's going to happen when you get in there too. The birthing classes that I attended were provided by the hospital in which I was having my son (Saline Memorial Hospital). One thing I really think is great about birthing classes is that it's a way to get the upcoming daddy involved in the pregnancy. It kind of makes the soon-to-be dad a chance to ask questions. I think that a lot of times the dad is kinda left out of all of the excitement and this helps him get involved. It's good for the both of you. And if the father of your child isn't willing to go or isn't in the picture it's still a great experience.

And I wouldn't focus on learning one technique. I would try to learn a little bit about everything while you can. Learn about what happens during C-Sections even if you're not planning on having one because a lot of times women don't know they're going to have one until after they've been in labor for hours (I was one of those women!) Learn about what to expect but for the most part I would suggest to just be open to listening to your body and don't try to force yourself to use drugs/not use drugs if it doesn't feel natural. Your body will know when the time comes.




answers from Minneapolis on


Before my first baby, I thought I could never give birth without a class. Not true. Women have given birth for thousands of years before these classes started.

The one benefit for me was that I learned that it was possible to give birth without pain meds. I really wanted to, but everyone I talked to said it is too painful and can't really be done. (I have now given birth 3 times being induced by pitocin and have never required pain meds.)

The classes do give you breathing techniques (usually Lamaze) which can help some people be distracted from the pain, but I ended up creating my own "style" that works for me. Many women like the Bradley method in which they teach you to embrace and work through the pain. There is no best method. It is simply what you are most comfortable with.

Some classes also give you are review of the birthing process, like a science lesson with more detail. You are able to ask a lot of questions. Some women find that really helpful and some don't. You could pull the same info off the internet.

If you are looking for other women who are due the same time as you to make friends, it is not a bad way to find them, but you can find them other ways - church, schools, parks - as well. After my first baby, I haven't taken any additional birthing classes and if I had my first baby over again, I probably would have just got some info off the internet.

*** The best piece of advice I can give you about giving birth is that your perception and tension will intensify the pain dramatically. If you think you are going to die, you will feel like you are going to die. If you get scared and tense up, the pain can be 2-3 times stronger than if you are truly relaxed. Because I take pitocin to be induced, my contractions get so intense the machine can't even chart them anymore. Yet, I had a doctor walk into my hospital room and assume I had an epidural because I was so calm. I think a class for walking on hot coals would be just as beneficial because it is so much a mind over matter experience. :)

Congrats on your first,



answers from Houston on

Good luck and all the best!
We took Lamaze at Clear Lake Regional (I gave birth there 1 month later). Very educational, all depends on a good instructor. Main thing - you and your partner learn what to expect and how ot react. Other than that - each labor is different, just prepare to be flexible and relax! :)



answers from Little Rock on

If you would like to enroll in birthing classes you will find yourself less apprehensive about the actual day. There are programs for birthing classes at Hospitals and through local midwife/doula companies. Best wishes.



answers from Lubbock on

No matter where you decide to take your classes (hospital, or independent) I would recommend that you discuss your birth plan with your doctor to specifically find out if the facility where you are going to have your baby supports all of your decisions. For example, I know some hospitals do not have certain equipment available for use, such as squatting bars (used on the bed when pushing in labor). That was something that was very important to me. I wanted to know that the doctors and facility supported my philosophy and choices in my birth plan. Good luck and congratulations!!!



answers from Fort Smith on

I think it is important to enroll in birthing classes if this is your first pregnancy b/c you learn what to expect. I did 12 weeks of the Bradley method and loved it. I labored for 22 hours with no drugs b/c of the things I learned in this class. Hope this helps, good luck w/ your pregnancy.


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