Childbirth Classes for Expectant Parents: Not Required But Definitely Helpful! by Jessica Acree
You obviously already know where babies come from, so why do you need to take a class about it during your last few precious nights of freedom? Childbirth classes kind of serve as your opportunity to get your head in the game, to make it all finally feel real and to prepare for what could happen if your birth plan flies out the window (and fair warning, it likely will!).
They're certainly not required, but speaking from my own experience only, basic childbirth instruction proved to be helpful in a few ways and I'm glad my husband and I took the time to do it. Here is a snapshot of what you might learn:
- The signs of early labor and what Baby is doing in those final days to prepare for their dramatic exit.
- Braxton hicks! No, it's not time to go to the hospital just yet, so when is it time? Write down your hospital's nurse hotline number! I used it.
- Breathing and relaxation techniques (the awkward, but helpful part). Just take it slow, trust your body and do what feels right. Don't worry about how you look or sound.
- Pain relief options and labor positions to try (take notes!).
- Possible complications and how to handle it without panicking.
- Medical intervention may be critical, but plenty of healthy babies are born with the aid of trained midwives too, so decide what's right for you.
- Basic newborn care and breastfeeding advice before you try to conquer a football hold or a pain-free latch. Study up!
It's also helpful to stop by the hospital where you'll be delivering. They will walk you through the check-in process, show you what the rooms will look like and give you peace of mind that you have a plan when in reality, baby is coming on their terms.
You've got this!