Baby is on the way, time is flying by and now you need to consider childbirth classes.
Not to mention all the stuff you have to do every day, and baby hasn't even arrived yet. Are childbirth classes even a priority? Are they worth the expense? And with all the effort to balance your schedule to squeeze them in, are they worth the time?
As a Doula, I'm here to tell you yes, they are worth all the trouble if you invest in a class that fits your approach to birth and postpartum. In fact, I take very few (if any) clients that haven't taken them. Let me tell you why....
Having a baby is really hard and I'm not talking about the labour part, or the part where you have a baby to take care of. I'm referring to the complete shift in identity that goes along with becoming a parent. You probably won't have time to go out with your friends as much, or go to the gym as often or make it to all the events around town that you previously would have enjoyed. At least not in the beginning. The people you meet in your class can really be a great life line. They will all be due around the same time and with a little effort from you, they could become part of your support system. So, make the effort in your classes to sit next to the people that feel like your people, exchange numbers and actually CALL them.
Connect with your Partner
Life continues on, even while you are pregnant and going through so many changes. Life continues.... and it goes fast. Soon baby will be here and your whole life will be totally turned upside down. Take the time to connect with your partner during this super special and possibly once in a life time experience. And what if you don't have the time? Well, in class, you will be forced to sit down, connect and focus on baby if only while you are there.
Access to Local Resources
There are so many resources in town, from babywearing groups, breastfeeding support, and baby and parent meet-ups. Who has the time to search through town to find the best and most appropriate resources? Let me tell you, you likely won't have much time to sift through all the goings on while you are figuring out life as a new parent. A good teacher will provide a curated list of local resources that you can use through your pregnancy and into the post partum period. Save that list, post it somewhere (like the fridge) and bring it to our prenatal meetup. We can discuss any holes in the list, I can walk you through what to expect at any and all the meetups and we can even add some so you are good to go when baby comes.
Best Practises and Inside Info
Did you know that is takes up to 10 years for updated best practises to be implemented in hospitals? An informed, evidence based childbirth educator can give you up to date information on the latest and greatest in childbirth.
Birth and Labour Techniques
I'm sure you have all seen a movie where Mom is laying on her back, legs in stir ups, purple-pushing out a baby. Well, maybe that is what you want your birth to look like, maybe you don't but I promise you that there is a lot in between that you may not be aware of. You may find that having some tips and tricks on how to manage pain during labour is super handy when your surges become too intense to ignore. You and your partner can practise the techniques you have learned in class and along with what we develop, you will walk away with an excellent idea of what you may want to try when labour starts.
Have you been so busy prepping (or not prepping) for your birth that you have forgotten what you will do when it comes time to care for baby? Who will take out the garbage? How will you shower? What about hockey practise, or yoga or your date night? Sometimes the thought of having to birth a baby is the most all consuming thought....but don't forget about postpartum. Your childbirth educator will help you get a good idea of what real postpartum will look like so you will a have a good understanding of what we need to work on to have you super prepped and totally ready for baby.
Often, a hospital tour is included in the class price.
There is something to be said about having been to the hospital before baby comes. Trust me, you want to know which wing to go in, where to put your snacks and where to find the crappy coffee. Also, have a feel beforehand of the room layout.
But what if you are planning an out of hospital birth?
Well, birth is unpredictable and if the hospital becomes the best option, it is essential to have a good frame of reference before we go in.
Childbirth classes are step one in a series of steps to help you prepare and plan for the best birth and postpartum possible. Take notes, bring them to me and lets review all your questions and concerns.
Most of all, have fun and make some friends!!