women in birthing class
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Childbirth classes: preparing for labor

Even while you’re excited to meet your little, the delivery process can be a bit intimidating. Luckily, childbirth classes exist for those who feel like they could use a bit of guidance and instruction before it’s time for Baby to show up on the scene.

What you’ll learn

Childbirth classes can teach you a number of different tips and techniques that will help make the process of delivery much easier.

  • Labor education: From how to identify labor’s warning signs, to what to do next and more, childbirth classes will help get you ready for that magical moment when you say “it’s go time!”
  • Relaxation breathing techniques: Vital for delivery, relaxation breathing techniques can help keep your mind at ease during the most laborious parts of labor.
  • Meeting other expecting parents: Whether you’re the first among your friends to get pregnant, or you just want some advice from those who are in the same boat as you, the importance of the social aspect of childbirth classes simply cannot be overemphasized.
  • Involve your partner: If you have a partner, attending childbirth classes together is a great way to bring your them into the loop, and get them better acquainted with the process.

Two popular methods

There are many schools of thought when it comes to childbirth classes, including the Lamaze technique and the Bradley Method.

The Lamaze technique is the more popular of the two, and can help you control your body, and labor (labor pain) through relaxation, breathing, and visualization techniques.

The Bradley method places more emphasis on having a “natural” pregnancy and delivery, avoiding use of pain medication, as well as on your partner or support person as labor coach. Bradley followers generally believe that labor pain medication is unnecessary in most deliveries. These classes are a better fit for those whose views fall under this umbrella.

The bottom line

Even if you’ve read every book and article possible to prepare yourself for birth, you simply can’t make up the effect that a real teacher in a real classroom with other expecting families. Childbirth classes are a wonderful option for anyone who wants to get a little more comfortable with that fast approaching due date.

Read more
  • R Grajeda, R Perez-Escamilla. “Stress during labor and delivery is associated with delayed onset of lactation among Urban Guatemalan women.” Journal of Nutrition. 132(10):3055-60. Web. 10/2/2015.
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. “Childbirth classes: Get ready for labor and delivery.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, 6/18/2014. Web.

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