Sep 10, 2009

Week 17: Birthing classes

Note: Weeks 16-20 are being posted during week 21 due to life and computer problems getting in the way! Sorry for the delay!________________________________________________________________

So, my sister is a nurse and while she is not working in the maternity floor, she used to work in the women's health center at our local hospital where she would help with women heart education/stuff and mommy/baby stuff. (side note: it's amazing the difference between women and men with their hearts!!! Be educated as a women about heart disease and how it shows up in women!) So, while she has not been pregnant (and honesty annoys me many times with comments she makes - the joys of being pregnant and all of a sudden understanding SO many things!), she does have a very good idea about pregnancy, babies and the education classes.

So, I have been starting to look at the classes offered through the hospital I will be delivering at (I love these programs!!!) and they pretty much have the basic classes:

* Childbirth Preparation A four-week course that provides you and your support person with information on pregnancy, labor, birth, relaxation techniques and the early postpartum period. Other discussion topics include medication, anesthesia and Cesarean birth.

*Childbirth Express Ideal for the busy couple, this condensed six-hour course covers pregnancy, labor, birth, medications, anesthesia, and the role of the support person. Learn basic tips for managing labor to practice on your own.

*Maternity Tours See where you and your baby will stay during this visit to Labor, Delivery and Recovery, the Nursery, and Postpartum Unit; offered for adults only. (ok, not a class, but in that grouping)

*Baby Care One session class for expectant or adopting parents. Information on what to expect from baby, feeding, bathing, diapering, sleeping, crying, illness, and safety.

*Breastfeeding for Success Prepare for a successful, rewarding breastfeeding experience. Coaches encouraged to attend.

So - I will do the maternity tour and I think the Baby Care and Breastfeeding classes would be good too, although looking at cost, maybe just the Baby Care for now and see about a consultant and my mom when baby comes. But, the main thing that everyone talks about this the Childbirth Preparation classes.

So, me being the busy person I am (!), I would probably want to do the condensed version. I hate to be very self-centered like this, because should I want to spend the time to learn everything well, but I just don't see me sitting through 4 sessions. Also, I don't expect my husband to come to these classes. I don't want him in the room while I give birth (just my preference, I think it's great when fathers are in there, but I'm not feeling it) and it would nice for him to know what's going on, but I've been down that road before and it doesn't get to far. :)

Also, I'm not sure about these classes because I always hear from people that they forget everything they were told from these classes and follow what the nurse tells them to do during labor. I'm not sure if I want to be around people who probably range from not knowing ANYTHING about children, babies, their bodies, labor, pregnancy to those SUPER excited about the pregnancy and probably with an idea of things will be all cheerful and rosy and such. It's fine for them, but I'm not sure I want to be around them.

So, I asked my mom and sister what they thought and kinda' felt it out on Twitter. But, my sister is pretty familiar with the classes and me and said, "I don't think you should go. I think the people in the class would annoy you too much." !!!!!!!!!!!!! I thought that was really funny, but actually made me feel better because, as much as I want to know EVERYTHING about what is going on, it made me feel better to hear someone say I didn't HAVE to go. She went on that I can read as much as I want to about labor and everything leading up to it online, watch videos, ask people and - when it comes down to it - it's the nurses' job to let me know what is going on and help me through the process. Of course, I'm going to ask my mom about her techniques (see my last post on THAT; she only thinks you need to know how to breathe), but I'm feeling ok not taking the labor class.

... the baby classes I think would be good to take. I mean, the baby is going to come out of my one way or the other (yes, my knowledge can help with comfort so I am going to read up on EVERYTHING), but I need more guidance in the 'after' parts of birthing.

Other Stuff:

* I'm waking up (and alert) at 7 am. Why is my body preparing me for the baby's schedule NOW?! Can't it wait another few months?!!!

* Starting to pee more frequently (didn't really have this in first trimester)


  1. we aren't planning on doing the classes either!
    we haven't even been to the hospital yet..we need to..cause i want to do the tour.

  2. Did you do any research on your own about the labor/birth process? I think you are going to be MUCH more scared if you don't understand what is happening to you, and that is going to raise your fear/anxiety levels and slow down your labor. The nurses are not usually with you every minute, and I really think you will want someone there to support you. Are you still planning on not having your husband in the room? Will your mom or sister be available? The nurses will offer "support" in the form of medication -- they are not going to hold your hand, hold your cup while you drink water, feed you snacks, rub your back, and give you encouraging feedback. That's not their jobs. Most hospitals are understaffed and the nurses are used to managing labor with Pitocin and pain meds. They do technical stuff -- starting IVs, inserting catheters, prepping you for a c-section -- very well, and some CAN be very caring and supportive, but that's hit or miss. It will totally depend on the personality of your labor nurse(s).

    Personally, I think it's a mistake to rely on the hospital staff to tell you what to do with regard to labor and birth. It's not a medical procedure -- it's a natural act. As pregnant women, it's our responsibility to educate ourselves, make our own decisions, and birth our babies. For 85+% of labors/births, medical intervention is not needed.

  3. @Rebecca- yep, like everyother person online I have been reading TONS about pretty much everything! :) I know, it probably doesn't sound like it in these posts - I have come to the conclusion that even if you had read every single bit of info out there, you would still want to check if it's 'really' like that- lol. I noticed early on a BIG difference in how I react to things/understand things NOW, than pre-pregnancy :)

    I asked my doctors a few weeks ago again about the classes and they said that as long as you read stuff/take online classes (which I did), you should be fine. Or rather, you should do what makes you feel comfortable and the most imformed about the process as possible.

    I feel lucky because my doctors are so open about how I feel and how I want my delievery to go- I have noticed that most people online are very hostile towards their doctors and hospital staff and feel they are pushed into things they don't want. I should perhaps write that in more- I ask most of my questions from what I read online, but my doctors have been very good with my needs and being so supportive... just kinda' goes back to the over-abundance of information online that causes me to question things :)