Childbirth education classes were created to help inform, educate and empower parents so they feel confident and knowledgeable about their birth and early parenthood experiences. Anecdotes and studies alike will agree: it is an extremely good idea to start learning the ropes and making major decisions before you are in the throes of labor, breastfeeding and the early days of parenting. Prepare ahead of time. Dr. Google—while we all love to rely on him from time to time—is NOT where you want to turn at a time like this. Plus, the internet is widely known for providing a plethora of misinformation, and it’s sometimes difficult to discern current, research-based best practices from all the rest.
Whether you are planning for a medication-free birth, an epidural, a scheduled c-section, or have no time in your busy schedule…make childbirth education classes a priority. The investment of time and money are well worth the decreased anxiety and increased probability for healthier outcomes (outcomes, I might add, that will last you and your child a lifetime).
When it comes to choosing childbirth education or birthing classes, parents often feel overwhelmed with all their options. Each individual series focuses on different practices and beliefs, so it’s important to choose a method that follows your philosophies and feels like the best fit for you. We at Tucson Bump2Baby want to make this decision a little easier for you, so we have put together a “Cliffs Notes” version of your choices to help highlight the main aspects of each. Tucson Bump2Baby’s educators (www.tucsonbump2baby.com) are CAPPA Certified Childbirth Educators (teaching standard Childbirth Education Classes), but there are many fantastic educators in town who can provide whatever education method you desire.
We proudly direct you toward ALL your local options, because we strongly encourage you to find birth professionals that are the perfect fit for YOU. There may be other local childbirth series available that are not discussed in this blog, but these are the series we are aware of. All information is directly taken from their websites.
Lamaze classes and other standard Childbirth Education Classes are fairly similar in structure and content. Both use a contemporary curriculum that supports birth as normal, natural, and healthy, and empowers expectant women and their partners to self-advocate and make informed decisions. They usually include a research-based discussion of potential benefits and risks of all options, no matter where a woman plans to deliver, or what kind of birth she decides on. A standard childbirth education series usually lasts 5 or 6 weeks, for a total of about 10-12 hours. In some areas, a full series can be taken in a single weekend. Most series include classes on breastfeeding, postpartum recovery, and new infant care, in addition to labor/delivery and comfort techniques. To find Lamaze instructors near you, check out the following link:
Lamaze International: http://www.lamaze.org/FindALamazeChildbirthClass
Bradley Method, often referred to as “The Husband-Coached Natural Childbirth”– From the Bradley Method website: “The Bradley Method® teaches natural childbirth and views birth as a natural process. It is our belief that most women with proper education, preparation, and the help of a loving and supportive coach can be taught to give birth naturally. The Bradley Method® is a system of natural labor techniques in which a woman and her coach play an active part. It is a simple method of increasing self-awareness, teaching a woman how to deal with the stress of labor by tuning in to her own body. The Bradley Method® encourages o trust their bodies using natural breathing, relaxation, nutrition, exercise, and education. The class series is 12 weeks and is designed to give both mother and coach adequate preparation time for the birth of their child. Labor can be a strenuous physical activity, but mothers and coaches can prepare both physically and mentally and with the help of their Bradley Method™ Instructor to make their birth experience an even more beautiful and joyous event.”
For more information about the Bradley Method, check out http://www.bradleybirth.com/faqs.aspx .
To find an instructor near you, go to http://www.bradleybirth.com/Directory.aspx
HypnoBirthing– From the HypnoBirthing website: “HypnoBirthing® is a tried and proven method that guides and prepares a woman in giving birth in a peaceful and extraordinarily beautiful manner. It is a program a that considers the psychological, as well as the physical, well-being of the mother, her birth partner, and the newborn, independent of context, whether that be in the quiet of a home, a hospital, or a birth center. The HypnoBirthing® program is built around an educational process that includes special breathing, relaxation, visualization, meditative practice, attention to nutrition and positive body toning. Most importantly it fosters an air of mutual respect for the birthing family, as well as the health-care provider in a traditional health-care system or an alternative setting.”
For more information, go to https://us.hypnobirthing.com/about/what-is-hypnobirthing-definition/
Mindfulness Based Birth and Parenting – From the Mindful Birthing website: “The Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting Program (MBCP) is a program, expectant parents practice mindfulness meditation, yoga and mindfulness in daily life. Classes include the physiology of childbirth, ways to use the mind to work with pain during labor, positions for birthing, breastfeeding and parenting a newborn. As we actively cultivate mindfulness together we may find that we are able to more fully live the joys and more gracefully navigate the inevitable challenges of this life transforming time while building a foundation and a lifelong resource for healthy living and wise parenting.”
For more information on this type of class please visit http://www.mindfulbirthing.org/classes-training/parents/
More options— Some families are interested in taking classes at their location of delivery. Classes taught at the hospital or birth center typically include a basic overview of labor and birth, specific hospital/birth center practices and possibly a tour of the facility. A tour of the facility is possible and encouraged, regardless of where one takes classes. Below is a list of links for local hospital and birth center classes:
El Rio Birth Center-http://www.tucsonbirthcenter.org/childbirth-education-classes/
No matter which series you decide to take, do your research. Call up the instructor (find out if she is still teaching classes)…find out times, locations (in-home or group setting?) and how many classes there are in the series…Is a one-time intensive class available (not recommended unless you are in a mega-big hurry)?…Do you need to purchase supplies or will they be provided for you?…Does the price include handouts?…How many support people are you allowed to bring? Ask ALL your questions. It is a great investment to prepare you for what’s to come.
Still don’t know where to start? Give us a call….we would be happy to point you in the right direction.
Once you can cross your childbirth classes off your list, remember… Tucson Bump2Baby is here to continue the support and education throughout your pregnancy, childbirth, infant feeding and postpartum periods. No one should ever have to feel a lack of support during this time…Call us today at 520-477-BUMP to plan the next part of your journey!