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Childbirth Education

I want you to feel empowered during labor and birth, and I am more than happy to walk alongside you as you welcome your baby earthside.

That aside, it is important that you and your partner or support person prepare before you go into labor.  Understanding the basics of physiologic birth is essential for having a positive birth experience.  

I recommend to all my clients that you participate in childbirth education.  I personally offer it, but if you have another way of getting it, I support that as well.  It doesn’t hinder how I will serve you.  

You may find yourself wondering what is the point of childbirth education?  How will it serve me to have a better birth experience?  I hope to answer those questions for you!

What is Childbirth Education?

Childbirth education typically consists of a series of courses that cover the birth process. Some occur over a weekend, while others might be divided up over a few weeks. We suggest that gestational parents, along with a partner or support person, attend prenatal classes between 30-36 weeks. There are multiple options for childbirth education:
  • Check with your birthing facility
  • Other private childbirth educators who offer courses
  • Online programs
During childbirth education classes, you’ll build a foundation of knowledge about childbirth. You should expect to learn about the following general topics:
  • Stages of childbirth and the phases of labor
  • Strategies for coping with the discomfort of contractions
  • Suggestions for positions during labor
  • Options for pain relief
  • Possible complications and how they are managed
  • Medical interventions
  • Basics on newborn care and lactation
If this is not your first pregnancy, you might consider enrolling in a refresher course. And depending on your previous birth experience, a class that covers specific topics, like VBAC, may be helpful.
You may be asking yourself, what are the benefits of Childbirth Education? Here are just a few:

Better Health Outcomes

Studies indicate that expectant parents who participated in childbirth education classes had higher rates of vaginal births and were less likely to experience a preterm birth. This is important because preterm birth, according to the CDC, puts babies at risk for breathing problems, feeding difficulties, development delays, and vision and hearing problems.

Connection with Your Partner

As the mother, you get to experience all of pregnancy firsthand. It’s always exciting when you can include your partner or support person, and childbirth education is one of the most tangible ways to do just that. When they attend prenatal classes with you, they have the opportunity to learn more about pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. It’s a great way to make new connections and help them connect with your baby.

Friendship with Other Expecting Families

Whether this is your first baby or you’re expanding your family, having a community of other parents is helpful. When you take birthing classes, you’re sure to meet and connect with other expectant parents who are having their baby around the same time as you. Plus, following the birth of your little ones, you could meet up with some of the other parents and build friendships!

Improved Communication with Your Provider

The more you learn about birth with childbirth education, the more you’re able to understand the terminology your care provider uses. Evidence shows that this leads to improved communication, especially when you discuss birth preferences and express your wants and needs during labor and immediate postpartum.

More Satisfying Birth Experience

Researchers have found that parents who take childbirth education classes feel more confident in their ability to give birth, and they report a high level of readiness for labor and birth. When you prepare in this way, you are more likely to feel satisfied with your care. In addition, mothers who attend prenatal courses are less likely to request epidural and more likely to use nonpharmacological methods of pain relief.

A Good Start to Breastfeeding

While lactation is a natural biological process, learning how to feed your baby takes time and practice. The physiology behind breastfeeding is truly amazing. Since most childbirth education classes offer a basic overview of lactation, it makes sense that data suggests higher rates of breastfeeding initiation among parents who attend prenatal classes.