One of the most common questions I get as a doula from first-time moms is “Do I actually NEED birth classes?” and somehow I am still shocked every time I hear it. So, I’m going to be super blunt with you, mama.
YES. Absolutely, unequivocally, completely yes.
I’m going to outline the
5 reasons first-time moms need to take a birth preparation class.
1. Knowledge is power.
By the same standard, a lack of knowledge can really work
against you. Fear tends to stem from the unknown. Big changes happen in our bodies during labor and birth. As we move from the opening phase of labor to the pushing phase of labor, we have a large rush of adrenaline. If you weren’t expecting this, it can be a scary change. If you are well educated and prepared, you would see it for what it is. A big sign that your labor is progressing and your baby is coming soon. This would build confidence and excitement for the prepared mama. The difference being a solid knowledge of the birth process and knowing what to expect in a normal birth.
2. Birth classes will help your partner too.
Think about how little we are taught in regards to childbirth as we grow up. Now, imagine being a man! Most birth partners want to help but don’t know how. On top of that, their fears can be fed by the unknown. A confident birth partner is a prepared birth partner! Most classes work to prepare both mom & partner for the birth. Not only will that help you during labor, but it will set the stage to empower them. They will carry the confidence from the birth into parenthood in the same way you will. Before you book a birth class, be sure they have some curriculum for all members of the birth team.
3. Taking a birth class increases your chance of a vaginal birth.
Statistically speaking, women who take childbirth preparation classes during pregnancy are more likely to have a vaginal birth. If a surgical birth is something you wish to avoid, taking a birth class can work in your favor.
4. Learn Coping Skills.
Depending on the class you choose, you can learn skills and tools to make your labor less painful and increase positive outcomes. Choosing a course that offers guided relaxations and self-hypnosis that you use during labor can reduce the number of complications, reduce cesarean rates, and reduce the length of hospital stays. With self-hypnosis, beginning practice during the second trimester can help it’s effectiveness during labor.
5. Build your tribe and grow your support group.
It is likely that you will have a few other parents in your birth class. Studies show us that women who have a strong support group have lower instances of postpartum depression. When the stresses of motherhood become intense, it can help so much to have sympathetic people you can turn to.
If it doesn't seem possible to attend an in-person birth class, many companies offer online classes including Motherled. Click HERE to learn more about Motherled Online Birth Classes.