Our class, Prepared Childbirth, is offered through our hospital in three different methods: a 4-week series, 2-part Saturday, or an all-day option. Although we knew it’d be a looonnnggg day, the all-day fit best in our schedule, so we chose a date a few weeks ago that would fit in the “approximately 4-weeks before your due date” time frame that is suggested.
Although the class is not required, I was so glad that we decided to register and attend. In 7 hours, the content included two videos, several slides covering comfort techniques, type of labor, medicated and non-medicated pain relief methods, and some hands-on practice of breathing exercises, laboring position role-play, and an OB Tour.
Some parts of the class weren’t super exciting, and some were kind of silly-feeling (especially the “Hee” breathing), but overall, I have to admit that I left the class with 1000% more confidence than I had this morning…and here’s why:
I learned that…
- Birth Plans are Flexible and it’s OKAY if things don’t go the way you imagined – you may have grandiose plans about your birth – whether that means you want it to be as natural as possible, or you’ve convinced yourself that an epidural is the way you want to go – but it might not happen that way. AND THAT IS NOT YOUR FAULT, and DOES NOT MEAN YOU FAILED! Our instructor read us a passage that really put things into perspective, too. I’d really recommend reading/re-reading it – for all moms!
- Labor is NOTHING like what you see on TV or Movies – yes, I know, I should have known this, but it was a real eye-opener to visually see the most effective laboring methods – and no, women don’t just lay their on their back, scream, then a baby comes out with tons of chaos and craziness.
- Labor and Delivery (L&D) Nurses are ROCKSTARS – okay, I DID know this, but on our tour, this was totally confirmed. As we toured the L&D floor, their calm and kind demeanor immediately sent me into a relaxed mood. They explained all the things they can do to make our experience smoother, and answered all our questions, no matter how silly they seemed.
- Every Mom is Different – there were 11 couples in our class, and though some were quieter than others in the discussions, we could see bits and pieces of their personalities and ideas about their pregnancies and potential childbirth experience in the time we spent together. Only one mom was a “veteran” (the rest of us were First Time Moms (FTMs), but some were very vocal about their intention to have medicated pain relief, while others made their intentions clear about going as natural as possible – and everyone laughed, smiled and rolled with it – the way it should be!
- Our Hospital Does What it Can to Avoid Cesarean Deliveries – I was happy to hear this – because, although we were made aware that yes, sometimes these are necessary, only 16% of FTMs at Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) will undergo C-sections.
At the end of the day, we were not only equipped with knowledge, hands-on experience, and a much better idea of where to go and what to do on THE big day (including: where to park, where to check in, what the room [L&D and recovery] looks like/includes, and a rough projection of what our stay might be like), but most importantly, we were able to do it all as a couple – probably the first real “parenting” feeling we’ve had that’s made it feel really “real.”
…and it didn’t hurt to get a cool certificate at the end, either! 😉
Did you attend any classes/courses before you became a parent? Would you?