5 Things We Learned at Our Prepared Childbirth Class

11379985_1666330766984223_946274834_nToday, hubs and spent 9 to 5 (literally) learning a ton about preparing for what’s to come in just a few weeks!

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…

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.

SMHbabiesAt 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?


  1. Glad you took a class! We did 8 weeks of 3 hour Bradley method classes plus our hospital tour and we were so glad we did! It completely changed the way I viewed labor and made me feel so prepared.

    • I LOVED reading all your posts leading up to, and after S’s arrival! You all are doing amazing – I have to admit, I was pretty terrified reading your birth story, but it also inspired me. 😉 So thank you!!

      • Glad you enjoyed reading ! And sorry to scare you. I’m pretty sure my experience was on an extreme end and I’m betting yours will be much shorter (and less painful if you opt for help in that area!)!

    • I am inspired by fear, lol! 😉 No really, you are a freaking rockstar and your honesty and thoroughness really was amazing. My hubs was like, “hey, did you hear what she said about endorphins? maybe it will be like your runner’s high thing?”

  2. I love the “Welcome to Holland” piece you shared! It really is so true. When I was expecting my first, 14 years ago, I planned a natural birth. I had heard 1 in 4 births were c-sections; I didn’t plan on having one. But of course my baby had other plans. At 36 weeks we discovered he was breech and, despite many efforts to make him flip, he stayed stubbornly head up. He was delivered by c-section and, while it definitely was not Italy, Holland was just fine because he was healthy and that was all that mattered. Good luck to you!

  3. I love how you’re going into this. So many moms, especially those who live healthy, fitness focused lives, think that they HAVE to go unmedicated and then feel like failures if that plan changes. I have actually seen women trying to DEFEND their choice for medication (or a not really optional c-section). You do what’s best for you in the moment. (As I said to my college roommate, “You are TERRIFIED of needles. If at any point during labor, you decide that a needle in your spine is better than the pain you are in, then clearly the epidural is the right choice.”)

    • Thanks, M! I totally agree, they are personal choices that are ALL totally okay! We all want the same result ❤

  4. I love your perspective on all of this. While it may seem in the moment that everything is moving slowly, it happens so very fast. I had an unplanned C section and I never felt disappointed that I did not have a vaginal birth experience. At the end of the day, I had a healthy baby, and a nice big one too!

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