Childbirth Classes, 21 - 24 Weeks

Childbirth preparation classes are designed to prepare you for labor and delivery and help you take a more active role in the birth process. Active participation makes birth a more enjoyable and rewarding experience. Our doctors and nurses will refer you to classes.

Benefits of childbirth classes

  • Provides information about pregnancy, how your body is changing and how your baby is growing
  • Improves your ability to make well-informed decisions.
  • Lessens your fears about childbirth by providing an understanding of the labor and delivery process
  • Provides you with breathing and relaxation techniques that will help you better cope with the labor process
  • Explains and provides instruction about the role of the birth coach
  • Provides information on the use of medication(s) during labor
  • Offers breast-preparation recommendations, if you plan to breast-feed
  • Provides opportunities for meeting other expectant couples
  • Provides information on comfort measures and coping with physical, emotional, and lifestyle changes
  • Offers information on general hygiene, such as bowel habits, etc.
  • Offers information on alternative birthing methods (Cesarean birth and/or vaginal birth after Cesarean - VBAC)
  • Tells you what to expect in the hospital
  • Provides information about the time after birth (postpartum)

Types of childbirth classes

Childbirth classes involve a combination of relaxation and breathing techniques, and some are a mixture of specific techniques from various methods. Refresher courses and special classes for pregnant women over 35 are sometimes available.

Specific childbirth methods include:

  • Lamaze - the alteration of the perception of pain in childbirth through the use of the mind, as well as breathing and panting techniques.
  • Bradley - focus is on partner-coached childbirth, as well as breathing techniques and mental relaxation.
  • Grantly Dick-Read - reducing the use of pain-relief medication through abdominal breathing and panting.
  • LeBoyer - emphasis is on gentle childbirth from the perspective of the newborn.
  • Hypno-birth - uses hypnosis to increase comfort and decrease pain and labor duration.

Questions to ask about childbirth classes

  • What type of classes do you offer?
  • What are the specific benefit of each type of class?
  • How large are the classes?
  • Where are the classes taught?
  • What is the cost?
  • When should I register to take the classes I`m interested in?
  • Does a certified childbirth educator teach the class? If not, who?
  • What is the content of the classes? What is their length?
  • At what time are the classes taught?
  • How long does a series of classes last?

Childbirth classes are generally attended during the third trimester, however, if you wait too long, the classes may be full, plan ahead. If you are having any pregnancy complications or have been instructed to restrict activity, tell your class instructor before beginning class.

From Her Healthcare.