If you’re expecting a baby, you probably have a million questions: What am I supposed to be eating? What will delivery be like? Will I be a good parent? You’ve asked your doctor, you’ve bugged the heck out of your mom, you’ve read all of the books about breastfeeding, birthing, parenting, babies, but you’re still worrying incessantly about the big day. So what can you do?
One great solution is to sign up for a childbirth class. Not only will you find out everything you want to know (even if you think you already know everything), but you’ll also get answers to questions you didn’t even think to ask. Childbirth class is a space for you to learn and ask questions—not just from the instructor, but from other couples. You can share your fears, tips, and funny stories with people who have the same concerns you do.
Studies Show . . .
According to a study by Gjerdingen and Froberg of the Fontaine P Department of Family Practice and Community Health, social support is positively linked to maternal health. The study discovered that the emotional and informational support of a birthing class helps the mother’s mental and physical health around the time of childbirth. The study also discovered that prenatal classes decreased complications during labor and improved postpartum physical and mental health.
A study done by the Fallon Clinic in Worcester, Massachusetts, showed that parents who attended prenatal classes and were trained in behaviors that promoted good health and regular sleeping patterns awoke less often during the night to attend to their children, reported greater parental confidence, and had decreased stress levels.
What Will You Learn?
When most people think about birthing classes, they immediately turn to that cliché movie clip with pregnant women sitting on a floor— partners at their sides—breathing together: “hehe hoho . . .”
In fact, you will learn how to breathe in these classes, but that’s only part of it. First and most important, you learn what to expect. Maybe YOU know what to do (just push, right?), but your partner might not be so confident. Childbirth class can be very beneficial to both you and your partner. It can be a great bonding experience and it will reaffirm the fact that you [singular] are not doing this, but you [plural] are doing this together. Here is a list of things most classes cover:
- Prenatal development
- Making yourself comfortable during the birth
- Danger signals and what to do about them
- What changes your life will undergo
- Premature labor and how to prevent it
- How to involve your family in the whole experience
- Communication skills
- How to create a birth plan
- How to tell when you are in labor
- Different support options (doulas, montrices, etc.).
- What to expect
- Pain relief options
- Taking care of the baby
- Techniques to stimulate and promote brain development in your baby
Childbirth classes build confident parents, promote health and education, and provide social support. So enroll today! You, your partner, and your baby will all be better for it.
Central Florida Regional Hospital is proud to offer Prepared Childbirth Classes. This 8-session series covers all aspects of labor and birth, anesthesia choices, relaxation and breathing techniques, and Cesarean delivery. To register, call (407) 321-4500, ext. 5767.