One thing that we as a company and our fabulous birth educators get asked on occasion is this:
Are birth classes even worth it for those planning an epidural?
The short answer is a surprising yes. We aren’t just saying that because we have the best online birth classes. No matter what kind of birth you are planning, we highly recommend that you take a comprehensive class of some sort. Yes, our classes certainly do focus on preparing you for a natural birth, but they are so much more than that.
Here are some reasons why a birth class is right for women and their partners, and even those planning a medicated birth.
You will still labor
Yes, it is true, you won’t get the epidural at the very first contraction. Providers vary, but typically they won’t give you the option for an epidural until you’re at least showing some signs of active labor (i.e., contractions are regular and steady, and your body is working pretty hard.)
This means that even if you WANT an epidural, you will likely have to wait to get it. What do you do in the meantime? Having some tools at your disposal will help both you and your partner make the time in early labor fun and exciting rather than scary and excruciating.
In our classes you will learn how to relax your body, together with your partner’s support. You will even learn when an epidural is appropriate and when it isn’t as well as some of the other options available to you. Even if you aren’t planning a homebirth or an unmedicated birth, you will learn there are lots of tools that can prepare you to have the kind of birth you want.
Avoiding a C-section
Our online birth class can also help you learn how to avoid a c-section. (Our class graduates have an even lower c-section rate than the national US average.) Authorities like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) even recommend that women have non-pharmaceutical coping tools in order to lower the c-section rate.
Increasing women’s access to nonmedical interventions during labor, such as continuous labor and delivery support, also has been shown to reduce cesarean birth rates.
In a Birth Boot Camp class, your partner will learn how better to provide that continuous labor and delivery support and you will learn about other people on your birth team that can also help reduce your chance of cesarean.
The same ACOG statement mentioned above also lists the main reasons for primary c-section. Number one is labor dystocia which means basically a slow labor. You will be amazed the things you will learn in class that will enable you to speed your labor, as well as feel more empowered when it comes to avoiding many other things you may not want. Knowledge helps remove fear and helps you make decisions you feel comfortable with in the moment and years down the road.
Another thing you will learn in your class concerns induction and the various drugs, like Cytotec and Pitocin, often used in inductions. Because inductions greatly increase the c-section rate in first-time mothers, this information is important to all women whether planning a medicated or unmedicated birth.
Strengthening your relationship as a couple
The thing most of our students love about taking a class, is how much it helps couples grow closer together. This can happen in both online and in-person classes. Giving birth is a big deal and it can be stressful on a relationship with all the changes, hormones and expectations. Your class isn’t just about the epidural, it is about communication with each other, learning to touch each other, understanding what the other person wants and needs and just preparing together for your baby.
No matter how you plan your birth, a stronger relationship will benefit you as a couple and your birth and baby. There are many more decisions that will come during this time besides just epidural or not – your class will bring up these issues and give you time to decide together what works best for you, so you aren’t surprised later on.
Check out this video about the benefits of live classes. You can see that no matter your birth choices, a class can grow your relationship.
There are other topics covered besides natural birth in your class.
If you start looking around at birth classes, you will find that many hospitals and birth centers offer a buffet style of birth classes. You can choose to take a breastfeeding class, a baby wearing class, a nutrition class, a relaxation class, and so on. You pay per class and get only what you pay for.
Conversely, our classes are called comprehensive for a reason. We include all of those things, and then some, in one single fee. Your comprehensive birth class will cover everything from nutrition and exercise information developed just for pregnant women like you, to baby care and newborn procedures, breastfeeding, babywearing, and loads more. Why not get that information in one place?
When it comes down to it, a childbirth class does much more than just focus on a natural birth. Coping techniques, understanding what happens in the body, exercise and nutrition, special time with one another to focus on the baby are all wonderful things that can be brought into your life through your attendance. A great birth class covers so much more than just birth. Check it out; you won’t regret it.
- ACOG Safe Prevention of Primary C-Sections
- Cesarean risk doubled by induction in the first-time mother.