Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Choose Your Childbirth Class Carefully!

Photo from www.Bradley.com
I remember the excitement I felt 24 years ago when I signed up for Childbirth Classes at Brookwood Hospital in Birmingham. My husband went with me faithfully as we learned the basics of childbirth, saw an epidural needle and basically learned what we needed to know for a good epidural birth. We had one couple in our class who was planning an unmedicated, natural birth; quite frankly, I thought they were crazy! I remember that our instructor did spend time talking to them individually, but I really didn't give it much thought.

By my second baby, however, I knew I wanted a natural birth. We lived about an hour from the nearest hospital with a midwife, so we didn't attend a class. But our midwife gave us lots of good reading material and spent time helping us prepare for our natural birth. With our third baby we actually took a Christian Childbirth class and learned so much that we used with both our third and fourth babies.

Choosing Your Childbirth Class
The Childbirth Class you choose can make a huge difference in your childbirth experience. Both Crestwood and Huntsville Hospital offer Prepared Childbirth classes. If you know that you want an epidural, then a hospital class is perfect for you. One of the benefits of a hospital class is that you will get a tour of the facility. Another benefit is the tremendous flexibility in scheduling your class. You can schedule a 5 week evening series or an intensive weekend class. Everybody can find something that works for their schedule!

However, if you know that you really don't want an epidural, and you would prefer to learn more in-depth pain management techniques, then you might want to consider a childbirth class that is not associated with a hospital. The childbirth educators who teach in the hospital have to teach specific things that the doctors want taught, and there are certain topics they tend to avoid. An independent childbirth educator has no such constraints. There are several options available at A Nurturing Moment for local moms:

  • Bradley Childbirth Classes 
The Bradley Method of Husband Coached Childbirth offers intensive preparation and education for expectant parents. The class size is limited to just 5 couples so that there is plenty of individual attention. This 10 week series covers everything from the anatomy and physiology of birth to birth plans and relaxation techniques. Students learn exactly what to expect at each stage of labor and practice various scenarios. Husbands and wives work together to achieve the goal of a medication-free birth. A Student Workbook with over 130 pages and 75+ pictures is included in the price of the price of the class. .Jen Berry has been a Bradley instructor for 8 years, and has helped numerous families achieve the birth they wanted.

  • HypnoBirthing 
HypnoBirthing - The Mongan Method  is a unique method of relaxed, natural childbirth education that uses self-hypnosis techniques. Classes emphasize pregnancy and childbirth as well as pre-birth parenting and the consciousness of the pre-born baby. Women learn to use their natural instincts to achieve a safe, comfortable birth, Participants learn to view labor as hard work and pressure rather than pain. Marsha Mathes, Certified Hypnobirthing Instructor teaches our Hypnobirthing classes and also limits her classes to 5 couples. Participants in the 5 week series receive the HypnoBirthing text as well as the Rainbow Relaxation CD.
  • Christian Childbirth Classes
Courtney Buckley is a childbirth educator who has created a distinctly Christian childbirth series. Her class combines all the practical aspects of childbirth with an emphasis on relying on the Lord and growing spiritually through pregnancy and childbirth. The class includes specific instruction on fear and how to alleviate and release your fears. It also deals briefly with Genesis 3:16-17 and how that relates to us today. Other practical aspects of instruction include positions for labor and birth, how to write a birth plan and preparation for husbands.

Whether you choose a hospital class or a private class, be sure to get signed up early and play close attention. You'll be glad you did!

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