Tuesday, August 27, 2013

MY FIRST PREGNANCY - Classes

BIRTHING CLASSES

Birthing classes are another choice to be made, and one to really think about as they do cost money, but they’re also VERY helpful. As you consider it, you’ll want to look into the different types that are out there. The main three (that I know of) are Bradley, Lamaze, and Hypnobirth.

Lamaze is the one that I’d always heard about and the one most often pictured in movies and shows. It has the same information, but different laboring techniques. I assume the same is true of Hypnobirth, though I honestly don’t really know much about that one.

The class the hubby and I decided on was the Bradley Method. The deciding factor was that in our reading we learned that it was all about going completely natural. That was something that was very important to me. I’d always wanted to have the bragging rights, but once I became pregnant, it was more about what was best for baby (and my own healing).

It’s hard to describe exactly what class was like, but I’ll do my best. The first few classes are mostly informative. We did some reading and discussing about the pregnancy in general, such as diet and exercise, but eventually we came to labor specifically. We learned what exactly is happening, how, why, and what to do to cope with the pain without resorting to drugs that could affect labor and delivery. It’s mostly focus and relaxation.

We also learn about labor interventions and augmentations. An intervention would be anything that interferes with the natural labor process, such as forceps, vacuum extraction, or a c-section. Augmentations are anything that just help the labor process along, such as something to help the cervix efface or dilate. I wanted to avoid either, but at least now I knew more about them all.

After a lot of the information has been learned, the labor rehearsals start. We got to try out different positions, massages, vocalizations, and find what might work for us or learn about things that you’d be surprised might help later.

Throughout the class (which for us spanned 12 weeks), we watched videos. Now, we had an awesome Bradley teacher that shared a couple videos that weren’t exactly “Bradley approved” as she put it. Basically they weren’t on the list of videos that she bought as a teacher. They were really great though because we got see different births, some of which were very difficult and the women still managed to go all natural. We also learned that some women apparently have what’s called “orgasmic birth”.

I am writing this particular article later than expected because my daughter showed up two weeks early. So I can tell you a week later that I most definitely did NOT have one of those, and can’t imagine what it could be like!

Ultimately, it’s an incredibly informative and helpful class and we are SOOOOO happy we took it. We also lucked out with who our teacher was because these classes can sometimes be all preachy with “yay midwives” and “doctors are the devil”, but ours was very down to earth and realistic. We were given information so we could make informed decisions when the time came and we knew that if it came down to a c-section, we’d be able to live with it because it would be absolutely necessary given that we’d made every effort to avoid it. Our teacher made sure to tell us that she had zero problems with doctors and that sometimes stuff happens that we can’t control so that when things didn’t go according to plan, we wouldn’t be devastated or ashamed in any way.

The bottom line is that taking that class was so immensely helpful that it took the fear out of birth. I was actually looking forward to it! Due to that, I will recommend the Bradley Method birth class to anyone I know that is pregnant. I totally swear by it!


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