Childbirth Classes

My husband and I unexpectedly attended our first childbirth class Sunday night. I’ve been debating what type of childbirth method I want to learn. As previously discussed I’m probably going to get an epidural. However, I still want to be as prepared as possible for the labor experience.

After considering the pros and cons of Lamaze, Bradley, and Hynobirthing/Hynobabies, I decided that parts of the Bradley Method were exactly what I was looking for. Truthfully, the McMoyler Method most closely fits my birth philosophy and I’ll probably end up ordering the video. However, I wanted an in-person childbirth class that Jaeger and I could go to together.

I really like that the Bradley Method takes a holistic approach to birth. I feel like most of the other childbirth methods ignore the pregnancy until you get to labor. However, the Bradley method starts out by discussing good nutrition and exercise. Everything I’ve read implies that labor is one of the most grueling experiences a woman will ever go through. With that in mind, it seems training and getting/keeping your body healthy would be essential aspects of any labor preparation.

I don’t like how negatively the Bradley method perceives modern medical practices. One of the common lines I continually hear is that women have been giving birth naturally for thousands of years. True, but a lot more women and babies use to die than do now*. Like many things in life, I think you need a good balance between “natural” births and medical interventions.

Given my conflicting feelings about the Bradley method, I wasn’t sure it would make sense to take the class. Saturday night I got online to explore what classes were available if I decided I did want to take a Bradley class. Of the three instructors in our area, one taught Saturday mornings which wouldn’t work for me and the second one was out on maternity leave until April. There was only one other class offered within our area. I emailed the instructor to see what her class schedule and openings would be like. Sunday morning I checked my email and the instructor had responded that she had a class starting that night. I talked my conflicting feelings over with Jaeger and eventually we decided to go ahead and attend the class.

The class was pretty much what I expected, both in terms of hopes and fears. Overall, I think it will be a good experience. I’m also planning to take the birthing class offered through the hospital in order to give me a better idea of their standard approach.

*According to The Best Birth by Sarah McMoyler since 1900 there has been a 90 percent drop in infant mortality and a 99 percent drop in maternal mortality.

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