You are probably wondering why it is so important to take a birth class. Or maybe you're wondering why your friend's OB told her it was essential and yours hasn't even mentioned it? Maybe you just learned that there was such a thing? (To be honest, I had zero clue a class about how to have a baby existed when I became pregnant with my first son, let alone how important they were)! Or, maybe you are reading this and thinking "I really want pizza right now..." Well, grab the phone and order one while I throw a couple reasons your way that birth classes are very important for you and your partner.
"Before the class, I was definitely nervous about labor and delivery. Cat did a great job educating you on what to expect during labor. Then there were so many helpful tips for my husband to get me through it. We both left the class feeling prepared and excited to meet our son." - Michelle
Flash back to 2011. I was pregnant with my first baby and talking to my friend and colleague, Gina about being pregnant and giving birth. She happened to be pregnant at the same time with her first baby. We began talking about what we thought birth was like. I had the immediate, "normal" cultural reaction that many people I teach have. Words I threw out included: painful, exhausting, scary, WTFFFFFFFF, etc. Gina, though, spoke about birth differently.
Gina mentioned words like: normal, natural, unmedicated. "What?! What on Earth are you talking about, Gina, really? I mean my mom had a csection so naturally I might, too. Right?" She explained that she was signed up to take this class with her friend who was a childbirth educator. "That job exists?!" (Did I mention that Gina and I were both teachers? Literally, talking in her classroom... where we taught....). I was more than intrigued. Up until now, I thought that all I needed to know about birth was the following:
Thats how "we" do it right?! WRONG. So wrong. And, can I say that I am so happy I opened my mind and found out I was wrong. That the process of labor if a journey much more intricate than the four step process I listed above. After I went home to talk to my husband about these classes, I enrolled the next morning. After the first class, I learned just how WRONG I was.
So let's talk about why taking a birth class is important. It is quite simple to answer that actually. Just like anything else in life - a job, a test, a room with your in laws... if you aren't prepared for the situation, not only are you uncomfortable and anxiety ridden, you could get clobbered.
Birth is no different.
Why? The unknown. If my prior to birth class thoughts in 2011 teach you anything it should teach you that our culture has done a really crappy job preparing us for birth. No longer a community event, birth is now this dehumanizing, routine, experience. Think about that. This journey where you bring another human into the world, aided and support by other humans along the way has become dehumanizing. An assembly line of babies. Because of this, the most important day of your life is scary, causing you anxiety instead of joy... all because of the unknown.
Not knowing what you body expects of you and why is harmful to your experience. Not knowing your choices and options for comfort is harmful to your experience. Not knowing the ways to advocate your birth goals and values is harmful to experience.
Never fear, Cat is here! After my birth classes in 2011-2012, I had an amazing, empowering, transformational birth experience. I decided to dedicate my life to helping others have the same type of experience. Humans birthing humans in a safe, empowering space. Even if your plan changes, its my goal that you still feel in control. That's the goal.
Demystify the unknown. Empower the human. Take a good birth class! You won't regret it!
Cat is the founder of Birth Freely Birth Services. Her passion is empowering women through education and providing them with continuous labor support so they can have the birth they desire!