There are a lot of good reasons to attend childbirth classes during the third trimester of your pregnancy. However, many of us are very busy, and it can be difficult to find the time. Additionally, if this is not your first pregnancy, you may believe you have it all under control. And, if you have older children, getting away for childbirth classes can be extremely difficult. So it is often asked if childbirth classes are really necessary for every pregnancy.
First Time Mothers
If you are a first time mother, you should definitely attend childbirth classes. The birthing classes will give you a good idea of what to expect. Watching a birthing video may very well scare you, as you will realize the pain that you are going to go through. Even though you have the knowledge that labor and delivery is painful, and that a baby will be coming out of your body, it is a very different thing to see it. However, it will be better to have prepared yourself for this trauma rather than going through it cold on delivery day.
Birthing classes can prepare you for labor and delivery in many other ways as well. You will learn about all the different options for pain relief during the delivery. You will also learn techniques for lessening the pain using mind tricks such as visualization. Most importantly, you will learn the proper way to breathe through contractions, and come to understand exactly what happens in the delivery room so that you are prepared to follow the doctor’s instructions.
Another great reason to take childbirth classes is to prepare your spouse. They will need to know how to support you through this traumatic experience. Additionally, you and your spouse can make decisions about the labor and delivery process together, before it actually starts. This is called a birthing plan. When you work together with your spouse and a professional to develop a birthing plan, everything will go much more smoothly. If for some reason you are not able to tell your spouse or doctor what you want to do during delivery, the plan puts everyone on the same page and your wishes will be followed.
If you are not on your first pregnancy, you may believe you have everything covered. However, there are many reasons to take childbirth classes in this case. First, if it has been several years since your last pregnancy, you may want to re-familiarize yourself with the procedures and what will happen in the delivery room. Besides having forgotten (or blocked out) the labor and delivery experience from your previous children, new methods and techniques may be taught that were not available during your first pregnancy. There may also be new pain relief options that you did not know about before.
If you have had a child recently, within the last year or two, you probably do not need to attend a full session of childbirth classes. However, you should attend at least a few birthing classes to refresh your memory of labor and delivery procedures and develop a birth plan. If you are on your second pregnancy and it is the father’s first pregnancy, childbirth classes may benefit both of you to familiarize him with the experience.