Ultimate Guide to Different Types of Birthing Classes

Ultimate Guide to Different Types of Birthing Classes

Are You Really Prepared for That New Baby?

One of the most important things you can do to prepare for giving birth is to attend birthing classes. Whatever their format, these lessons can help you make your delivery day an event you feel confident and serene about.

 

The majority of birthing classes include stages and signs of labor, how partners can support during the crucial time, and, more importantly, when to call the doctor. Some birthing classes teach particular techniques for coping with labor pain and encourage moms-to-be to deliver their babies without medical interventions.

 

In addition to this, they may also cover breastfeeding techniques for first-time moms and some primary newborn care considerations. Apart from this instrumental knowledge, birthing classes are also a great way to meet other expectant parents sharing the beautiful journey with you.

 

In this blog post, I’ll be discussing the different types of birthing classes to help you make an informed decision and choose the course that will teach you the best ways to prepare for the “big day.”

What Are the Different Methods of Birthing Classes?

Primarily, there are five leading “name brand” firms that train birthing educators in a particular method, namely:

 

  1. The Bradley Method
  2. Birthing From Within
  3. Evidence-Based Birth
  4. Hypnobirthing
  5. Lamaze

 

I am pretty sure that you can easily find somebody online or in your area who teaches, if not all, then at least one of these birthing methods. Moreover, you may also opt for an instructor who teaches independently and may use blended birthing techniques to help you ace childbirth.

 

Remember, every pregnancy is as individual and unique as you are, and so is raising a tiny newborn human being. Hence, keep in mind that there is no one correct way to prepare. Luckily for you, nowadays, there are tons of options out there. Read on to learn about the different methods of birthing classes to choose the one that makes the most sense for you.

 

Bradley Method Birthing Classes

Based on the popular book “Husband-Coached Childbirth” by Dr. Robert A. Bradley, The Bradley Method is based on the importance of a healthy mother, healthy baby, and healthy families. 

 

The focus here is on teaching expectant couples how to welcome their newborns together. However, this birthing method also encourages couples to get the assistance of a doula – a person providing constant emotional, physical, and educational support to mothers and their families throughout pregnancy, labor, and delivery – during childbirth.

 

The Bradley Methods prepares expectant couples for medication and intervention-free delivery throughout an eight- or twelve-week series. Formerly known as the Husband-Coached Childbirth class, the program equally engages the expecting mother and her partner.

 

Why should you attend it?

Considering the extensive length of the Bradley Method series, expectant couples can cover a great deal of information about what labor and delivery are actually like. Another plus point is that you will get the opportunity to join and mingle with a creative community of other dedicated parents enrolled in a Bradley Method session.

 

In addition to this, you will learn a lot about childbirth history, different types of medical interventions, and several labor relaxation methods. In a nutshell, the Bradley Method emphasizes the role of partners as a coach. Thanks to all it teaches, many pregnant women can have medicine and intervention-free childbirths after attending this class!

 

Why should you not? 

For many folks, the info and time this birthing class demands often tends to be an overload. Suppose you’re unwilling to devote substantial time to a birthing class or are concerned about information overload. In that case, the Bradley Method might not be a good fit for you.

 

Furthermore, if you do not have a partner – or have a partner who is not willing to be the primary labor coach –this might not be the option. Lastly, many couples claim that the Bradley Method can have a negative effect.  Sessions can make expecting mothers feel bad about not realizing the “perfect” Bradley Method intervention-free childbirth.

 

Birthing From Within 

Pam England is a natural birth supporter and a certified midwife who created Birthing from Within. The course sessions focus on childbirth as a “rite of passage” and provides expectant couples with creative explorations to help them discover deep inner resources.

 

This childbirth class is similar to The Bradley Method in its emphasis on teaching mothers to trust their bodies while giving birth. However, the scope of the sessions is more about a “resilient mindset” than a set of tools and equipment.

 

Birthing From Within sessions also involves “labor theater” group sharing of expectations and beliefs, mindfulness and breath awareness lessons, a guided art class, visualization, poetry, and journaling. You can attend the program as an independent endeavor or supplement a more conventional childbirth preparation session.

 

Why should you attend it?

Birthing From Within gives plenty of space for the unpredictability of labor and childbirth. Rather than training you to practice towards a definite end result, this birthing class focuses on honing the core emotions that may emerge during delivery.

 

You will really appreciate the interactive, hands-on, and personal practices from Birthing From Within, which go above and beyond the rudimentary “positions and breathing” exercises. The course delves deep into the instincts, feelings, and emotions related to childbirth.

 

Moreover, it is an excellent choice for people who are into self-discovery and are open to the idea of different types of delivery.

 

Why should you not? 

Are you seeking to learn about childbirth’s scientific or medical approaches or expect a scientific conversation about giving birth without participating? Then the Birthing From Within is not for you.

 

Evidence-Based Birth

Unlike the other types of birthing classes, Evidence-Based Birth is newer to the scene. The six-week sessions are designed to provide evidence-based data and knowledge to expectant couples. This can help couples who worry about being caught in the spot of advocating themselves within colossal medical establishments.

 

 

Why should you attend it?

Evidence-based birth classes are all about factual research and knowledge. It’s best for those who wish to approach their doctors as an intellectual equal by learning in evidence-based birth sessions.

 

It is also perfect for expectant couples who wish to be in charge of their care. It offers the information they need to make informed decisions for themselves and their baby.

 

Why should you not? 

An evidence-based birth session is a straightforward and pretty business. You may think you’ll feel more comfortable following the doctors’ orders and going with the flow. In that case, this birthing class is probably a bad idea, as it can be overwhelming and stressful.

 

HypnoBirthing 

HypnoBirthing was founded by Marie Mongan. The classes are based on the theory that when expecting mothers change the way they perceive childbirth, the way they give birth will change.

 

In this popular childbirth class, expectant couples can learn and discover all the wondrous things a woman’s body can do, along with some other significant considerations.  For example, why giving birth is linked to pain and how the pain can be managed.

 

Mongan’s HypnoBirthing methods use meditation, visualization, and positive affirmations to help the mom-to-be stay calm rather than getting caught up in the “fight, flight, or freeze” instinct. The birthing class teaches women to rearticulate words with a negative connotation such as “contraction” and “pain” with positive or neutral terms such as “surge” and “sensation.”

 

Women who undergo this program are not necessarily less likely to demand pain medicines or necessitate interventions. But they’re generally more likely to report their labor and delivery experiences positively.

 

The HypnoBirthing classes involve a fixed curriculum, i.e., five sessions of 2.5 hours each. The ultimate objective of every session is to replace the fear-based narrative about birth with positive affirmations and teaches tools for breathing, self-hypnosis, and movement.

 

Why should you attend it?

Based on the understanding and acceptance that fear of the childbirth process will impede the actual process, Hypnobirthing session, the add-on meditation book, and tracks prepare expectant couples’ partner for medicine- and intervention-free childbirth.

 

If you want to skip the classes, you can also listen to the audio tracks and read the book to learn more or enrich any other childbirth preparation program.

 

Why should you not?

Mongan’s Hypnobirthing theory is a strong one that doesn’t leave much space for surprises or flexibility. Some pregnant women who prepare for childbirth solely with this type of birthing class can feel bad about themselves if they cannot have intervention-free delivery. Moreover, it might not be for you if you feel more comfortable with others directing the birth.

 

Lamaze 

Widely known for teaching rhythmic breathing patterns, the Lamaze birthing class is one of the most used and oldest branded childbirth coping techniques out there. It is the one that got legendary famous for teaching the “hee-hee-hoo” breathing patterns you may have seen in countless movies.

 

Lamaze is so popular that most people will search for “Lamaze classes” without even knowing that there are several other options available. Think of it as the Kleenex of Childbirth Education.

 

The stated core objective of this childbirth class is to advance healthy and safe pregnancy, childbirth, and early parenting with the help of evidence-based education and support. Apart from the breathing methods, Lamaze instructors cover hydrotherapy, movement, and massage as techniques for relieving labor pain.

 

However, the core focus is to encourage expectant mothers to try for natural vaginal birth. Nonetheless, it does address pain medicine options and other probable medical interventions.

 

Why should you attend it?

Lamaze birthing classes emphasize various labor pain coping strategies and methods to help with childbirth to increase confidence and make sure the safest, healthiest delivery for the mother and the baby.

 

I am sure you can find a Lamaze instructor conducting live classes locally or selling on-demand sessions. You can even learn directly from the Lamaze branded videos available online. Lamaze birthing sessions are especially suitable for partners who are interested in learning about natural birth.

 

Why should you not?

You might feel out of place in a birthing class with a fundamental principle of eluding preventable medical interventions. Some of us want to keep the medicinal and other options open to the doctor’s recommendations.

 

Similarly, if you are scheduled for a cesarean, attending a Lamaze birthing class will be of no help.

 

How to Choose A Birthing Class? 

Below I have shared some considerations that can help you to choose the most suitable birthing class for your needs:

 

  • Do you want to learn and prepare for childbirth alone, one-on-one, or with a group of other expectant couples?
  • Do you wish to attend a class that emphasizes unmedicated childbirth? Would you instead attend a birthing program that would help you prepare for a C-section birth or an epidural?
  • Are you searching for knowledge beyond labor and delivery preparation? For instance, information about the pelvic floor and pushing, lactation, postpartum best practices, newborn care, etc.
  • What class instructor and structure can help you the most? How do you learn best (PowerPoint slides vs. live activities, face-to-face sessions vs. pre-recorded video, etc.)
  • Be sure to check out reviews before opting for an option, as they tell a great deal more about them than their website.

 

There are many options available nowadays. I understand that navigating to choose one can be tricky; however, keep in mind that a good birthing class is worth taking. It will not only prepare you for labor and delivery. Still, it can also be beneficial for postpartum issues, such as newborn care, lactation, etc. So, be sure to enroll in one!

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