Please give me your opinions on childbirth classes. Are they really necessary? Do they teach you anything that you can't find out by reading and doing research on your own? Here they last for six weeks and my DH goes out of town often on business so we'd have to miss some of the classes anyway. To pay that much money that could be used for other baby related things and then miss some classes seems a waste. Does anyone know of a good book or DVD to get to give labor instructions?
I was actually watching a labour/delivery show the other day and a woman who had just given birth said that everything you learn in those classes goes out the window once you actually start the labour and feel the pain. Everything is so intense you just end up doing whatever the nurse/midwife/doctor tells you to do. DH and I haven't signed up for any classes. I've been too ill and he works shifts as a police sgt. so it would be difficult to even attend them. Sounds silly but I watch a lot of those labour/delivery shows on Discovery Health and Living TV (UK) and they show you a lot of what to expect. There are also a of books you can read. Even the internet would be a good source of info.
My boyfriend and I took a childbirth class at the hospital we are planning to have our daughter at. I felt the class was very informative and would recommend it even if only to get more detailed information about the hospital you are giving birth at. Every hospital has different policies and you don't want to be surprised if you don't have to. Labor and delivery is hard enough as it is. The teachers give a lot of real life experience with out the "editing" of a TV program. I have found TV programs to be quite biased myself.
My husband and I took a 5 week childbrith class and you are right, much of the stuff we learned in the actual class on birthing went out the window because the labor/delivery had some complications. That being said, we learned a TON of other stuff that has been helpful regarding what the procedures were at our hospital, what to expect post-partum, what the baby would looklike when he was born (HUGE cone head), and what to do in a health emergency for an infant. Also, it was great to meet and chat with others couples once a week and to be able to talk to a nurse on a regular basis about what was going on in the pregnancy.
If you can swing it financially, I would recommend taking a class. Also, if your husband can't take you, a friend could go. There was one woman in my class who brought a friend.
Never had a class with any of my 4 preggs....I know the class's are nice, but they give you a ton of info while in the hospital...And the best learning experience I had was trial and error...Believe me even though this is your first baby, you will know what to do...Or atleast I thought it came pretty natural..I remember the nurse bringing me my first baby for the first time and she was ready to nurse...I was so nervous and I asked for help, she said I dont know what to tell you I will send someone in for that....NOone came and I just did it...Everything was great..(that was 12 yrs ago)So, relax and enjoy this pregnancy...Ralinda
My husband and I went to the classes with my first baby. To be honest I was bored because everything they taught I had already read in my pregnancy books. Not only that, I didn't use any of the tips or techniques during delivery. I just did what I had to do to get that little one out as fast as I could. I do plan on going to a breastfeeding class this time around. There was a nurse that came in and helped me learn some breastfeeding techniques after my first was born. She was excellant help but I was a little uncomfortable with a stranger . I only breastfed him for 3 months and I gave up. I think if I go to a class I will have more knowledge and courage to breastfeed longer this time.
We are taking childbirth classes right now through our hospital. I read & research anything I can, so my husband & I didn't really want to take the class, but we decided we would.
I am so glad we are taking it. They are going into a lot more real-life detail of things, providing explanations from another human being who is a nurse...something you really don't get in books or the web. Most of the information is focused around our hospital and the policies & routines they use...so we know what will happen under normal circumstances, what will happen if things go c-section, etc.
We toured the rooms & entire hospital wing...saw the nursery...just got to see what the place looks and smells like. My husband knows where he'll park the car...his best exit route to go outside & smoke when he needs to...the cafeteria & what's available...hospital rules on visitors...cable tv...how the birth beds break down & where the baby goes after the birth...etc.
We learned that our hospital is very strict on the vistor policy and they really don't encourage visitors before, during, and after the birth...they allow it, they just don't encourage. Their written policy to the public is very reader & community friendly so it sounds like visting will be a breeze. In reality, it's not going to be, and nurses will evaluate all visitors for fevers (even adults) & general health condition, limit the # of people, handwashing before they get to my room, and nurses will time the visits & encourage people to not stay longer than 20-30 minutes.
Some people in my class were upset by how strict they are...but then you have to other half like me who love these stricter rules...for those family members who are looking at the hospital as the destination for all-day get-togethers in my hospital room.
As for any breathing & laboring techniques...we are getting a little of that & are practicing it at every session...but it's mostly about what to expect in our hospistal.