By Lindsey Rupp, CD(DONA), CLS, PCD(DONA)
When you think of childbirth education, what do you picture? If you’re like most people, you probably imagine a room full of couples practicing their “hee-hee-hoo” breathing patterns. But childbirth education is so much more than that! It’s smart to attend a class or two (I suggest the 8-week series!) in the prenatal period so that you feel prepared for babe’s arrival. Yes, you’ll gain loads of information, but the benefits don’t stop there. Check out some of the other perks of signing up for childbirth education:
You connect with other parents-to-be.
You may be thinking, “Wow. I’m going to be a parent!?” It’s a role that is hard to identify with at first because it’s new, unfamiliar, and maybe even a little bit intimidating. But guess what? When you walk into your first childbirth class, it will be filled with other expectant parents thinking the same thing! You’re all in this together. Another plus? These people will have kids the same age as yours. Play dates and new moms’ groups will help you adjust and socialize in the postpartum period (support networks are so important!). It’s true that many of these relationships blossom into life-long friendships.
You learn more about yourself as an individual.
Asking yourself questions like, “What do I want?” and, “What’s important to me?” will help you navigate through this new and exciting chapter. Tapping into intimate, inner thoughts will give you strength and help you adapt while coping with change. Many women feel empowered when they find their voice and can confidently express their wishes. Learning about the normal labor and birth process also helps expectant mothers listen to their bodies and know what to expect in labor and birth.
Your relationship with your partner grows.
Feeling well supported in labor and birth makes for a desirable experience, for both mom and her partner. In our childbirth education classes, we practice comfort measures and coping techniques for labor, discuss parenting styles, and more—providing the perfect opportunity to get to know your partner better and bond as a couple.
You learn to be an informed decision-maker!
Did you know that women rate their birth experiences, not based on how much pain they felt, but how they were treated in labor and birth? When women feel like they are listened to and a part of the decision-making process, they feel more satisfied with their birth experiences (Hodnett 2002, a systematic review).
At BABS, we want to provide you with information that is evidence-based. We understand that every family is unique and parents’ choices will vary. The best way we can serve our growing community is by presenting research evidence and then letting you decide how you want to use it. By educating yourself in the prenatal period, you and your partner will make the right decisions for your family.
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