Well Worth The Cost
As you prepare for you growing family you might start adding up the cost of everything and start to wonder what is worth paying for and what isn't. Childbirth education (CBE) is one of those expenses worth every cent. It doesn't matter if this is your 1st or 4th child, you can always better prepare yourselves for this amazing adventure ahead of you. Childbirth education is also for anyone no matter if you are planning to birth in a hospital, birth center or home. Some of the many benefits to a CBE class include:
Helping build confidence in your body and its ability to birth
Your Partner will learn how to support you physically and emotionally during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum
Discuss your anxiety and fears in an intimate group of peers
Learn the basics about medical interventions and possible complications
Strengthen the bond between you and your partner in preparing for this new and exciting life ahead of you
The Bradley Method www.bradleybirth.com
There are many choices for CBE classes, some offered through hospitals and some of the more common ones include Lamaze, and Hypnobirthing. The Bradley Method is a great course that I highly recommend. The classes are small and the standard is over a 12 week period. Dr Robert A. Bradley saw the importance to birthing naturally and peacefully. He also felt strongly on bringing husbands/partners into the birth experience to support and be apart of the process. The Bradley Method is a very coach driven method of support. Together with a Doula, you can set yourself up for a transformative experience.
The 12 week course may seem like a lot but this is actually one of the things I love best. 12 weeks or 3 months or your last trimester is the perfect amount of time to really learn and prepare for your upcoming birth. The Bradley Method is found to work because of this. They find that when couples continuously attend the full class series, they are more likely to have an unmedicated birth. You can also think of it as preparing for a marathon, it takes time, training and practice to prepare the body, the mind and your attitude towards birth and the capability of your body to birth your child.
From The Doulas Perspective
As a part of my Doula Certification, I had to take a CBE class and I choose The Bradley Method. I loved it! Everything from the size of the class, to the structure, to my teacher, it was well worth the cost even if it hadn't been a requirement. I could see how the couples engaged with each other and the instructor and grew over the weeks. Some of the areas covered over the course included:
Nutrition during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. It takes time to change your diet and the longer you are eating right, the better for you and baby. Another way the 12 weeks benefits you. In our class, the instructor assigned everyone snack for each week with an assigned food category important during pregnancy such as greens, citrus, protein, and whole grains. Along with the snack we brought in we also gave information on how it benefits you and baby.
Exercises to prepare you for birth such as squatting, pelvic rocking and Tailor sitting.
Pregnancy and common discomforts and how to address them naturally
The stages of labor and how to recognize, what to expect, and how to support you throughout the process. Our instructor did a great job going through the process from the perspective of both mother and partner/coach.
Birth options and your birth plan. We discussed what informed consent is and practiced communicated with the medical staff.
Postpartum care and breastfeeding
The class itself followed a curriculum but was flexible enough to address the questions and needs of the students. It wasn't sitting and being lectured at, we watched videos, had discussions, did activities that took us through scenarios and practiced comfort measures and relaxation techniques.
As a Doula I would recommend childbirth education classes to any client and would strongly recommend The Bradley Method class!