Childbirth Classes--are they worth it?

HairproductjunkieHairproductjunkie Registered Users Posts: 363
Now that we're in the last trimester, I've started thinking about childbirth classes. I was looking at taking the labor and delivery classes at my hospital, and was wondering if you all found they were worth the time and money??

P.S. I'm not interested in the Bradley/Lamaze classes, as I will be getting an epidural. Also, I don't need to take the classes to pre-register at my hospital, as I've already done that as well. I would be taking just the labor and delivery classes, which talk about what goes on with a vaginal or c-section delivery.
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Comments

  • PartyHairPartyHair Registered Users Posts: 7,713
    My friend Tina and her husband are due in mid-February. They decided to take the labor and delivery classes at their hospital, and they feel they've been very worth while.
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  • iris427iris427 Registered Users Posts: 6,002
    I think they are worthwhile. If you are taking the one at your hospital, it might help give you an idea of what to expect from your hospital and medical interventions you might encounter.

    Also, you might not get your epidural as soon as you want, or your epidural may not work well (as a doula I've seen some spotty epidurals--they also don't help with pressure, which can be quite intense as the baby moves down). So it's a good idea to go into labor prepared with ways to cope with labor's intensity, even when you are planning to get an epidural.

    The classes can tell you more what to expect with an epidural or in case of a c-section. 1 in 4 women birthing in the US has a c-section today, so it's a very real possibility for which you should be prepared.
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  • DarkAngelDarkAngel Registered Users Posts: 2,671 Curl Neophyte
    I had a c-section but still found my classes to be fairly helpful. They were run by my delivering hospital so I knew what to expect from that hospital. My class was great because it wasn't a purely natural labor perspective. Pain meds were also discussed in great detail.
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  • jennapeachjennapeach Registered Users Posts: 37
    I thought they were very interesting and informational. But, I really didn't apply much of the CB class stuff when I had my daughter. One interesting thing: my instructor asked if any of us had high blood pressure readings during our PGs and I raised my hand, because mine had been slightly elevated my whole PG. She took one look at me and (knowing my OB) said, "there's no way you'll make it to your due date - your doctor will induce you."

    She was right.

    Forgot to add: I wish someone would have told me this ahead of time: the L&D nurses are so wonderful - they will totally guide you, support you, bolster you to get you through the process. Even if I hadn't known anything before getting induced, the nurses would have led me through the entire process.
  • M2LRM2LR Registered Users Posts: 8,630 Curl Connoisseur
    DarkAngel wrote:
    I had a c-section but still found my classes to be fairly helpful. They were run by my delivering hospital so I knew what to expect from that hospital. My class was great because it wasn't a purely natural labor perspective. Pain meds were also discussed in great detail.

    ITA.

    I also had a c-section, but it really did help to learn about childbirth, pain meds, etc. In my class they covered epidurals, spinal blocks, c-sections, etc. I felt it was very informative.
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  • mad scientistmad scientist Registered Users Posts: 3,530 Curl Neophyte
    I found the hospital course useful. Labour and delivery doesn't always go as planned, so its good to know what your options are beforehand so that in the throes of labour you aren't having to make decisions on things you've never even thought of.


  • loosecurlsloosecurls Registered Users Posts: 637
    Another C here but we also took the classes at our hospital. They were presented in a 3 week course & each week was a different focus. The first was breast feeding---we had the CUTEST male nurse presenting it! Imagine this gorgeous man in BDU's demonstrating the football hold w/ the baby doll.

    The 2nd & 3rd were birthing options, delivery, pain management, & a tour of L & D. We also got to see different tools sometimes used in delivery.

    Our hospital also offered a car seat safety class where we got a free carseat that we installed & had to have examined to ensure we knew how to do it.
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  • curly_keltiecurly_keltie Registered Users Posts: 791
    I didn't take any pre-natal classes - but I had my mom (who is a massage therapist) with me who helped me with breathing.

    I also had an epidural and towards the end - before I went in for the c-section - it seemed like there were some spots where it didn't 'take.' I also was not prepared for the extreme itchiness from the morphine.
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  • velvet pawsvelvet paws Registered Users Posts: 1,250
    I'm taking a doula workshop now and one thing we've learned is that childbirth classes can be an incredible source of community for mothers. Along with what everyone else has said, you'll meet mothers who are about as far along as you and having that kind of support system in place for you after birth can be invaluable in helping to ward off PPD. Plus, long after your friends and family lose interest in the exact texture of your little one's latest poop, you'll have a group of people you can call anytime and compare notes. ;)
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  • inheritedcurlsinheritedcurls Registered Users Posts: 2,954 Curl Connoisseur
    I took the Lamaze class prior to knowing I would have a c-section. Our lamaze class covered all kinds of labor and delivery plus took us on a tour of the hospital. I found it very informative plus I still used some of the breathing techniques just to calm my nerves prior to my c-section.

    I also took the parenting class because I wanted the CPR and car-seat training. A few other things were informative but I knew a lot of the stuff.

    The most informative training was the 4 hour breastfeeding class I took. I was so thankful for this class...I knew exactly what to expect and do when I first breastfed Chas. They demonstrated how to get a proper latch, types of breast infections, how to deal with engorgement, increase your supply etc.. That pamplet has been a lifesaver. That proper latch training kept me from getting chapped and sore nipples. I recommend this class to anybody who is planning on breastfeeding.
  • sundaysunday Registered Users Posts: 535
    I guess I am in the minority, but the classes were a waste. I didn't learn anything that I hadn't already learned from books or websites. We saw many movies of very hairy women giving birth.
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  • j'adorej'adore Registered Users Posts: 1,966 Curl Neophyte
    sunday wrote:
    I guess I am in the minority, but the classes were a waste. I didn't learn anything that I hadn't already learned from books or websites. We saw many movies of very hairy women giving birth.

    :lol:

    I didn't take any classes (too broke after paying the midwives). I did just fine ( I just read lots of books).
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  • iris427iris427 Registered Users Posts: 6,002
    Just to clarify, I think it's fine to deliver without taking childbirth classes. It's not like if you don't take the class, your body won't know what to do :)

    But I still think they're worthwhile for several reasons.
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  • j'adorej'adore Registered Users Posts: 1,966 Curl Neophyte
    iris427 wrote:
    Just to clarify, I think it's fine to deliver without taking childbirth classes. It's not like if you don't take the class, your body won't know what to do :)

    Exactly. :D
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  • curly_keltiecurly_keltie Registered Users Posts: 791
    I didn't take any pre-natal classes - but I had my mom (who is a massage therapist) with me who helped me with breathing.

    I also had an epidural and towards the end - before I went in for the c-section - it seemed like there were some spots where it didn't 'take.' I also was not prepared for the extreme itchiness from the morphine.

    My mom also took a doula course - so she was EXTREMELY helpful.
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  • three rivers curlythree rivers curly Registered Users Posts: 994
    I took a 1 day class rather than a full course. It was an all day thing. Honestly, it was fine, but I could have given birth without it. I was pretty much guranteed to be an epidural candidtate, so it wasn't going to do much for me.
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