Many ways, but aim the same… There are several options to choose from when you are looking for birthing classes. With hospitals, practitioners, and hospitals offering different types of classes, in their own style, you could be spoilt for choice but as they say, the “problem of plenty” is a good problem to have.
All birthing classes will have one thing in common, though in their own philosophical way, they will all give you enough information that will help you through the birthing process.
Considering the different philosophies, methods and ways, the first thing you should look for in a suitable birthing class for you is the compatibility factor. Make sure the class is compatible with your idea of the ideal way of giving birth. Make sure the thoughts of your instructor also coincide with that of your doctor. In case you want to eliminate that factor, check if your hospital provides birthing classes.
You can also take your birthing classes online these days if going in person is not a feasible option for you. Due to Covid-19, even birthing classes have shifted to online modes, like other classes.
If you are going in person, you might want to check if the classes are hands-on and interactive enough while checking the instructor-student ratio. Anything more than 10 couples per instructor will become too crowded.
Make sure the curriculum is good. An ideal birthing class will talk extensively about natural ways of birthing and C-Section also.
The class will teach you how to manage and reduce pain with the help of massages, aromatherapy, usage of birthing balls, and medication that is safe for you. An ideal class for you should talk about the physical and emotional aspects related to childbirth.
An instructor who is patient is the most important thing you need to look out for. Someone with an abundance of knowledge, patience, and experience will be key to answering all your questions without getting irked even if you ask a question repeatedly.
Choosing the childbirth technique becomes very important as you need to choose the birthing classes based on your choice of birthing techniques.
When to take a birthing class
While birthing classes taken in the first or the second trimester will make you familiar with exercise, nutrition, fetal development etc., birthing classes which start in the third trimester will focus on labor, delivery, and postpartum care of both the mother and the baby.
Considering how these classes pan out and cover topics according to the phase of the pregnancy, any point of time before labor is a good time to take birthing classes.
As the phrase goes, the earlier the better, because the more you learn, the better prepared you are.