“Giving birth should be your greatest achievement, not your greatest fear." Jane Weideman

Pregnancy is a happy and exciting time. However, that elation can occasionally be accompanied by fear about carrying and giving birth to a child. Complications of pregnancy and childbirth, such as hemorrhage, hypertension, infection, and miscarriage, account for more than 70% of maternal deaths.

This is where childbirth preparation courses come in.

Birth preparation classes are an excellent method to make the mother-to-be and her labor partner ready for the birthing process. Pregnant mothers frequently require childbirth education in order to make informed decisions about delivery alternatives such as labor positions, pain treatment methods, newborn care, and nursing. Childbirth preparation classes can then help women have a better understanding of birthing and reduce anxiety and worry associated with the process. In addition, they receive important tips about preparing the body for childbirth.

A study conducted on “The Impact of Childbirth Education Classes on Delivery Outcome” showed that childbirth classes have been shown to improve pregnancy outcomes.

Let us take a look at the benefits of attending childbirth preparation classes:

Knowing what to expect

Taking a childbirth class will help you understand as well as prepare you for what to expect in the third trimester, how to handle third trimester symptoms such as Braxton Hicks contractions, and during the birthing process. The expectant mother and her partner can work together in class to fully grasp their options and construct a birth plan. It will provide you the opportunity to practice strategies that will make labor go more smoothly. 

Pain management (and experiencing less pain)

A study found that a woman's knowledge and confidence gained from participating in childbirth education classes, is a reliable predictor of reports of decreased pain. That is, during childbirth classes, expectant mothers (and their partners) can learn breathing and relaxation techniques as well as methods to distract oneself from pain to get some relief such as using affirmation cards.

Reduced tension, anxiety and less stress during labor

More than 90% of stress during pregnancy and anxiety is linked to the birthing process. The majority of a mother's anxiety during this time stems from a lack of understanding and prenatal fear of unknown risks and childbirth. Stress hormone release increases as a result of worry and anxiety, which can contribute to premature birth, lack of progress, low birth weight, and fetal hypoxia. Childbirth education reduces tension and anxiety during labor. This is because of the knowledge gained while attending childbirth classes— both parents-to-be are empowered and gain confidence as they ask questions, learn about the birthing process and ways to reduce stress and anxiety during the childbirth event.

Proper preparation for labor, delivery, and beyond

Every labor is different, and things don't always go as planned. It is essential to be prepared for every situation. Women who attend childbirth classes frequently report that their delivery experience was more satisfying since their expectations were more in line with what could happen rather than what they desired. Other topics discussed are how to navigate postpartum pain such as using a peri bottle.

Bond with your partner

Childbirth education not only prepares couples for childbirth and parenthood, but it also increases couples' closeness and well-being. It is a fantastic way to spend time with your labor partner while also learning more about the birth process, including what you can do to lessen the risk and severity of perineal tears before and during birth such as practicing perineal massage.

Remember that not all childbirth classes are the same

Some are just lectures that simply advise you of what to expect when you arrive at the hospital for delivery while others are more interactive. Small groups of no more than 10 couples attend interactive sessions, which allows for one-on-one teaching on comfort measures and a more intimate environment in which to share advise. Perhaps an online childbirth preparation class is right for you? When looking for a course, be inquisitive; don't pick one just because it's held in proximity to where you are. It is important to choose a childbirth class that agrees with your personal philosophy in giving birth. It doesn't have to be difficult to choose which childbirth class to attend. On the contrary, it's an excellent time to clarify some of your birthing preferences for your delivery experience. 

July 16, 2021