Childbirth Classes Required

21 Weeks 4 Days

You will not get through natural childbirth without having taken some sort of class.

I know there are exceptions to the rule, but for the most part that is true. I’ve talked to many moms who “want to try to do it naturally, but still have the option of the epidural” and they never actually do it. The hospital system works against you by giving you things like pitocin that make your labor much, much more difficult and making you lay on your bed for monitoring rather than walk around like you should be doing. All of the things that a woman could use for comfort during labor aren’t likely to be present in a hospital. You and your partner won’t know all the things you can do to decrease pain if you haven’t been told. It just simply doesn’t work without a lot of preparation and a bit of hardheadedness.

If I wouldn’t have known what to do from my Bradley Method class, I’m sure that I wouldn’t have had a natural childbirth. We are told all of our lives that “nothing hurts worse than childbirth” and not told all the ways to make it less so. Even knowing the right things to do, I still had to remind myself over and over the right things to do. When the contractions came, I would feel myself tensing up and have to actually remind myself to relax through them. Relaxing immediately made them better and luckily I knew to do that before the contraction got to its height.

My husband also know how to do counter-pressure, which was a life-saver in a posterior birth. I knew that I should listen to my body and rest between contractions. I knew that I could use something like a shower to help ease the pain (if we would have made it to the hospital, we would have been lucky to get a bath and those showers were not large enough for me to get on all fours like I needed to). This all knowledge was passed onto us by our Bradley teacher, just liked it used to be passed on from mother to daughter when natural childbirth was the norm. I’ve heard moms say that they don’t need childbirth classes because moms did it all of the time before Hypobirth and the Bradley Method were around, but they were able to do that because the information was common knowledge. The community taught a pregnant mother what to expect and what to do in birth, just like it did in breastfeeding. Both of these things are something that women used to be able to do without classes and lactation consultants and support groups, but now that it is not the norm in our society and it’s likely that your mother didn’t do them or can’t remember because it was 30 years ago, you need someone who can pass the knowledge to you.

So I am happy to say that we start our Bradley classes again with our same instructor as last time in a couple of weeks. While I’m sure I could do it again with just my memory and re-reading my materials from last time, I would rather go and learn it again. There will be new questions and new knowledge and new moms to connect with in this class. I am happy to return.

I am now 21 weeks and 6 days pregnant, though my picture I took is from a few days ago. Things are obviously busy around here and honestly I’ve written multiple posts, but I’m feeling like they’re not coming out coherently and so I’m not posting them.

The round ligament pain is luckily subsiding it seems. I’m certainly knocking on wood though. Maybe it’s all the exercise I get walking from Peanut’s preschool to my building multiple times every day, which is all uphill. Regardless, I’m certainly not complaining even if it does come back. It’s very nice to not be stuck to the couch/bed all evening.

Something that’s getting worse is my acne. Bleh. I never had acne as a teenager, but pregnant really sets my body into acne-mode. It’s all over my face and even some on my back. I am just continuing to wash my face daily in the shower and not changing soaps or anything. No matter how annoying it is, I realize it is temporary and I doubt anyone really notices as much as I do. Possibly it’s a good thing because it’s got me to start wearing makeup on a regular basis again.

Lastly, Twig is a little dancer in there. If I put my belly up against my desk in class, Twig kicks it. When I’m sitting studying, Twig is wiggling up a storm. My husband even thinks that he felt Twig the other day maybe. I’m in that nice in between stage when I can feel the kicks really thoroughly, but they have yet to start hurting.

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4 thoughts on “Childbirth Classes Required

  1. I had a natural home birth without classes, so an epidural wasn’t an option (or a temptation!). But I did read a lot of books while pregnant. The one I thought prepared me the most was called Birthing From Within: an extra-ordinary guide to childbirth preparation by Pam England, Rob Horowitz. That book was awesome. i highly recommend it. They actually have Birthing from Within classes, but they weren’t available while i pregnant.
    I’ve heard the Bradley classes are wonderful. Next time I’m pregnant I would love to take hypno-birthing classes. What is your opinion on hypno birthing?

  2. “We are told all of our lives that “nothing hurts worse than childbirth” and not told all the ways to make it less so.” So true! I spent my entire pregnancy in terror about the thought of childbirth. Once my labor began, I was surprised at what it felt like (not nearly as bad as I’d expected!) and amazed at how my body responded on its own, going into a state of relaxation that allowed me to ride through labor’s contractions and progress as if I were on a boat riding waves. Labor and birth turned out to be the most amazing experience of my life that I’d do again in a second. What a shame that we’re told so much how “impossible” it is…as if every female mammal doesn’t go through it!

    • It’s amazing to me that people find it heroic or even silly to give birth naturally when our species and others have been doing it since the beginning of time. Naturally is how it is supposed to be. Anything beyond that without a valid medical reason is abnormal, which is why it creates further problems.

  3. Pingback: Preparing for Birth: Childbirth Education » A Little Bit of All of It

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