It’s countdown to baby time. You got through the first two trimesters (go you!), and now you’re in the home stretch of the third. And since labor is getting closer and closer, you’re starting to wonder about how exactly birth plays itself out.
Well, the word “wonder” might be an understatement. What you might really be is worried, or scared, or both. These feelings are normal, especially given all the TV shows and movies you’ve grown up with, most of which depict birthing women in the throes of pushing out the baby, writhing around, screaming hysterically. How can you prepare to handle such an physically, emotionally and mentally charged event?
Enter childbirth education, otherwise known as prenatal classes. They are the saving grace of preparation for birth. Here are the top 3 reasons a prenatal class can be crucial to feeling good about your impending birth.
#1 Information: Tips and Tricks of the Trade
Knowledge is power, and the more you can educate yourself about the birth process, the more at ease you can be. Here are some examples of what you might learn: Did you know that a hot water bottle can alleviate the feeling of contractions? What a fetal heart rate monitor sounds like? On which floor is Baptist Hospital’s labor and delivery ward? What are the signs that you are ready to push? All of these questions (and many more) will be answered during a prenatal class, arming you with what you need to know.
#2 Take My Hand: Preparation With Partner or Other Support People
Most women do not enter the L&D ward alone. Rather, there is at least one other support person at the birth. Either their partner wants to witness and support the birthing woman, and/or the couple often hires a doula (birth coach), or grandma or a good friend accompanies. Once you have the prenatal class information under your belt, you are better equipped to plan, and practice for, your birth together with your partner or other support people.
#3 Make New Friends: Camaraderie
Prenatal classes at Miamo OBGYN are groups. This means several couples join in together for a four-hour lesson. By learning together in a group setting, you get to feel like you’re not alone, and you can learn from others’ questions as well. And who knows – you might meet up in the maternity ward after you’ve given birth.
Effectively, prenatal classes are a must for any first pregnancy, and can even be useful as a brush-up for later pregnancies. Meeting in person along with other couples in your same situation is one of the best ways to prepare for birth. As many books as there are on pregnancy and birth, there’s nothing like the personal touch.
We wish you a healthy pregnancy, birth, and postpartum period. To schedule a prenatal class, check out our upcoming dates here.