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Birthing classes. Yay or nay?


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#1 zonnewigham

Posted 10 July 2017 - 12:15 AM

I'm not sure if I plan to do any birthing/antenatal classes.
I'm 29 weeks and I've been seeing my OB pretty often throughout my pregnancy. We've discussed my birthing wishes, she's explained all the different pain relief options to me in enough detail that I don't have any more questions. She's fine with me moving around and I'll have my mum and dh in the room with me. We've also talked about what situations she would recommend an epi, induction, c section etc if my plan for a vaginal birth isn't working.
Dh thinks the classes sound like a bit of a waste of money since I'm already so confident.
I'm wondering if they might end up making me feel less confident...
some of my friends have said they loved theirs but they usually follow up with saying they loved it because they learnt about pain relief, possible deviations from their birthing plan, and it made them confident.
Are there any ladies out there who were just comfortable talking to their OB all the time and didn't bother with classes?

#2 Ozquoll

Posted 10 July 2017 - 12:38 AM

I prefer reading to listening so I just read lots of books rather than attending classes - my labour was fine. Is your husband with you at the Ob? He might benefit from birthing classes even if you don't ;-)

#3 lucky 2

Posted 10 July 2017 - 12:49 AM

Antenatal classes are usually for sharing information about the post natal period as well as pregnancy and birth.
Being pregnant and birthing is the beginning of the journey rather than the destination.
I'd check out what the classes cover concerning the newborn period, learning about infant behaviour and expectations, infant feeding etc.
Another possibility would be to attend a Breastfeeding Class held either at the Hospital or by the ABA.

#4 zonnewigham

Posted 10 July 2017 - 12:50 AM

I have looked at calm birth and hypno birth classes but they are out of our price range. I have looked at the breathing excercises on YouTube and practiced them at home and find them calming.
a midwife student friend has lent me a book I'm quite enjoying called the positive birth book. I'm a reader too so I'm finding that helpful.
He's come to one appointment so far but he ended up getting quite scared because during that appt my OB and I were discussing my wish for delayed cord clamping, and the risk/possibility of placental abruption, uterine tears and other placenta related stuff so he hasn't wanted to come to any more lol

#5 zonnewigham

Posted 10 July 2017 - 12:52 AM

The hospital has lactation consultants who will meet with me each day for the 5 days I get to stay and on the hospital tour the midwife said they'll usually give tips on swaddling, nappies, and transitioning to home life with a new born

#6 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 10 July 2017 - 12:55 AM

My hospital classes covered breastfeeding, crying, baby cues, what partners can do to help (partners were told that they must clean the house before baby arrives home), sex after birth, etc.

I was personally pretty confident that I had read plenty and understood, but the classes were excellent for making sure DH knew a bit as well (he wouldn't have read a book), he needed to know what would be going on during the birth as well.

#7 Lunafreya

Posted 10 July 2017 - 01:38 AM

What I liked about my birthing classes was that my DH was part of that as well. He was working so didn't go to a lot of my appointments, he didn't feel useless when they started giving advice to the support person.

And it wasnt just breathing they covered.

#8 BECZ

Posted 10 July 2017 - 02:03 AM

I didn't, but I was reasonably knowledgeable regarding post natal and I was told that due to other medical conditions that I had, that I would never deliver naturally.

So I didn't really see the need.  Plus they only ran classes twice a week and both times were really hard shifts for me to take off.  I was a manager and it wasn't really practical for me to get someone to replace me.  If I really wanted to go, I could have, but didn't see the need at the time.

I say that because I changed hospitals and there was a crappy midwife on duty at the hospital that would not listen to DF and as a result I had my third child naturally at home!  I guess it may have come in handy then!

#9 Feral Grey Mare

Posted 10 July 2017 - 05:11 AM

I found the biggest benefit was meeting other new parents. We stayed in touch for a few years after babies were born. Actual classes? Not sure how useful they were as I ended up with an emergency c/s. They really didn't cover very much of what happened after the birth but I guess each hospital does them differently. In the OP's case it sounds like the doctor has got most of it covered.

#10 SplashingRainbows

Posted 10 July 2017 - 05:18 AM

Whilst the hospital may help after you have the baby with tips and what not - you're probably not going to be in a great state to take in new information.

The tiredness and soreness are pretty intense. I don't know any new parent who hasn't been shell shocked first time around no matter how well prepared they are.

I'd go to the classes. It's important your partner does prep work just like you. Whilst you may know what you want to know it sounds like your partner does not. It's important that some of the practical adjustments HE will need to make if you're breastfeeding and recovering from birth are fleshed out a bit more explicitly. I know my DH who is very supportive but not an information seeker about this stuff found it very beneficial.

Edited by SplashingRainbows, 10 July 2017 - 05:19 AM.


#11 Caribou

Posted 10 July 2017 - 06:43 AM

I found hospital class very practical. I got info on hospital policy and drug options. I got a clear picture of what the hospital did so there was no nasty surprise when having baby.

I did calm birth but found it so restrictive. They were so focused on the success of the birth and not how to handoecif you suddenly need a cs unexpectedly. This might have been my class/teacher, but it was very anti cs and anti formula and anti drugs too. There wasn't really an option to explore those, it was skimmed over in class and frowned upon. I was easily made to feel like a failure with my first. The second time was when I did hospital class. Dispute having an emergency cs again, I had the most wonderful labouring expirence because I wasn't blindsided by not being aware of hospital procedures.

#12 ACT mum

Posted 10 July 2017 - 07:31 AM

I got only 1 piece of useful info from birth classes, and here it is for free.... everyone breaks. Just before you go into second stage labor, everyone emotionally breaks down and says they can't do this anymore, please, oh god please make it stop.

So don't feel bad when you feel like this, cos it's a normal natural part of the process.

#13 MooGuru

Posted 10 July 2017 - 07:41 AM

This is total anecdata but out of all the people I know who long labours with multiple hospital presentations and being sent home again because they'd come in too early; a common theme was not having done any sort of class beforehand. Two have gone on to have another baby and done the classes second time round and said that with hindsight they did a lot of things in their first labours that didn't help (like present to hospital at the very first sign of labour, only to be sent home but not feeling confident about when they should return so multiple presentations. Also spending the whole time at home lying down to try and cope with the pain and rest. Others have also had another and no classes with less lengthy labours and remain quite anti them.

I don't know how much info they received beforehand though. And that certainly isn't to say that anyone who doesn't do the class will have that experience.

I found the breastfeeding class before birth good.  I didn't realise how much difference it made till afterwards though. I was not in a mental place to take in any new information in the days post birth - I was very overwhelmed.

#14 Wonderstruck

Posted 10 July 2017 - 07:42 AM

View PostMadnessCraves, on 10 July 2017 - 06:43 AM, said:

I found hospital class very practical. I got info on hospital policy and drug options. I got a clear picture of what the hospital did so there was no nasty surprise when having baby.

Dispute having an emergency cs again, I had the most wonderful labouring expirence because I wasn't blindsided by not being aware of hospital procedures.

This. It really helped me prepare for my emergency c knowing that it was hospital policy to prep you for caesar if they were doing to trial forceps or vacuum and they would do it all in the theatre.

For me I wasn't expecting an epidural or caesar and in the end had both. I just mentally didn't expect to need them and having done the class gave me some insight I wouldn't have probably researched.

I wasn't  the specific birth plan type rather gonwoth the flow  and even then my experience never occurred to me would the the sort of thing that would end up happening!

You're unlikely to remember much in first few days pith birth, tiredness, pain and hormones take over!

Edited by Wonderstruck, 10 July 2017 - 09:21 AM.


#15 Drat

Posted 10 July 2017 - 07:46 AM

My husband actually loved our classes at the hospital.

He took them very seriously and he also volunteered to try out swaddling, putting on nappies etc. for the class. He was much more interested in that then reading a book

At the very least go for your partner/husband.

#16 ritten

Posted 10 July 2017 - 07:58 AM

View PostMadnessCraves, on 10 July 2017 - 06:43 AM, said:

I found hospital class very practical. I got info on hospital policy and drug options. I got a clear picture of what the hospital did so there was no nasty surprise when having baby.

I did calm birth but found it so restrictive. They were so focused on the success of the birth and not how to handoecif you suddenly need a cs unexpectedly. This might have been my class/teacher, but it was very anti cs and anti formula and anti drugs too. There wasn't really an option to explore those, it was skimmed over in class and frowned upon. I was easily made to feel like a failure with my first. The second time was when I did hospital class. Dispute having an emergency cs again, I had the most wonderful labouring expirence because I wasn't blindsided by not being aware of hospital procedures.


I would say that was your teacher. Our calmbirth class specifically covered c sections and emergency situations and how to keep yourself in a good mindset if they did occur. We also covered how different labour may work if you are induced etc.

It made a massive difference for my 2nd birth when baby was induced early due to distress especially as my husband knew what was going on and what to ask etc.

We found the ABA Breastfeeding class fantastic...my husband recommends it to anyone he knows who is pregnant lol.

I was thruhh a birth centre so had an assigned midwife so a lot of the general classes  overed things we had discussed already (but a lot was new for DH as he didn't attend all modwofe appointments). But the details on hospital policies was great as well as meeting other new parents to be.

Go to the classes ;)

#17 SplashingRainbows

Posted 10 July 2017 - 08:02 AM

Madness sorry you had such a sucky teacher for your calmbirth.


Our instructor had herself had an emergency c so she was fantastic. Explained all the ways calmbirth applied to vaginal AND c sec births and how the techniques can be applied to help you, the mother, stay calm through what can be a traumatic experience.

#18 IamtheMumma

Posted 10 July 2017 - 08:09 AM

I think you should go to the classes so you can learn that you are the centre of labour not your OB. She doesn't "let" you do anything. You move when you want. You have the pain relief you want.  

If there is a local public hospital, call and see if you can join one of their groups.

#19 Wonderstruck

Posted 10 July 2017 - 08:17 AM

Also note that health funds often cover the costs of hospital classes. They paid the whole cost for both me and DH.

#20 Mooples

Posted 10 July 2017 - 08:27 AM

We went to ours (it was covered as part of the hospital admission) and found it very helpful. I'd done lots of reading here but dh didn't really know much about labour, birth, deviations from normal, aftercare etc so it was especially beneficial for him as good to hear about the practices specific to our hospital. You said your dh came once but was a bit grossed out, unfortunately whether he likes it or not he's going to be there and is going to have to deal with all the grossness so he might as well get prepared rather than sweeping it under the rug pretending it's not going to happen.

#21 TheGreenSheep

Posted 10 July 2017 - 08:40 AM

I think they were helpful for both of us. We did them at the hospital and it certainly helped ready DH for the long day of pre labour. Thinking about the old video they showed still makes me giggle. And in hindsight it prepared both of us for the wide range of 'what's normal' in labour and delivery. I went naturally at 38wks with my first and it was a relatively quick delivery. All the best OP.

#22 harryhoo

Posted 10 July 2017 - 08:43 AM

I liked the classes. Some of the women were having second babies and it was great chatting to them. Also it helped DH feel like he could be useful and know what to expect, such as transitioning to second stage and not to be offended if i swore at him!! We had a physio come in which was really helpful - she provided us with a range of different positions, massage techniques and things like where DH could push on your back/hips to 'relieve' some of the pain.

#23 seayork2002

Posted 10 July 2017 - 09:19 AM

I went to the ones organised by our local area health service (not in Australia) I will admit I did not learn much BUT enjoyed going and I got to meet other parents in my area - I saw some of the same parents at the baby classes afterwards once our babies were born.

I thought as they were offered I would go but no I would not have paid for private ones

Oh I had a midwife I saw through out my pregnancy so we just asked her what we needed to as time went on - I saw her a lot and also afterwards for a bit before I was handed on to other health visitors who made home visits

Edited by seayork2002, 10 July 2017 - 09:21 AM.


#24 XieXie

Posted 10 July 2017 - 09:52 AM

Free classes here, too (public hospital in Sydney).

Sounds like your DH will benefit from the classes more than most if he can't even handle a simple risk scenario conversation. The reality is a lot more full on than that - even when everything goes 'right' - you don't want him panicking!

Also what if your OB ends up not being available on the day? Best not to put all your faith in her.

#25 seayork2002

Posted 10 July 2017 - 10:01 AM

View PostXieXie, on 10 July 2017 - 09:52 AM, said:

Free classes here, too (public hospital in Sydney).

Sounds like your DH will benefit from the classes more than most if he can't even handle a simple risk scenario conversation. The reality is a lot more full on than that - even when everything goes 'right' - you don't want him panicking!

Also what if your OB ends up not being available on the day? Best not to put all your faith in her.

I went to the classes on my own as they were during the day (I was happy to go on my own!!!!!) but looking back I was glad he didn't as he is a normally a very squeamish person and although he knew he was going to be at the birth we never spoke about the details we just both showed up to the hospital and in the end DH was not given the choice to help out at the delivery end.

he coped fine and could not have said no to the midwife even if he wanted - she was old school but in a very good way!

If he went to the classes he probably would have chickened out at the birth  - so going in with no idea was in this case a very good thing.

But gosh he saw it all and I am forever thankful all I had to do was push he had to join in




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