I'm signed up for a three-hour labor and delivery class through my OB, but the hospital where I'm delivering also offers a 6-hour class and it looks like they cover the same stuff. Just curious how useful people thought these classes were.
Feel free to elaborate on why it was/wasn't useful!
hostess / watermelon / 14932 posts
Honestly, waste of time. I got some free goodies which was fun, but I already knew basic anatomy and how childbirth works - and my labor was so fast and furious I couldn't have used any coping mechanisms if I had wanted to!
pomegranate / 3706 posts
Didn't take one and had 2 babies just fine! I did, however find the one day newborn care and breastfeeding class at my hospital, really informative and was glad I took it.
pomegranate / 3230 posts
I took an 8-week Bradley course which inspired me to do some research and ultimately change providers and hospitals. I was much more comfortable with my new OB, and I believe that this helped me avoid a c-section.
honeydew / 7916 posts
@erinpye: Same as you, ended up not being able to go and the whole thing went great! And the newborn care class was much more useful.
papaya / 10560 posts
Didn't take one. Nothing could have prepared me for l & d!
pineapple / 12566 posts
I thought it was useful in the sense of knowing what was going on with my body and learning some breathing techniques. However, I didn't use any of it with LO1 since I got an epidural pretty quickly. For LO2, I didn't have time for an epi since I progressed so fast, but I was able to recall some of the breathing techniques to get me through.
apricot / 347 posts
I also found it such a waste. DH and I went to the first two of 4 and I had pretty much read everything already so I knew more than what they were telling us about.
grapefruit / 4649 posts
I voted 4, it was nice to get more familiar with the hospital and meet some of the l&d nurses. The topics covered weren't really helpful to me but some of it was new to my husband. By far the biggest benefit was that it brought up topics of conversation for us and we talked about things we had seen or gone over in class on our way home.
apricot / 343 posts
I hated mine! I was having twins and the nurse running it (who needed to retire) kept telling me I would have them at 33 or 34 weeks. Each week I came in to class she would act surprised that I wasn't in labor yet...um, I went when I was 24 weeks along! I wish I would have just gotten more twin-specific advice. I did do a labor prep class with my yoga teacher and that was pretty useful as I made it through the first 14 hours of labor with no pain meds. I was not planning a natural birth but wanted to hold out a while. I would say it kind of depends on your preferences; if you want a natural birth you should find a class specifically on that. My class was also not accurate in terms of pain meds offered; I did a run-through with my OB/GYN a couple weeks before delivery where I asked her to walk me through it and that was the most helpful.
I do think the classes are an interesting right of passage, though. My friend got to do hers for free. If that applies, do it!
wonderful kiwi / 23653 posts
I voted 7. As a FTM I just needed to do it. Mine included a hospital tour so it was super helpful physically walk through the process. The breathing stuff was kinda long but DH did use it to help me a little during labor. A lot of the info I already knew and it was still overwhelming and freaked me out! But I would have done it again still.
GOLD / wonderful olive / 19030 posts
I took the one offered at the hospital, it was everything I knew. Honesty, maybe DH got a little more out of it but because we were planning on an epidural it didn't' really pertain to us.
pomelo / 5257 posts
I took a 6 hour-ish class. My hospital also offered a 6 week class. It was helpful to learn about text book labor. Of course I didn't have text book labor. I wouldn't have wanted to take a class that covered everything that could happen.
wonderful grape / 20453 posts
I took a free online class. Kinda pointless. You can do enough research on the side IMO unless you're going sans meds
wonderful cherry / 21504 posts
Same as @snowjewelz: I felt like I needed to do it, even if I didn't really learn that much from it (though I voted 3, not 7). The tour of the hospital and going over the hospital specific practices was the most helpful part. I'm glad I did it but don't really feel like it helped all that much. And fwiw, I planned on a med free birth with a midwife, and specifically went to a "preparing for birth with a midwife" class. I did end up having a med free birth but I credit my amazing nurse and midwife, not the class.
pomelo / 5678 posts
Took Bradley and it was priceless. Because I knew what to expect, before taking it I didn't really know very much - it made me more comfortable/ confident and prepared.
kiwi / 567 posts
Took the hospital class which was basically useless to anyone with even a basic comprehension of human anatomy. I gave it a 2, because it included a tour on where to go and of the L&D rooms and postpartum floor which was helpful.
wonderful kiwi / 23653 posts
@Foodnerd81: having amazing nurses made all the difference!! Not that I know the other way but I completely was relying on the nurses!
GOLD / wonderful coconut / 33402 posts
I voted 4 just cause the class told me to take an enema and I didn't poop in labor in front of DH. Otherwise pointless.
clementine / 912 posts
It was most useful for DH, so he could understand some of the information I'd already learned on HB.
hostess / wonderful persimmon / 25556 posts
It helped my husband, like others have said. I'm really glad we did it just for him.
nectarine / 2028 posts
I voted 6. When we left the second day of class my husband turned to me and said, "So what I basically understand is that we've worked through what a typical labor is like and talked about a few strange things that might happen, but at the end of the day the labor's going to go how it goes so all of this might be pretty useless info." He was totally right! The one thing I will say is that I had a pretty atypical labor (30 hours, stalled labor, emergent c-section, an infection, etc.), and there was a video on c-sections that we watched in the class. My husband said had he not seen that video and been told he'd be thrown some scrubs and told to stand by himself in a lonely hallway, he would have felt way more scared than he already did. Was that alone worth 10 hours of class? I don't know, but if it helped him even a little bit during a huge time of uncertainty then I can't say I regret it!
honeydew / 7917 posts
I took an all day Saturday course through my hospital. While informative, I did a lot of research on my own and didn't learn too much.
wonderful cherry / 21504 posts
@ChiCalGoBee: one thing that really bothered me about my class was they acted like c section is a dirty word. Like barely talked about pain relief anyway (which, fine, it was geared towards people hoping for Ned free) but she literally whispered c section and discussed it for about four second. I would have had no idea what to expect if I needed one.
coconut / 8079 posts
I voted two. I don't think it was useful at all for me. It was really long, but DH was glad he went because he learned a few things. My mom wanted me to go to learn breathing techniques but that wasn't really covered at all.
cantaloupe / 6800 posts
I was SO excited for mine, but I did not learn a single thing that I hadn't already known/learned from HB. DH learned a few things so I rated it a 3.. Our class was a joke but it did open up new topics for DH and I to talk about which I guess was beneficial
nectarine / 2028 posts
@Foodnerd81: I struggled with this, too! There is such a stigma against C-section (maybe because there are some people that do it voluntarily?), and for someone like me, where it was medically necessary for my baby and me to come out of the delivery safely, it kind of stinks. No one wants a c-section but that shouldn't mean you DON'T give out information on it!
wonderful pomelo / 30692 posts
I didn't take one and just went with the flow for the births of both my babies. I didn't feel like a class would have helped.
grapefruit / 4441 posts
It was somewhat helpful. DH did not want to go, but I felt like it was a rite of passage I did not want to miss. Plus, I felt he was not the type to read or get any information on his own. It was a 6 weeks class offered by the hospital, for 2 hrs each night - so about 12 hrs total. The part I remember the most was labor positions and coping techniques. The nurse made DH practice applying counter pressure and it totally helped during my 28+ hrs of back labor before we went to the hospital. I remember leafing through the class handouts while in labor desperately trying to remember other positions/comfort measures to try (and I did find/remember a few that helped). I felt I learned a bit about exercises/positions to help the baby decend and options available at the hospital (e.g., birthing bar, mirror, etc.). We watched videos on vaginal and c-section deliveries that I'm sure we're my husband's only exposure to those things.
persimmon / 1367 posts
We took a 6 hour course and a 2 hour breastfeeding course. I found it very helpful, mostly because it gave me a ton of info about how my hospital handles things and I got to meet and interact with the LCs before delivering and it was great to see someone who wasn't a stranger when I was having issues with breastfeeding in the hospital. Also,it really helped DH feel like part of the process and ready to be a help to me in a way he hadn't felt beforehand. Did I learn a lot of new medical info? No, but I got a lot of other things out of it.
kiwi / 742 posts
I voted 6. Like PP the class, all day on a Sunday, helped DH and I discuss things we probably would not have seriously talked about in terms of his role in helping me through labor. One of the videos showed a great back labor position that I used throughout my labor. So a worthwhile experience for us.
GOLD / wonderful pomegranate / 28905 posts
I think it's useful to know your hospital's labor practices. What techniques they used and when. What will make them offer or push for a c section. Where to go when you're in Labour. What their turn away policy is. Every hospital is a little different. It's nice to know all these things beforehand.
And maternity ward tour is always nice beforehand!