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Skip A Childbirth Class Altogether?

  1. Happygal

    pomelo / 5000 posts

    We didn't take one, despite trying! The birth class was filled up months in advance, the one hour crash course was cancelled last minute. My yoga teacher did come talk to us and acted out what a contraction looks like. I'm glad we didn't do an in-depth class b/c I ended up needing to have a c-section anyway!

    We did take a hospital tour. Biggest help was seeing where we'd check in and seeing the room.

  2. katsupgirl

    nectarine / 2280 posts

    @agold: I did an online class (Birth Bootcamp). I didn't have any desire to go somewhere for a class but wanted the info.

    I did a tour which was very helpful. I'm probably going to do another hospital tour for this baby too. It was good to get an idea of where I would go, what the rooms looked like and what the specific hospital policies were ( ex. How to get a private room)

  3. ChiCalGoBee

    nectarine / 2028 posts

    I think it's worth doing, even though I had a c-section. Although my husband turned to me on the second Saturday of the class and said, "so from what I gather, labor is going to go how it's going to go and we kind of just have to let it progress the way it will" we're still glad we went. They showed a video of a c-section in the class, and my husband said had he not seen that, and sort of understood what it would look like from the partner's perspective, he would have felt even more lost and scared than he already did. He was SO glad to have seen it, and I cannot imagine we would have had that information had we skipped it.

  4. Ginabean3

    pomegranate / 3401 posts

    With DD1 I took a hospital tour and signed up to take the classes....however she came early and I never made it to the class! I had amazing nurses though and labor was not hard at all (I did have an epidural). With DD2 I just decided to wing it since I had already done it once before. Again, I lucked out with amazing nurses and a midwife this time and labor went well!

    The class I DID take the second time around was a breastfeeding class since I was really insecure about it because it was really hard to breastfeed my first. I like to think it paid off because I'm still EBF DD2 9 months later!

  5. youboots

    honeydew / 7622 posts

    I did not care for my instructor so we ended up skipping about half the classes. She was an employee of the hospital but was suggesting epidurals cause autism. Spoiler alert: I was planning on and had one. It rubbed me the wrong way. But the separate hospital tour was great.

  6. lamariniere

    pineapple / 12566 posts

    I'm glad I took one. I know that for me personally, I wasn't going to read up about it or watch videos on child birth, so I preferred a class format. Our instructor was a doula and very good. I ended up getting an epi with my first so a lot of the breathing techniques didn't matter, but with my second child there was no time, and I was able to recall a lot of the pain management techniques and breathing exercises even though the class had been 3+ years prior.

  7. looch

    wonderful pear / 26210 posts

    I took the one that was led by the midwives at the hospital where I would deliver. It was incredibly helpful because she went over what kind of positions we could leverage and she showed us models of dilation so we could really understand what would be happening.

    Funny thing is she also said that you know when the baby is about to be born because the midwife will flip on the baby warming station. It's one of the only things I remember very clearly from the birth of my son. I saw the midwife turn on the light and I said to my husband that we were really close and both midwives started laughing.

  8. walshbee15

    coffee bean / 30 posts

    Both my husband and I went to the class at our hospital. It was a good class but they didn't tell me anything I didn't know. However, it was very helpful in preparing my husband for childbirth.

  9. T.H.O.U.

    wonderful clementine / 24134 posts

    @agold: yes I would still take a tour. The nurses go over the rules, what supplies are available and what you should bring. And it's good for DH to hear it all. They also showed us how to adjust the bed which helped a lot.

  10. milano14

    cherry / 235 posts

    I didn't do a childbirth class. We did watch these videos though...
    Got it from the library. A friend had watched it instead of a class and recommended it. I felt like I needed to at least hear/watch some sort of talk about birth, but didn't feel the classes were necessary.
    Looking back now after having two kids I don't regret not taking a class. My delivery nurses were amazing and I found it to really be all about instinct once I was in labor.

    And we did go to the hospital for the tour.

  11. tinyperson

    pomegranate / 3858 posts

    We took one, but I was scheduled for a c-section, so most of the class wasn't very useful to me. The tour was the most valuable part for us. If we could go back, we'd skip it.

  12. krispi

    clementine / 911 posts

    We took the all-day class at the hospital, and I thought it was helpful, especially for my husband who hadn't done any research ahead of time. I ended up with an unplanned induction for pre-eclampsia, so it was helpful that we'd discussed all the methods of inducing in the class and seen the different equipment they used, since they pretty much tried them all on me. Because of the induction, I had to stay hooked up to the monitors, so we didn't get to practice very many of the positions and techniques we learned in the class, but I'm still glad we took it.

  13. JenGirl

    clementine / 756 posts

    I took the hospital class that sounds similar to yours and an additional Saturday class that was focused more on med-free pain management. I'm glad I took both. Honestly, there wasn't a ton of information that I gathered from the classes that I didn't already know from reading online. But it gave me confidence and, most importantly, it helped to prepare my husband. I could send him links and books all day and he wouldn't really read or retain any of it. But the classes forced him to sit and listen and learn and that was REALLY valuable so that he could be helpful during the labor.

  14. psw27

    pomelo / 5220 posts

    @agold: Did you check with your health insurance to see if they will cover the cost? I think mine was going to cover a portion of it?

    Also I will add, I do think the class could have been useful for my DH, as others have said.

  15. Ree723

    grapefruit / 4819 posts

    I did a one day Saturday class when pregnant with my first and it was a total waste of time. I had done all my research, read my pregnancy books, and spent loads of time reading info about giving birth and caring for a newborn, so there was not one single thing new that I learned during the six hour class.

    As for whether it's worthwhile for you, it depends if you're someone who does lots of independent research and reading on the subject, or if you'd like the info presented to you. Also, my DH is happy to defer to me as the 'expert' and would listen (with a limited attention span eventually!) to the info I would share with him so he didn't get anything out of the class either as he'd already heard it all from me!

  16. Mama Bird

    pomegranate / 3127 posts

    I took one but DH didn't, and he didn't miss it at all. I only learned two useful things, but you can probably learn both outside of class. One was breathing techniques (seriously amazing, they were a must for me) and the other one was hospital specific procedures. It was nice to know ahead of time they won't let me eat till baby is born, or that they'll insist on an IV just in case.

  17. winniebee

    hostess / wonderful grape / 20803 posts

    I didn't take one. With my first, I had one scheduled, but then ended up on bedrest so never took one. I was expected to have a small baby and planned on an epidural so it really wasn't a big deal.

    With my second....I'd already had a baby and so I didn't feel the need to have classes

  18. MenagerieMama

    pear / 1547 posts

    I skipped it but I've also delivered a lot of babies so I felt like i knew what to expect. I offered to take on with DH for his benefit but he declined. Worked for us.

  19. jhd

    coconut / 8079 posts

    I don't regret taking the class (we did a Saturday class), but the hospital tour + pre-check in paperwork and a short class given by our peds office were much more helpful. My birth class instructor barely spent any time on breathing exercises, pain management, etc which was what I was hoping to learn about.

  20. agold

    grapefruit / 4045 posts

    @lamariniere: The pain management and breathing exercises are basically all that I'm interested in.

    @T.H.O.U.: It would be good to know what I need to bring. Maybe I will take the tour with my mom since I looked and the hospital does them at a time during the week when my husband works. But also, the hospital I'm delivering at is very patient friendly, with its own maternity building and valet parking and such. I don't think I will have any trouble knowing where to go or figuring out what to do. But still.. tour with my mom might be fun.

    @psw27: Good suggestion about checking with insurance. I will absolutely do that. Thank you.

    @Mama Bird: Thanks for letting me know you took a class without your husband. Mine is willing to do whatever I ask of him, but he has a tough work schedule and our time together is limited as it is.

    @jhd: That is what I am worried about with the hospital class that I'm thinking of taking. That it will be 7 hours long with 15 minutes devoted to what it is that I'm specifically interested in.

    I'm so interested in all the responses of girls who didn't take a class and still had an epidural-free birth. And also those that think the classes are important for the husband. I am loving all these responses. They are helping me so much with making my decision about this (and other) classes!

  21. BSB

    hostess / wonderful apple seed / 16729 posts

    I took an 'Expecting multiples' class and it was very helpful.

  22. BSB

    hostess / wonderful apple seed / 16729 posts

    @agold: Congrats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. T.H.O.U.

    wonderful clementine / 24134 posts

    @agold: the tour was also good for going over how the monitoring devices work, how far they reach (wired could reach to the bed, or you could sit on a rocker or yoga ball next to the machine). Wireless can go in the tub but you can't deliver in the tub.

  24. agold

    grapefruit / 4045 posts

    @bluestriped bee: If I was expecting multiples, I'm sure I would take every possible class! And thank you for the congrats! My baby girl is an IVF baby so she really is something I'm still completely shocked and surprised about!

  25. peaches1038

    nectarine / 2047 posts

    I didn't take a childbirth class but I did go on a hospital tour so I could see the rooms and know what to expect. I also took a breastfeeding class that was invaluable. I prepared for my medfree vaginal birth by watching one million birth videos and reading The Birth Partner with DH. Good luck!

  26. yin

    honeydew / 7917 posts

    I took one, and it was kind of a drag. Most of the information I had learned about online. I did pick up some useful tips, but it was such a long class. I wasn't a fan.

  27. LCTBQE

    nectarine / 2461 posts

    @agold: hey lady, what did you end up deciding on this? I'm in a similar boat trying to figure out whether to take a class from a doula that was recommended to me (30% for my benefit, 70% for a reality-check for my husband) or whether i'm just going to watch an online seminar. I really want the epidural, so leaning towards the latter. But like you said, I love information. hmm... let me know what you're doing?

  28. gotkimchi

    nectarine / 2400 posts

    @yin: haha someone once told me these classes were 2 hours of information packed into a 6 hour class.

  29. agold

    grapefruit / 4045 posts

    @yin: @gotkimchi: This is what I am worried about! I really hate wasting time. (I say this as I'm laying on my couch thinking of ways to do nothing for the rest of the day.)

    @LCTBQE: So funny you popped this thread back on my radar today because I was just reconsidering my decision! I was in the "no" camp. The class I would take is from 9-4 on a saturday. Gees, that's a long class. So anyhow.. yesterday my husband and I took a "baby care basics" class. It was only 2 hours but surprisingly my husband was receptive to it and, dare I say, enjoyed it?? I was really concerned about making my husband take an all day class and him dragging his feet about it which would just be a drag on me. I could care less what he knows or how he is prepared for the childbirth. I'm the one giving birth, after all. Anyhow.. basic upon the 2 hour class yesterday not being a total waste of time, I'm considering taking the birth class. Its $150. Yikes. But I was going to pay $120 for some 3d ultrasound pictures so I may just skip the pictures and sign up for the class. Ugh.. one less precious child-free saturday gone before baby comes!!


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