7 reasons to attend childbirth classes
Some childbirth experts encourage pregnant women to participate in face-to-face childbirth classes to demystify the birthing process. Being educated on what lies ahead helps reduce tension when labor begins.
“Childbirth classes give women the big picture and can significantly reduce anxiety,” says Dr. Susan Rim, an obstetrician/gynecologist at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill. “Women who come to the delivery room afraid because of a lack of knowledge about what is about to occur are likely to be more tense and thus, experience more pain.”
Here are seven reasons why experts encourage parents to attend childbirth classes:
- Get specific and relevant information. Childbirth classes are updated constantly and offer only the most current information; websites and books are often outdated.
- You will remember the information. Since childbirth classes feature a mixture of lectures, visual images, demonstrations and practice sessions, you are much more likely to remember what you have learned.
- Hands-on practice. You get an opportunity to practice comfort techniques, such as massage, relaxation and baby care, such as bathing and dressing.
- Designated time for learning. It can be difficult to set aside time to prepare for the upcoming birth. Classes make you commit to a day and time on the calendar.
- Opportunity to learn from others. Whether it’s the instructor or parents sitting beside you, you have the chance to learn from their personal experiences and share your own.
- Birth plan preparation. The birth plan and your options are explored.
- Reduced anxiety. You know what to expect and thus, have less fear of the unknown.
“Childbirth classes give new parents a head start on the questions they should be asking me as their physician,” adds Dr. Rim. “The more a pregnant woman knows about her options, the more she can make the most informed decisions about her delivery.”
About the Author
Evonne Woloshyn, health enews contributor, is director of public affairs at Advocate Children's Hospital. Evonne began her career as an anchor and reporter in broadcast news. Over the past 20 years, she has worked in health care marketing in both Ohio and Illinois. Evonne loves to travel, spend time with family and is an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan!