What is a childbirth preparation class?
With antenatal programs popping up all over, it’s hard to say what is a childbirth preparation class? Let me try and decode prenatal, antenatal class, childbirth class for you. Anything that is done before the birth of the baby is antenatal, prenatal. So many programs of wellness offered in hospitals and other centers are called antenatal programs. These programs could comprise a fitness class or series, nutrition information and guidance, and also an understanding of hospital or labor procedures. While these are informative and beneficial to the pregnant woman and families these are very different than a childbirth preparation class.
A childbirth preparation program focuses on the labor and birth process as a physiological process that is hard-wired in us and is completed by nature autonomously. Human anatomy and physiology are not mechanical or machine-like but are biodynamic. Biodynamic means it’s constantly changing and adapting to find optimal states. Thoughts, emotions are just as important as the bones and muscles. The baby too is constantly adapting to the mothers’ life throughout pregnancy, and it’s no different in labor and birth.
Childbirth educators are not just giving out information but are also training in teaching which a special skill itself. The classes’ offers information, skills, and tools for labor in many varied means that meet the adult learning needs. The childbirth educator models support and skill for expectant families to learn and replicate for the woman in the time of labor and birth.
Childbirth classes offer a perspective of hospital routines and procedures that allow the expectant parents to make informed decisions for themselves and their babies. This information is offered with evidence-based research to back it and decision-making is encouraged with role play. We know that birth is unpredictable and unique, and the classes offer a chance to learn how to think rather than what to think.
The most important role that these classes have that they teach comfort measures to cope with pain during labor. These different comfort measures are explored and an understanding of pain and individual resources is learned.
Childbirth preparation isn’t about learning how to give birth, that wisdom is already encoded in women. It is an understanding of how systems function and how we can eliminate what gets in the way and support what works. Mind-body connect is explored in all childbirth classes, relaxation techniques, and breathwork pave a pathway through labor and birth accessing nature’s design for birth.
Some popular childbirth programs are HypnoBirthing, Lamaze, Embody Birth, and Birthing from Within