10 Benefits of Childbirth Education Classes by Carriage House Birth
Are you pregnant and on the fence as to whether a childbirth education class is really necessary? Let us share with you the top benefits of taking a childbirth education class according to Carriage House Birth to help you make an informed decision.
1. EDUCATION You will receive an education on pregnancy, the phases & stages of labor, and the postpartum period. It is important to educate yourself about the childbearing process so you can make informed and empowered decisions for yourself and your baby. Knowledge is power and childbirth education is the key!
2. BETTER BIRTH OUTCOMES Childbirth education leads to better birth outcomes and increased satisfaction with your overall birthing experience. Having knowledge can decrease your cesarean rate and lower your risk of unnecessary interventions. You will have a better understanding of when to call your homebirth midwife, go to the hospital or birthing center, techniques to encourage your labor to progress, and to understand what is normal and what are warning signs – all of these things can help reduce fear and lower the chances of a cesarean birth. Failure to progress is a top reason for cesarean.
3. BUILD CONFIDENCE Childbirth education can help to instill confidence and manage your expectations. Every birthing experience is unique, like a fingerprint or a snowflake. Being prepared for all of the what ifs is extremely important. Having your birth be something that you are fully engaged in as opposed to the birth happening to you can lead to an empowered birth experience.
4. REDUCED ANXIETY We have found that a mindfulness and skills-based childbirth education class can be associated with an improved sense of self control and confidence in giving birth which greatly reduces anxiety.
5. BETTER COMMUNICATION You will be better equipped to communicate to your team by creating birth preferences, formerly known as the birth plan! You will learn your options and how to be an active participant in your birth experience. A 2016 study presented at the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine’s annual meeting showed that people who took childbirth education classes or had birth preferences were 25% more likely to have vaginal birth vs. those who didn’t.
6. COMFORT You and your birth partner will learn comfort and pain coping techniques for your labor. Some examples include: position changes, hydrotherapy, touch & massage, pressure/counter pressure, breathing techniques, visualization, vocalization, aromatherapy, and emotional support.
7. SUPPORT Your birth partner learns what to do to support the laboring & birth process by providing comfort and being an active advocate for you. The birth partner can ask questions such as benefits, risks, and alternatives to interventions and/or procedures.
8. PREPAREDNESS Learn what to pack and how to prepare. Packing a birthing center or hospital bag ensures that you have the essentials that your place of birth may not provide (ie: carseat and nursing bra. Bringing your own items from home also helps to bring you some familiarity and comfort. It’s nice to use your own face moisturizer and toothbrush. Also, hospital pillows and linens are notoriously not comfy!
9. BETTER HEALING Having the knowledge of how to navigate your postpartum body and healing will lead to better healing. It is helpful to know what to prepare for and how to set up your home in advance for your postpartum healing success. Sidenote: Preparing frozen meals in advance is highly recommended!
10. BUILD COMMUNITY Connecting with other expectant parents in class creates a space for you to ask questions, share feedback, get advice, and exchange experiences with others who are also journeying through something similar.
Are you off the fence? We hope so! At Carriage House Birth, we have culled our shared birth & postpartum experiences and training as birth workers to develop a strong, interesting, and fun classroom experience. We believe that it is best to fill your birth tool bag with as many options as possible, therefore we teach what is most useful and use what we feel are the best elements from the various laboring methods that are out there today. Whether at home, in a hospital, or birth center, we believe that good birth outcomes happen when fear is replaced with confidence, understanding of the birthing person’s body, and the very normal experience that is pregnancy and childbirth.
Photo: Naomi Vonk