Sunday, November 20, 2011

Childbirth Classes

Let me start off by saying that I am a fan of some sort of child birth education. It lets you prepare for labor, talk thing over and prepare with your husband, and generally become an educated mom. However I think you really need to find the option that works for you. So when people started asking me if I was taking Lamaze, because this is what they all took, I was not embarrassed to say no. Sure some looked at at me like I had three heads and demanded reasons and justifications but I held my ground. I asked them how they enjoyed their class. Most said they didn't really enjoy it, they found some if it weird, they would have preferred a more private setting or they went because it was the thing to do and all their friends went. I then asked them if they would do it again and most looked uncertain. How much more reason do I need not to do something? Why push me to go, when you did not exactly love your experience?

Lamaze can work incredibly well for some women but it is not the end all and be all of childbirth education. I strongly believe in doing what works for you and not just doing "the thing to do" because everyone is doing it. Here were my reasons against a traditional child brith/lamaze birth class:

1) I was not comfortable in a large group setting. I find that there is always someone who judges everyone else for not doing things her way - even if she has never had a baby before. The instructor is generally powerless to stop her.  I was not about to be guilted by some random woman in a class about why I am going back to work or why I want to pump and feed breastmilk. I also don't like doing exercises for breathing and pushing techniques in a group, and neither does  my husband. We waned to do this together, but not with 10 other people. Others love being in a group and are incredibly social. That is just not me.

2) They are really expenssive around here. I was not going to pay hundreds to learn something women have been doing naturally for ages.

3) They don't fit into my schedule. A daytime class is out of the question when you work and evening clases would have been hard for both of us to make consistently, plus we'd be exhausted.

I waned to go at my own pace, in the privacy of my own home and not spend a fortune. I found the  best option for me was actually a child brith video. When I asked around the most popular video by far was Laugh and Learn. Since I had started the search early, I was able to join the "hold" list for a copy from my library and wait a month for it to arrive. But even if you have to purchase it in order to see it on time, it's very affordable at $33.49 and has everything from labor to medication options. People were much more positive about it than lamaze.

I liked the video. I liked being able to go at my own pace. I liked that I could pause it and talk things over with my husband when desired. I also liked that even when I did not agree with some of the statements made by instructor (for instance she is extremely pro natural childbirth and I want the option of an epidural, I want to donate cord blood and she was pushing private banking) I was able to pause, do some research, think it over with my husband and reach a conclusion. It was very cmprehensive and worth it.

There are als some later videos for childcare and nursing in the series.


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