Yes! Labor & birth may be the most significant endurance event you will ever participate in! This process normally takes 12-24 hours for the first labor to arrive at birth. How you prepare yourself for the work of labor matters. Here is a small synopsis of common methods of childbirth preparation available in our area:
This method embraces the belief that a woman already knows how to give birth and mother her baby. Teaching is aimed at increasing a woman’s trust and faith in her. All are encouraged to take this 8 week series before pregnancy or early in pregnancy.
As the name suggests it is an approach to birth that honors what we know within ourselves. The classes are offered as either a 7 week series starting in your 4th or 5th month of pregnancy or a weekend immersion closer to but allowing a few weeks before your due date. The classes are very interactive with both discussion and activities such as art projects and movement.
Bradley Method also known as Husband Coached Childbirth
This approach stresses the importance of working together as a team and includes teaching natural childbirth, breast feeding and newborn care. The classes are offered to small groups as a 12 week series focusing on physical, mental and emotional preparation with weekly practice sessions.
Hospital based classes focus on labor, often patterned breathing, medication options, and possible hospital/medical procedures for vaginal and cesarean birth. A variety of options for classes are usually available, a 5-7 week series, or 1-2 day refresher courses.
This method teaches self hypnosis. Tools to achieve a relaxed state are taught which allow the focus to be on the pregnancy, relating to the baby in the womb, and using your instincts to have a calm birthing experience. The series consists of either 5 classes (2 1/2 hours) or 4 three hour classes
This is an organization that certifies independent childbirth educators. The common focus in on providing family centered teaching for pregnancy and newborn care and the power of having an overview of alternatives to choose from. Classes may be available as a series or one time.
Historically known for teaching breathing, this organization strives to use medical evidence to guide their education and practices. Instructors determine how their classes are offered.
In addition, there are other classes which may use a combination of methods and be offered as a series or in a 1-2 day format. So in no way is this list comprehensive, however taking time to visit the sites and gather information will help you to identify the approaches you feel more drawn to and comfortable with. Knowing your options is vital to making a choice you can be happy with.