Upcoming blog posts:
Part I: Childbirth Education Misconceptions
Part II: Breaking Barriers
Part III: What are my childbirth class options? (Local to Nashville, TN and nationwide)
Part IV: Hypnobabies © Class Options
Kayla chose to become a doula after a fabulous second birth experience. She decided that she wanted to be a part of helping families have the best birth for them. She became a Hypnobabies© Childbirth instructor in 2015. She loves helping families understand their options during pregnancy and birth. To learn more about her class options click here.
Misconception # 1: My body will know what to do, so I don't need to take a childbirth education course.
Truth: Your body will absolutely know what to do during birth! In fact, I wish more women trusted their bodies this way. However, while your body may know what it's doing, you may not. You could be left scared or concerned, wondering if this or that is normal. You could be confused about things you don't understand, and uncertain about what options you have at any given point in time. This fear and confusion can lead to what many in the birth world call the "Fear, tension, pain cycle." Basically, fear leads to tension and tension leads to more pain, which in turn leads to more fear. Taking a childbirth education course is one of the best ways to ensure that you and your birth partner(s) are confident and relaxed during childbirth and will allow your body to do what it already knows how to do.
Misconception # 2: I'm going to do my own research about childbirth, so I don't need to take a childbirth education course.
Truth: Doing your own research is a great idea! In fact, this is what I personally did when I was pregnant with my first child. My close friends and family will tell you, I am a researcher. I research everything. I poured hours of research into childbirth when I was pregnant with my first. I read books, I used Google. I interacted on forums of like-minded mothers and mothers-to-be. Then, when I was pregnant with my second, I took a childbirth education course and realized how much information I never found, in part, because I never knew to look for it. If I had had that information before my oldest was born, my birth experience would almost certainly have been much different. Every mother/family makes the best decisions they can with the information they have. And those decisions look different for each family. But in order for these mothers and families to make the best decisions possible, they need the information. As has been said, "If you don't know your options, you don't have any." (**Note: I have seen this quote attributed to multiple sources. I cannot confirm the original source. Help appreciated.)
Misconception # 3: I'm planning to get an epidural, so I don't need a childbirth education course.
Truth: While it is true that those who are planning an unmedicated birth may have a greater need for childbirth education, your desire for an epidural does not preclude you from taking a childbirth education course. The truth is, you are not likely to be at the hospital with an epidural already placed when your birth begins. There will be some time spent without that epidural in place and it will be immensely helpful to you to have some tools up your sleeve to help you through that early part of the birth process. There is also an occasional instance of an epidural not working, or providing limited relief. If one of these occasional instances happens to you, you will be so grateful for the techniques you learn in a childbirth education class. Also, even though you will have an epidural, your body and your baby are still going to go through the birth process. Taking a childbirth education course is the best way for you to understand what is happening and what options you have during your birth.
Misconception # 4: I've already had a baby, so I don't need a childbirth education course.
Truth: OK, I'll cut you some slack on this one, especially if you took a childbirth education course before past births. But if it has been a while and/or you didn't take a childbirth education course before your older child was born, you could still greatly benefit from taking a childbirth education course in order to refresh your memory, possibly learn some new things, and hear everything from a different perspective. For example, I had my first baby without using any kind of childbirth education. When I took a childbirth education course before my second was born, I understood things that happened in my first birth that I hadn't understood before. Those things stuck with me. Some of the content of the course also made more sense to me because I had the context of my first birth to put it in. My second birth was quite different from my first. A large part of that was due to the information I gained and the choices I made because of that information.
Misconception # 5: A childbirth education course will try to push its own agenda, and I want to make my own choices.
Truth: A good childbirth education course will present the options that are available to you, the benefits and risks of each, and how to find out that information about anything that may come up that you don't cover in class. Most childbirth education courses are geared to women who are seeking a particular type of birth, but all of the childbirth education courses that I have encountered are about helping women and their partners seek out the best birth for THEM and THEIR family.
Misconception #6: I won't know if a childbirth education course is giving good information or if they are giving misinformation.
Truth: If it is misinformation that you are concerned about, a good childbirth education course will list sources and resources where you may do your own research. These resources can be helpful in finding more information. They are sources that you may not have found on your own, presented in a logical and concise order.
Hopefully, this has helped you understand how a childbirth education course can help you. Some feel that even though childbirth education may be helpful, it isn't something that is doable for them. Stay tuned for my next post, which will give you some helpful information to show you how childbirth education is a real possibility for you!