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 class options click here.
Barrier #1: I don't have the money.
Strategy: Ah, yes. Having a baby can be expensive. Medical care for you and the baby, new furniture for the baby, clothes for the baby, a new car seat, diapers, a doula, childbirth education, and the list seems to just go on and on. If money was on the tight side before you began this new adventure, childbirth education can seem like a luxury. If you've read my last post, you may see why it is more of a necessity. Childbirth education gives you the tools you need to make good medical decisions for you and your baby, and some of those decisions may even save you money in the long run. Even so, it may seem like more than you can shell out in order to gain that education. I encourage you to talk to childbirth educators whose classes you are interested in taking. There may be less expensive options available to you, and a childbirth educator may be willing to work with you on a sliding scale or payment plan. Often a childbirth educator would rather have a space in their class filled with someone who genuinely wants to be there and gain the information they are offering than have that space go unfilled. If you can show them how interested you are in that class, they just may be willing and able to help. Be brave and willing to ask. The worst case is they say no and you will need to contact someone else.
Barrier #2: I don't have the time.
Strategy: Time is something we all seem to be short on these days. Work, housework, errands, social engagements, volunteer efforts, caring for older children, etc. all seem to get in the way of having downtime, sleeping an adequate number of hours at night, and even taking a childbirth education course. It may feel like you just can't fit one more thing into your hectic schedule. That is certainly understandable. But let's think about this another way. When have you ever had a better excuse to take some time for yourself? This is the time that you will look back on fondly as you remember giving yourself and your baby the time, attention and energy that you both deserve.
Still feel like time constraints are going to be a factor? Talk to the childbirth educator whose class you are interested in. They may have some good time-saving solutions for you. Some may offer an intense, weekend-long "crash course," a private course of study, or a self-paced study. There are options available to you!
Barrier #3: I have an unusual family situation that makes taking a class seem intimidating.
Strategy: Perhaps you are an LGBT family and fear how a childbirth educator or the other couples in class will respond to your presence. Maybe you are a single parent. Maybe you are a surrogate, or your baby is going to be adopted after birth and you feel like you will be the odd person out in a class of couples who are planning to take their babies home with them. Or maybe you have another situation that I haven't thought of. Many (if not most) childbirth educators are accepting of LGBT students, single mothers, surrogates, and birth mothers of adopted children in their classes. Often, even the other students who may disagree with or misunderstand your family situation won't do or say anything in such a public setting, and childbirth educators are likely to put a quick stop to any derogatory or emotionally unsettling language. Still, you may feel better taking a private class with an educator you know is accepting and supportive of your particular situation. Just let the educator know what your situation is and what you are and are not comfortable with. You may be able to find a mutually agreeable situation.
Barrier #4: I'm on bed rest.
Strategy: Talk to childbirth educators in your community! Many of them offer private classes and/or support for self-paced courses that you can do at home.
Do you have a barrier that I haven't talked about? I'd love to hear about it and help you come up with a possible strategy and solution! Let us know in the comments and/or in an email! We'd love to hear from you!