at suburban turmoil today

Lindsay at Suburban Turmoil (who is 40 weeks pregnant) says she got nuthin' out of her NATURAL CHILDBIRTH CLASSES.

I love Lindsay's writing - she's hilarious - but really, what she's describing doesn't really sound like real preparation for unmedicated chilbirth. Instead they sound like halfass, stupid childbirth classes at a hospital where the nurses actually find the concept of unmedicated birth little more than an amusing flight of fancy for birkenstock-clad nutcases.

As it turns out, Lindsay already knows she wants an epidural, so the classes aren't a biggie for her, but I hate it for the women who might have actually believed the hospital when they told them that their maternity staff actually support and are knowledgeable about natural childbirth for those women who really want that.


Leslie said...

A hospital birthing class is in no way a substitute for a six week Lamaze class or, even better, an 8-week Bradley class. I've done Lamaze twice and Bradley once. What I've also found helpful is reading books about childbirth. Childbirth without Fear, Painless Childbirth, and the Experience of Childbirth are some of my favorites that I reread with each pregnancy.

Our culture has so brainwashed women to fear the natural processes of pregnancy and birth that it takes a lot of retraining the mind to get rid of those messages.

Suburban Turmoil said...

At the class I went to, most of the moms there (all but one) had already had a baby naturally and were just getting some refresher techniques. You're right though, going to a hospital to learn about natural birthing doesn't really make sense, since all they do from the moment you arrive is try to pump you full of as much medicine as possible. What they really need is a course on what all the medicine they're trying to give you -is-, and the pros and cons of it-- because when you're in labor, you're in no condition to ask questions about what's going in your IV.

Clisby said...

IMO, any decent childbirth class *will* tell you what types of pain relief typically are available; what they can and can't do for you; and the risks of each. The Lamaze class I took did.

Anonymous said...

After touring the local birthing center and hearing the typical hospital badmouthing there, we chose to have our baby at the most progressive hospital in Knoxville. Drugs weren't pushed, we were assigned a nurse who moonlights at the birthing center, and we felt like we got the best of both worlds. If something had required a deviation from our plan, we would still have had our terrific Ob-gyn handling everything.

Do your homework.