Wednesday

which childbirth prep class did you take?

Which childbirth prep class did you take (Bradley, Lamaze, the standard class offered by hospital, HypnoBirthing, Birthing from Within, etc) and why? What did you think of it? How well did it serve you during childbirth? What did your husband/partner think or get out of it? What kind of birth did you want? What kind of birth did you end up with?

Comments below, please :-)

21 comments:

sajmom said...

I didn't take any childbirth classes, just read up on birth. First birth was induced with epidural (I had preeclampsia), 2nd and 3rd births no drugs at all. I used a bit of mental imagery and kept chanting, "You can do this" through an impossibly bumpy carride to the hospital (which would be a mantra), techniques I got from Carl Jones' Mind Over Labor book. It worked for me. I thought I would regret not taking a class, but I didn't.

nyjlm said...

I took a class at my dr's office which was not that useful. I did a lot of reading and practiced progressive relaxation a lot. I had an unmedicated hospital birth, with a doula.

I didn't read Birthing From Within until I was pregnant with my second. I think I used a lot of her ideas in my first birth, so reading it was a good reminder. I love that book. Second birth was also an unmedicated hospital birth, with the same doula.

AmyB said...

I took a Lamaze class. I used the breathing for several hours, but after awhile it no longer was helping enough. My husband was very helpful despite his initial skepticism about Lamaze, but that mainly was because he is very good in being the calmest one in the room and helping others to focus. I might have managed longer, but the pitocin they insisted on giving me really intensified the labor pains. I had an epidural, which allowed me to breathe, focus and deliver my rather large (8" 2') baby girl. It was the right choice considering all factors. Good luck with your delivery.

Anonymous said...

I took the class at St. Mary's (one day class). I do NOT recommend this class at all, especially if you already have had a child. All the things I learned that were helpful you will already know from having a had a baby...Plus, the instructor seemed to sort of "mock" the idea of natural childbirth.

Yolanda said...

My husband and i are halfway through our Bradley childbirth classes. This is our first child, so I cannot tell you about the birth. We are planning an unmedicated, hospital birth. I chose Bradley because it was the only childbirth method that seemed to grasp the connection between the deep love affair between husband and wife and its further expansion through childbirth. So far I am extremely happy with the techniques I've learned and the natural birth films we've been exposed to.

katie allison granju said...

I am very interested in Bradley, but see no way to cram 12 classes into a schedule that involves three other kids, two jobs, long commutes, and life in general..

katie allison granju said...

I wish Bradley offered a home study course

Anonymous said...

I felt like Bradley put my husband in too much of a "coach" position. Jon seems more mellow than him (mine played college sports) but Bradley was not a good fit for us.

MelissaM said...

We took the hospital class which was useless. There was not a Bradley class near us, so we never took an organized class but we got a Bradley book (Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way by Susan McCutcheon-Rosegg) and worked through it and practiced it religiously. I found it very helpful. The key was having a husband who was as prepared as I was. My husband could not have been more supportive, and not just emotionally, but in real ways that helped me get through the physical part of labor. We had our first unmedicated birth in a hospital, and the second at LRBWC in Knoxville. The second was better in that the whole team was prepared and supportive.

Elizabeth said...

We took a Bradley course, which I really liked. I probably would have done okay with just reading, but it helped my husband to have to go and think about these things for a couple of hours every week. He says he liked the class because it helped him see how he could be an active participant in the birth.

We didn't end up with a natural childbirth. After about 24 hours of back labor that kept me from sleeping (and in inability to keep any food down), I transferred from the birth center to the hospital for an epidural so I could get some rest. Ten hours later, I had a c-section. Turned out that in addition to being posterior, my baby hadn't tipped her head down so she was in a bad position, in addition to being big (14 inch head, 9 pounds 11 ounces). It wasn't the birth I had hoped for, obviously, and that took some time for me to accept.

Ms. Booty Homemaker said...

I would have liked to take a Bradley course, but it was a poor fit for us given my Mister's make-up. As it was, he only read the Birth Partner book in the last week or two, decided he needed a doula in the last week, and slept during a lot of the labor.

Our class was done by a now friend through our midwives' office, and it was okay, but nothing really prepared us for the birthing experience we had, which was lengthy and eventually a section.

If my partner ever agrees to a second child (not very likely), I'll prepare however possible for a VBAC.

Anonymous said...

We did Bradley the first time and Hypnobabies the second. Hypnobabies was *wonderful*! I honestly had no pain until pushing, which was *not* the case the first time around. I did the home study. The creator was a Bradley teacher, and it's a full-blowm childbirth course in addition to the hypnosis. I'd definitely recommend it. (Oh, and in terms of the hypnosis practice, the vast majority of the time I listened to a CD at bedtime and fell asleep just a couple minutes into it. A lot of moms do it that way, and it still works. Really easy to fit into your schedule!)

Lisa

Denette said...

I took Lamaze with Cindy Stair in Knoxville and I really liked it. Hubby liked it too for the most part. She is very much for getting partners involved and gives you the confidence to do a natural childbirth and breastfeed. We wanted an all natural childbirth at LR but they and the people they use for ultrasounds thought my child was huge and rushed us into induction. You know the story, induction is a slippery slope and we ended up with section. Cindy is great and I recomend her class 100%!

CJ said...

I've never taken a childbirth class despite having four children, but I highly recommend the Birthing from Within book. I found the Bradley pain management strategies to be less flexible. Maybe I would have gotten a different message if I hadn't dropped out of the class (horrible teacher), but the book left me thinking that if I was doing it right, it wouldn't hurt. BFW presents so many strategies for staying on top of the pain -- sometimes it's going to hurt, she says, and you can do it anyway.

Do you have Ina May's Guide? I used her "horse lips" technique a lot during my youngest son's birth. My husband and I were thinking I was about 4cm dilated when the midwife arrived, but I was actually almost 9cm. I said, "No wonder I've been crabby!"

Leslie said...

#1 - Lamaze; c-section for breech presentation.

#2 - Lamaze; 27-hour unmedicated labor ending in emergency section for surprise breech.

#3 - no class, only 12 months later; 30 hour-nightmarish labor as an attempted homebirth ended in transport and a section for FTP and (supposedly) CPD. I think it was a malpresentation, myself.

#4 - Bradley; labor augmented due to preeclampsia and I was confined to bed on my left side so I ended up with an epidural after 6 hours of labor. 17 hours total, ending with VBAC of 13 lb. 5 oz. baby.

#5 - no class (my husband is tired of tnem!); about 17 hours of labor, augmented with pitocin, with a failed epidural and then one shot of stadol a couple of hours before the birth, which was another VBAC.

Lamaze classes would be lame for anyone with experince having a baby or informed regarding natural childbirth. I loved the Bradley classses and would encourage you to make time for them somehow. Ultimately, though, I think reading has done more for me: Painless Childbirth, Childbirth without fear, Thank You Dr. Lamaze, Experience of Childbirth, Open Season, Compleat Mother birth stories . . .

Leslie

Anonymous said...

As someone above said, there is a Bradley book. When in the class you go through a workbook. You could probably get that as well. We did the Bradley class, we pretty much worked through the workbook during the class.

So you could really do a home study.

katie allison granju said...

Leslie- your baby weighed THIRTEEN POUNDS???!!! Did I read that right?

DAMN WOMAN! You are amazing!

Anonymous said...

We took Bradley classes for #1 and then just a refresher course for #2 and #3. All were beautiful unmedicated births...not even an Advil after. The classes were wonderful for couples who seek education and understanding of the birthing process. We actually crammed in the 12 course into 8 weeks. Our instructor was very helpful in making it happen for us. If you cannot make the time for the classes...get the two books and the workbook (available on Amazon) and work through them with Jon. It is well worth it and you'll be glad that you made the time.

Alecia said...

We took the "extended" class offered by the hospital, which included breastfeeding education. It was actually better than I expected, I suspect thanks to the specific educator who taught the class. She was fairly "crunchy" and taught a lot of non-medication-based methods for dealing w/pain. Unfortunately, there was some disconnect between what she taught and what was actually offered (or allowed) at the hospital in question.

My 1st birth was 49 hours from the start of contractions to birth - I think the hospital-based midwives we used count fewer hours because I wasn't in "active labor" for the first 24 hours. I regret the narcotics I was talked into at the beginning (they made me vomit and didn't really help anything) but was eternally grateful for the epidural by the time I got it.

Son #1 was posterior for the entire labor and was finally born vaginally with his hand up by his face (hand and head came out together), although he finally turned just before bith out of the posterior position. Although no forceps or vacuum was used, he had a fairly large bruise from on his head from pressing into my pelvis/cervix at a posterior angle for so long.

For Son #2 (born 19 months later) we didn't take a class, but I read a lot of the books mentioned above. He was also posterior for most of the labor. I opted for an epidural after trying a lot of other things (birth ball, tub, etc.). I think the water might have helped a lot but the hospital's hot water was out in our room (maybe the whole floor?) so I had the choice of an ice-cold bath or nothing. Talk about disappointing - this is in a major city, but not one of the most state-of-the-art facilities. Still, it's affiliated with the local University and it is a teaching/research hospital, so I don't think hot water was too much to ask for...

Although I tend to be a planner, for both of the births I focused on being really open to doing whatever I needed along with whatever was best for the baby. I think it helped me adjust when things didn't go entirely smoothly and although the births were more medicalized than my ideal, I still look back on them with a lot of joy.

Arlene said...

HypnoBabies... home study (which I'm trying to sell used) and Bradley with the other babies. (9lbs home birth, 8lbs 4oz home birth, 9lbs 16oz Birth Center)

I read the Hypnobirthing (Marie Mongan) book first which really made me understand what uterus muscles do what during birth. The top muscles tense up to push out.
Relax the bottom muscles to allow the baby out.

If you feel scared, threatend nervous or anything but relaxed mentally your subconcious mind tends to put your body in "danger mode" and tenses the bottom half of your uterus thus causing pain.

However, this "allows" us not to deliver until we can find a "safe place". Kind of like animals do in nature.

Thats the whole concept behind hypnobirthing, it makes sense and I highly recomend it.

I used the concepts (not hypnosis) and it REALLY helped me through. I just had to remember to breath, relax, and to remind myself that I was safe. I mentally stood aside and let my body take over.

Leslie said...

Yes, Katie, no typo--William weighed 13-5 and was 24 inches long--not bad for a first vaginal birth! He made the evening news on all three local stations, and the networks picked it up and he ended up being seen all over the country! St. Mary's gave me a discount for the publicity.