Here’s the deal though: how you learn is more important than what you learn. When you’re awake with a newborn at 2AM, you’re not likely going to remember all the content you learned but if learned properly you’ll be able to apply some key coping skills you learned & lean on some key resources. As an educator by trade & a dual certified childbirth educator, I have learned common sense does not actually translate into a good sense about birth – particularly in the times we live in today. You can learn more about the classes I teach & why I teach them with this in mind at www.birthsense.us. As you weigh our your options, here are some things to look out for:
- The class description clearly list skills you will learn, and not just information you’ll be learning i.e. inclusion of movement, mindfulness, conscious parenting, relationship skills
- The class is taught by someone qualified (look for their qualifications), who clearly has an education background
- The word curriculum can be found somewhere on the website
- There will be opportunities to learn through experience in the class through active learning activities and not just passive learning like lecture and dialogue
- There are no promises about the type of birth you will have i.e. orgasmic, pain-free, better, smarter
- A combination of different frameworks i.e. not just a Lamaze class
Considering your hospital or birth center’s class? Sometimes these classes are required or “highly recommended,” and the research about the effectiveness about childbirth education suggests that these classes are the most effective in habituating you to the environment of the hospital or birth center but not as effective in preparing you for the actual experience of birth. Consider taking both a private class and a hospital class if those are options for you for a fuller preparation experience!
And remember, a popular or nearby class doesn’t necessarily make for the best choice for you. A good childbirth education class is an important part of your childbirth preparation experience (and no, you won’t find all the info you need on google or through your friends/family who have kids – as much as info as they may share with you!). Do your due diligence, and trust your gut in seeking out a class that feels right for you!