What is the point of a prenatal ed class?
Prenatal education classes (also called childbirth education classes or antenatal classes) are a great idea for just about everyone because they give you a chance to learn about the process of giving birth and to ask questions of your teachers as well as your peers.
For someone who will be giving birth for the first time, there can be a lot of mystery surrounding what your body and your baby will be doing. For this group of people, a prenatal education class can help debunk myths, clear away fears, and make the prospect of giving birth much more positive and exciting!
For someone who has already given birth, taking a prenatal education class is a wonderful refresher as well as a chance to create a new and different birth experience.
For birth partners, the prenatal education class is a chance to get on the same page as their partner, to learn important tools and techniques to support someone in labour, and to create realistic expectations about what birth can be like.
In a good prenatal education class, there is truly something for everyone.
How do you choose which class is the right fit for you?
In most cities, big or small, there are at least a few options for prenatal education classes. The local hospital or public health unit will often offer a class (or series of classes) and there will also be classes offered by childbirth educators and/or doulas. So, when you have multiple options, how do you choose the right class for you? Other than practical matters like budget and schedule, there are some important things you may want to factor into your choice!
5 tips for choosing the best prenatal ed class for you!
What kind of prenatal education class you choose to take will depend in large part on how you hope to give birth. For you and your birth partner to be able to actively work towards your ideal birth you will need answers to questions, a solid understanding of your options, a realistic understanding of the birth process, and some new skills. Here are some tips to help you choose the class that is right for you!
Tip #1: Find out who is teaching the class.
The teacher has a huge impact on the perspective offered in your class. What kind of certifications or education do the teachers of your class have? What makes them qualified to teach prenatal education classes? Were they trained according to a specific school of thought - for example, the Lamaze method or Hypnobirthing. The training and education your teachers have will definitely affect the information presented in class!
For example, a class led by a doula trained and certified as a childbirth educator will be likely to offer information on a variety of options based on the health care providers and facilities available in the community and the goals of the students in the class! A doula brings her education, training, and experience supporting births with her to the classroom which gives a well rounded perspective on birth and the choices you can make when your big day comes.
Tip #2: Ask for an outline of what is covered in class.
Before investing in a prenatal education class, you might want to know what is going to be covered! If you have specific hopes or goals for your birth you will want to make sure that the class is going to cover the topics most important to you. For a look at what a Hello, Baby! prenatal education class offers click HERE!
TIP #3: find out how many people will be in class with you.
Learning in a group setting is a great way to take a prenatal education class but how many people will be learning with you? You may want to take this into consideration when choosing your class! If you are someone who likes to interact with the teacher, ask questions, and get answers specific to your own situation, a class with a smaller number of participants will be better for you. Hello, Baby! keeps our classes to about 10 people (5 pregnant folks and their birth partners) to make sure we have time to learn about your birth goals and answer questions as they come up.
Tip #4: Choose a class held in a safe and comfortable space.
If you are going to attend a class towards the end of your pregnancy (an ideal time is somewhere around 30 weeks or so) you are going to want to make sure that space is comfortable! What kind of seating options do they have? Where are the washrooms? Will you have a chance to get up and move as you need? Hello, Baby!'s classes are held in our beautiful downtown hub - a bright, comfortable space with couches, chairs, birth balls and yoga mats for your learning pleasure. We like to make sure everyone feels at ease in our space and able to do whatever their bodies tell them to!
Tip #5 : Find a class that speaks to both you and a birth partner!
As a pregnant person, chances are you have done a little reading, chatting, and googling about pregnancy and birth. There is a lot to learn about birth, especially if you have specific hopes and goals for your labour! Your birth partner - whoever that is - may not have the same legwork done so a class that is going to include them in the learning process is super important! Does the teacher consider you birth partner's emotional experience? Does the class teach them how to physically comfort you while you labour? Is your birth partner going to leave the class with a realistic understanding about what birth can be and how vital their role as a support person is?! Hello, Baby!'s prenatal education classes makes sure to include birth partners in the learning and skill building process because we know how important their presence, words, and touch can be during birth.
Birth + Baby Prep School
Hello, Baby!'s Birth + Baby Prep School is one of the best options in Peterborough for prenatal education! Every class is taught by two trained and experience doulas, full of evidence based information about birth and baby care, and helps you work through all aspects of labour, birth, and those first few weeks with your baby. The class has been created for you to take with a birth partner - we have had dads, wives, mothers, sisters, and friends step into that role! The weekend is a great mix of talk, activities, skill building, videos, and getting to know all about one another and, of course, all about birth! Our classes fill up quickly so register early and get excited about a positive and empowered birth experience.