Learn about Childbirth Preparation Classes

20 December, 2019
A childbirth preparation course will help you feel more confident during the birth of your child. You won't just learn about the physical phases you'll go through, but also what your emotional reactions might be.

Are you in the final stage of your pregnancy and also a little anxious and afraid? If so, childbirth preparation sessions may be what you need.

Keep in mind that such feelings are common among pregnant women. For this reason, many professionals recommend that you attend classes throughout the last months of your gestational period. There, you’ll be able to talk to a midwife, doula, or someone who can answer any questions you may have. Likewise, you’ll get to spend time with other pregnant women.

In today’s article, we’ll tell you what childbirth preparation classes are about. Also, we’ll tell you what they’re for and when and where to take them.

What’s a childbirth preparation class?

A woman looking at her pregnant belly.
Childbirth preparation classes will help you physically and emotionally when you give birth.

As the name implies, the purpose of this class is to prepare to give birth. However, the classes go much further. A birth preparation course is a meeting point where pregnant women can get an answer to their questions, compare experiences and get and give all sorts of advice.

Of course, they’ll hear about childbirth but also about:

  • Breastfeeding methods
  • Postpartum depression
  • How to care for a newborn
  • Sex after pregnancy
  • How an older sibling may react

When to Go to Childbirth Preparation Classes

Pregnant women begin attending childbirth preparation classes around the 30th week of gestation. As a general rule, the classes take place once a week and last between 1 1/2 and 2 hours. Of course, this depends on the city where you live. Ask your doctor for information on local classes and also about the best time to start taking them. If there’s a risk for early delivery (for example, in the case of twins), the obstetrician will advise you to begin your preparation course earlier.

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What’s the course about?

A woman and her newborn.
Childbirth preparation courses can help you control your pain through breathing exercises.

Basically, the course divides into three sections: an informative, a practical and an interactive section. Every class touches on the three sections. This way, you won’t just attend one or the other but instead, you’ll learn something and will also interact with other mothers. All this while practicing for your childbirth.

Here’s every section step by step:

1. Information section

Usually, each class starts with an informative part where the midwife or other professional is in charge of presenting some topic of interest for future mothers such as:

  • The development of a baby from conception to delivery.
  • Health checks for the baby and when you need to go to the emergency room.
  • The immunization schedule.
  • How to change a diaper and bathe the baby.
  • The proper way to take the baby’s temperature and determine if they have a fever.
  • A birth plan.
  • The various phases of labor and the difference between Braxton Hicks contractions and labor contractions.
  • How to breastfeed and what to expect.
  • The existence and symptoms of postpartum depression.
  • What to expect from your spouse.
  • The symbiotic relationship between mom and baby.
  • Recommended contraceptive methods during breastfeeding.

2. Practical section

A woman showing off her pregnant belly at a childbirth preparation class.
Spend some time with other pregnant women and take the opportunity to clear your doubts with a professional.

In this section, the midwife will teach you the proper breathing techniques to do during the various phases of your delivery. You should know that breathing varies during the contractions and the expulsion. This is either to lessen the pain or to help push out the baby.

Also, the instructor will teach you about Kegel exercises, a series of muscle relaxations and contractions that help you work the pelvic floor. This, to prevent or minimize urine leaks after delivery.

Last but not least, they’ll also teach you exercises and stretching to move your body a little and relieve any discomfort you may have in your back.

Don’t miss: What Is Labor Induction and How Is it Done?

3. Interactive section

The childbirth preparation course is a great way to be in contact with people who are going through the same as you are. In fact, part of what’s most enriching about it is you can express your doubts and concerns and get advice from experienced people. The final section, the interactive section, is all about this.

Conclusion

Note that we’ve been referring to mothers throughout this article, but, of course, the role of their spouse is very important. They should also attend childbirth preparation classes, if possible.

Childbirth preparation classes are a great way to get the mother more in touch with the meaning of childbirth and motherhood. You’ll be more confident if you know what to expect. The instruction is with you every step of the way. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions you may have!

  • MedlinePlus. Los ejercicios de Kegel. https://medlineplus.gov/spanish/ency/patientinstructions/000141.htm
  • MedlinePlus. La depresión post-partum. https://medlineplus.gov/spanish/postpartumdepression.html
  • Salut, G. de catalalunya. D. de. (2009). Educación maternal: preparación para el nacimiento. Generalitat de catalalunya.Departament de Salut. https://doi.org/978-84-393-8211-9
  • Valldaura, I. (2006). Preparación para el parto. Farmacia Profesional.
  • Salut, G. de catalalunya. D. de. (2009). Educación maternal: preparación para el nacimiento. Generalitat de catalalunya.Departament de Salut. https://doi.org/978-84-393-8211-9