Top 5 Tips for Great Birth Preparation Classes By Andy Mayer
BIRTH PREPARATION :
- is not rocket science or a one size fits all
- should be enjoyable and helpful
- should give you strategies to minimise the things you don’t want
- should allow you to learn skills to maximise your birth goals
- should make you feel confident in yourself and your supports
1.It is not rocket science
Birth can be technical which is why there are obstetricians and midwives. Birth Preparation should not be full of medical terminology, but full of easy and practical skills and information to help you plan for the birth of your baby.The educator should take into account that not everyone is having a c section or has booked an epidural or wants a drug free birth. They should NOT discount that parents are learning skills elsewhere or using their own life skills to have a great birth.
2.Be Enjoyable and Helpful
I have been to birth classes that were so boring. I couldn’t wait to get away from the educator that was wasting my time by reading from a booklet and not engaging the class.The kind of class where an educator tells you how many mothers she has seen in labour or how long she has worked at the hospital and not in a proud happy way I mean in an “ OMG this is what my life has come to!” way On reflection of good classes I have attended or evaluated I must say the one where an educator gives breaks, answers questions, allows ideas and tips to be shared by the participants and utilises videos, activities, reading, practical exercises, charts and just telling stories to teach skills and provide information.
Fear about things going wrong or problems occurring in labour or birth are quiet normal for many parents. However, playing on the potential problems in healthy, educated and driven parents is not conducive to allowing them to reduce fears and maximise their own potential of a normal problem free birth.I shall use the example of women not wanting an episiotomy. An educator should be able to give tips and strategies to minimise the chance of her needing an episiotomy and there are lots of great tips.
Skills are important in everything we do,some are innate and some are learned. Birth skills must be taught these days as most of us have never seen a birth or heard anything but negative stories about birth. In my opinion breathing skills, relaxation skills and labour positions are paramount. Doing a birth goals exercise allows you to find out what you want and what you don’t want.
Can you recall watching a movie that made you feel really scared? I think Wolf Creek and I wish I had never seen it! Anyway that is digressing……….The impact of some experiences is negative. Some birth classes focus on all the scary obstetric instruments like episiotomy scissors, vacuum extractors, needles and forceps.The midwife might take delight in asking about the “worst pain” you ever felt and then tells you that in labour the pain will be 10 times worse. Some facilitators will highlight the “epic fails” of birth partners in the labour room.How does that instill confidence? Ask questions that guide you.Ask for skills to feel confident and relaxed for birth
Own your Birth Preparation and enjoy it! You may only do this once.