|I am already taking antenatal classes. Do I really need to
go to childbirth classes as well?
Antenatal classes are a great support for many women. It’s
a way to get your questions answered in a relaxed environment,
watch other women and how they cope with their pregnancies,
and see how the situation is completely unique for each
pregnant woman. If it suits you, you can start going to
these classes from early on in your pregnancy.
However childbirth classes are usually aimed at couples
and are held during the last months of your pregnancy. The
aim is to educate and empower you both as to the process
of the actual birth. Again you can discuss all your questions
and fears in a supportive environment. As a couple you can
get to see how different people cope with the situation,
and it can be very helpful to hear other people voicing
the exact fears and thoughts that you have had. It is important
to approach the birth with education behind you, so that
as the situation progresses you have insight into what is
happening and can cope with the changes as they develop.
This greatly lessons the fear that labour and birth can
create, and enables you to make informed decisions if necessary
and to understand the decisions that your doctor makes along
Having said this, there are couples who really do not enjoy
childbirth classes. It may be almost impossible for some
people to relax in a room full of virtual strangers, all
talking about incredibly intimate situations. If you feel
this way then you need to educate yourself in some other
way. Make sure you read up and have a person that you can
trust who can answer your questions. Consider asking the
childbirth class teacher if she does one-on-one sessions,
or if she knows a way you can get access to this kind of
support. Find a solution that feels comfortable for you.
This is your birth experience and you need to do everything
you can to make it one that suits your needs.