What Do You Learn in Birthing Class?


Mike and I recently attended a birthing class offered through our hospital across the span of two Saturdays, from 9 to 4 pm on both of the days. My first thought was… 9 to 4?? TWICE?! How much could they possibly have to tell you that requires 14 friggin’ hours??

Nonetheless, I knew I had some questions about labor and delivery that I needed some answers to as Dr. Google had not turned up anything specific enough for me. Also, although the class was probably similar to many other birth classes offered elsewhere, iIfigured that since it was being offered through the hospital where I will be delivering that they would be better able to shed some light on a few more specific questions I had. I also knew that this experience would be an education in and of itself for my hubby, since he knew very little about what to expect on the big day going into it. So, with the required two pillows and a blanket, off to childbirth class we went!

Surprisingly, they taught us A LOT of information. It was so much that we even received a nifty little “textbook” to take home as a reference! Fortunately, it did not feel like 16 hours worth of listening, but perhaps that was because I’m a first-time mom who was intensely interested in everything that was being discussed, since ALL OF IT is new to me!

I could also tell my husband definitely learned more than he bargained for (after all, he endured three different birth videos, bahaha!). I’m glad he went to the class with me because now I truly feel like he is adequately prepared to support me through the labor and delivery of our little girl. If nothing else, he knows what my wishes are for our (very loose) birth plan, and I would feel confident in him speaking for me should I find myself in a situation where I cannot speak for myself. Not to mention, he got to practice different massage techniques to help me through my contractions… lucky me! 😉

If you’re going to be attending a birthing class anytime soon and have been wondering what it’s all about, here is a brief list of all the topics that were covered during our class:

Day One:
– Anatomy of pregnancy (especially third trimester changes)
– Nutrition during pregnancy
– Preterm labor warning signs
– Physical aspect of how a baby is delivered vaginally
– Pertinent labor vocabulary (dilation, effacement, station)
– The stages of labor (early, active, transition, pushing, birth, delivery of placenta)
– When to call and/or go to the hospital
– After-birth recovery (for the mother, and skin-to-skin time with baby)
– Breastfeeding (this was brief, as most of the information was already covered in a separate class)
– Birth videos
– Breathing, relaxation, hydrotherapy & massage techniques for reducing labor pain
– Labor positions (including dealing with back labor)
– Importance of movement for getting baby into the correct birthing position
– Logistics & what to expect for labor/delivery in our specific hospital
– Things to pack in your hospital bag (apparently chapstick is a must)

Day Two:
– Creating a birth plan
– Natural ways to induce labor (walking, birthing ball, sex, etc.)
– Medically-assisted labor augmentation/induction techniques (mechanical dilation, sweeping membranes, cervical ripening agents, pitocin, breaking your water)
– Fetal monitoring techniques (internal & external)
– Pain relief options (analgesics vs. epidural – how they do it, pros and cons of each for mom & baby)
– More practice with massage techniques (for during labor contractions)
– Guided visualization for general relaxation
– Safe labor positions with an epidural (and practice)
– Second-stage interventions (episiotomy, forceps, vacuum)
– C-section overview (reasons for planned vs. unplanned vs. emergency )
– Surgical procedure for a C-section (animation)
– Recovery from a C-section (in hospital and once home)
– Dealing with physical postpartum recovery (lochia, soreness, baby blues)
– Postpartum depression (recognition & getting help)
– Newborn procedures & options (cord-cutting, vaccinations offered, eye ointment)

Weigh in! Did you feel that taking a birthing class was beneficial for you as a first-time mom?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *