|Me at Lamaze class on the ball!!!|
I have been really surprised to learn that a lot of women in my area didn't or weren't planning on taking a Lamaze class. This is partly because of the challenge of finding one in our locale...which I admit is a challenge. I was really lucky to find a great one locally (in Bethany Beach) which you can check out by CLICKING HERE.
But beyond the challenges of finding a class near you, I also wonder if there is a modern feeling that with everything available (drugs, hospitals, doctors, etc.) if women feel that the birthing process is essentially out of their hands. I mean this in a nice way. I think some women may just rely on the doctors to tell them what is coming, what to expect and so they don't feel they need the classes.
The problem with that in my estimation is that it leaves a lot to the imagination. There really isn't anything mysterious about birth. Sure, every woman's birthing experience will be different in terms of delivery style (epidural, no epidural, c-section, vaginal, etc.) but the science behind it all remains unchanged. And there are very real ways that you can prepare for birth no matter what happens on the day of your delivery.
The other thing about the birthing classes is your partner. For me, I have been reading books,(I LOVED Birthing From Within) reading blogs, and preparing in various ways. But what about my husband? His notions of what to expect when I go into labor up until our Lamaze class consisted mostly of what he's seen in the media, which really isn't a realistic depiction of birthing at all. As my support partner in this birth, without knowing what the real birth process entails, how could he be as effective?
That was one of the largest benefits of the class, for me and my husband. After the class, I knew how I wanted him to support me and so did he. I couldn't have told you beforehand. Also, we have a lot less fear going into the process because we're more aware of what to expect through the stages of labor. It made us a solid team.
Also? It got me much more excited about the actual day that my daughter will be born. I admit that before the class, I was sort of trying to push it from my mind a bit because, honestly, I wasn't sure how I would handle the pain, or how I would cope. After the class, I had a much better idea and my confidence is much higher. Having more confidence really allowed me, for the first time, to focus not on the actual labor, but on meeting our daughter!
I learned a ton of breathing techniques, great pain management techniques, and lots of other great partnering tips and tricks that will see us through the birth. We also discussed EVERYTHING from natural labor to c-sections--so we are ready for whatever comes our way the day of the birth. Anyone who is on the fence of whether or not to take a Lamaze class (in any of its forms, hypnobirthing, or Bradley Method, etc.) I have to say, JUST DO IT! Yes, at first it might be feel a little awkward, I admit but by the end, you will be so glad you did it (and so will your partner!)