What to Look for in a Childbirth Class

When you picture your birth going perfectly, what do you see?

Can you picture yourself easefully breathing through contractions, feeling safe and supported by your team, and even enjoying the power moving through you as you move through the stages until baby is in your arms?

Creating a vision for your ideal labor experience is like an athlete seeing themselves cross the finish line. It can help you let go of worry and fear, so you’ll be more likely to relax into your power.

Still, envisioning your ideal birth is not necessarily going to make it happen. As my birth teacher used to say, “We get the birth we get. If pregnancy doesn’t teach you you’re not in charge, labor will. And if labor doesn’t, your children will.”

So what can you do to get the birth you want?

Rather than going for a particular outcome, setting your sights on creating an “Empowering Birth” experience can pay off every time you think of your birth, for the rest of your life.

An Empowering Birth means:

1. Everyone was healthy

2. You felt supported and nurtured by your birth team

3. You prepared enough to fully participate in all decisions

Your birth can look very different from the one you were imagining, and still be incredibly empowering.

The feeling of empowerment can start when you’re pregnant, because you can actually take action steps that will help make it happen.

And for the rest of your life, every time you’ll think of it you’ll feel a rush good feelings: gratitude, pride, love, connection, and a sense of your own infinite possibility.

How to help make an Empowering Birth happen for yourself?

To lay the foundations for number one in our list above, do what you can to stay healthy throughout your pregnancy:

· Try to eat as clean and close to the source as possible. Lots of vegetables and fruits.

· Walk or do prenatal yoga every day to support the optimal flow of energy and to keep your muscles and core strong.

· Instead of relying on one doctor, gather a healthcare team with different perspectives on how to stay healthy. A Chinese medical practitioner, an Ayurvedic doctor, and a naturopath all provide wonderful lifestyle practices to help you remain vibrant throughout your pregnancy.

The second two elements in our Empowering Birth list are all about receiving guidance, support, and inspiration from birth experts.

Taking a comprehensive, evidence-based childbirth class will give you the information you’ll need to make choices you’ll feel good about. It will help you know what support you want, and put it in place. And it will inspire you to do what you can to create an Empowering Birth for yourself.

What to look for when considering a childbirth class?

You’ll remember your birth forever, so it’s worth investing in. Make sure it has these components:

· Objectivity – Some in-person and online birth class teach ways to avoid intervention. Underneath their lessons is the idea that birth is better without drugs. But what if you have your own reasons for wanting to get an epidural in the parking lot? Or, for reasons beyond your control, an intervention is optimal to keep things moving forward? These classes might leave you feeling unprepared to make these choices and worse, like you failed somehow.

Other childbirth classes have a slant toward intervention. Their assumption is “of course you should use an epidural, why be in pain?” But what if by the time you get there it’s too close to pushing time? What if – as sometimes happens, but rarely – the epidural doesn’t fully take?

And what if, like me, you are pleasantly surprised that you are able to breathe through the contractions, and you’d rather be able to move around? You might not have learned the skills you’ll want to be able to get through it all with as little pain as possible.

· Coping techniques – How do you deal with pain when it comes up? What are the actions you can take to relax into each contraction? How to use breath, posture, focal items, music, smell, touch, visualizations and other tools to keep things moving and flowing?

· Birth Plan – It’s YOUR birth and a good birth class will help you make choices that are right for you and your family. But how do you know?

The process of creating a birth plan involves both “education and meditation”: you’ll learn about a subject, and then turn inward to sense what’s right for you. Often we don’t even realize the choices we have along the way until they’re made for us. By considering each choice you’ll have, the pro’s and con’s, and taking it through with your partner and birth team, you can make choices you’ll feel good about forever.

· Birth Intention – If Birth Plans are about how you’d like things to go on the outside, your Birth Intention is how you’d like things to feel on the inside. Setting your intention is a powerful way to stay connected to your inner resources. With a good teacher, you’ll not only come out with a Birth Plan, but you’ll be clear on how you want to be through it all, no matter what – calm, steady, full of love. Meditations will help you connect to the inner experience you want.

· Postpartum Preparation – So often we see birth as the mountain and forget that beyond that is another even bigger one we can’t see. Being ready for breastfeeding, knowing the issues to look for and where to find support if we need it is essential. Principles and practices for full recovery are so important to have going in to your healing process. And knowing who will be there helping you out – both with household tasks as well as getting your body aligned and strong again – will be life-changing.

Whether your birth ends up looking like your ideal vision, or if it goes in unexpected ways, a good online childbirth class will help you lay the foundation for an Empowering Birth.

You can take a self-paced, online Birth Class or a live online birth class with us and get all of the elements you’ll need for an Empowering Birth – in the comfort of your living room.

Learn more about the 3 Pillars of Birth Preparation here.

Original Source: https://bit.ly/2EqO2xy

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