Wiser Pregnancy: birthing classes

You probably remember our experience with our hospital birthing class… if not, check here: Hospital birthing class #2. In general, it was pointless. Maybe we did too much reading on our own, but we really didn’t learn anything… and relaxation/breathing techniques that WOULD have been helpful? We didn’t do them.

Anyway… I was recently emailed a post from Wiser Pregnancy called Birthing Class Doesn’t Impact Epidural Use and thought I’d share it with you seeing as how I got a great response on the issue of birthing classes.

Wiser Pregnancy took a poll (I think more for the purpose of epidural use, but I’m more interested in the impact of birthing class for the purpose of this post). They found:

53% who have gone to childbirth education classes have said that the class didn’t help or only somewhat helped them prepare for labor and delivery.

Now that number isn’t too bad… half of people find them helpful and that’s good because that is what they’re for! It is still sad, looking at it from the other side, that half find them pointless. (I should mention here that we loved the “newborn care” class and actually learned a lot from that one).

To show you the rest of their poll:

  • 46% have attended or plan to attend a childbirth education class.
  • 65% have had an epidural during delivery.

Wiser Pregnancy concluded that women make up their minds on epidural use, regardless of the birthing class. Another possibility, they suggest, is that the class doesn’t impact their decision as much as the birthing circumstances–meaning, the events that occur during labor take over, regardless of previously made decisions (the pain is too much & even though I planned on doing this naturally, I now want an epidural… or… labor is progressing quickly and even though I wanted an epidural, I’m not getting one now).

Anyway, check out this Wiser Pregnancy post and let them know what you thought of your birthing class or epidural use… the site seems to have some good information and also goes through pregnancy week by week.

5 comments to Wiser Pregnancy: birthing classes

  • I thought my childbirth classes were extremely helpful but I ended up having an epidural. In my case it was more birth circumstances than lack of preparation. Once it seemed like I was on the road to c-section anyway because he wasn’t descending and they started Pitocin, I decided to get the epi. I was having horrible back labor at that point too. That said, I took classes from an Independent Childbirth Educator (not hospital based) and used a lot of the techniques from there to make it to 9cm. I also did the HypnoBabies home study class and found it extremely helpful. If I had not been convinced that I was gonna have a c-section anyway, I would have stuck it out because it was bearable.


  • We attended a four week birthing class at our birthing center. It was extremely informative and helpful because she walked us through pain management techniques and used some of the equipment. It depends on where you take the classes I guess. I felt fully prepared after our birthing classes.


  • I just did a seminar on my way to becoming a childbirth educator and with everything that you have to cover in a childbirth education class, you don’t have a lot of time for actual techniques. The background is very important to know, but I think for techniques to help you during labor you need to have practiced them. Here are some technique based homestudies that you can do that if you practice will work for you.

    Hypnobabies It really worked for me. You have to practice and then you have to use it during labor, but reading the birth stories, most people (but not all) have very manageable births without drugs. Some have totally pain-free births without drugs.

    Another home study program that a friend did that was really helpful for her was The Pink Kit


    I think you can get an electronic version of that one. It helps you understand your personal anatomy and how to use positioning for both pain relief and helping baby work through your anatomy.

    This is a downloadable program using hypnosis as well: http://www.birthdownload.com/


    Baby Dickey Reply:

    Those are great links, thank you for sharing! I’m looking into hypnobabies right now.. I’ve heard lots of great things about it!


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