Most expectant mothers eagerly await their baby’s birth but dread labour and delivery. Why? Fear of pain is a big reason. Birthing classes can help you work through these fears in a positive way.
Learn how to handle pain
There will be pain at some level with labour. But if you understand why – and how normal it is – you may be able to manage it better. Certain techniques you may learn in antenatal classes, such as massage or the use of a TENS machine, may help you manage the pain during contractions. There are many pain relief options and you should discuss them all with your healthcare professional. It’s a good idea to have a rough birthing plan so that when you go into labour you can concentrate on the job at hand.
Find a class early
Your hospital will likely have antenatal classes you can sign up to. Otherwise, your healthcare professional may be able to advise where your closest one is. Book in early to make sure you get a place – don’t leave it until the end of your third trimester of pregnancy.
Build your confidence
One of the aims of prepared childbirth is to teach you that you can give birth successfully even though you’ve never done it before. If you are feeling a little hesitant , breathing and relaxation techniques you may learn at your antenatal class can help you break the cycle of fear, tension and pain.
Involve your birth partner
Your birth partner can be anyone that will give you the right support when you’re in labour – this could be your partner, mum, best friend or a birthing professional such as a doula or midwife. Your birth partner can play an important role in providing you with physical and emotional support. Including them in doctor’s appointments and birthing classes will mean they too are more prepared when the time comes.
What kind of class should you do?
Any of the following classes may help you get up to speed with childbirth and parenting:
- birth and labour classes
- prenatal care
- parenting skills
Check with your hospital, they often run these classes you can attend.