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When I was around 22 weeks pregnant, I start thinking about a prenatal course. Did I even want to? Did I NEED to? I truly didn’t do a lot of research to help me answer these questions. I asked my doctor what he thought, he said it would be helpful and so I listened.
Do I think it was necessary? Absolutely.
Flash forward to week 30, and we had our weekend long prenatal course and…it was GREAT!! Wow, I learned a ridiculous amount of information plus there were about 10 other couples there in the exact same boat as us: clueless and afraid. It helped us feel less alone and we were able to bond with them over our fears and anxieties.
Here were the highlights of the class we took:
Our instructor was a labor & delivery nurse – and had been for 20+ years so we knew what she told us was true
She didn’t sugar coat things: she was honest about the pain and how long labor takes
She was open to discussing natural birth and medicated birth. We got all of our questions about both answered
She opened up a question and answer session and allowed everyone to ask any and all questions they had. Again, this was a 2 day class (6 hours each day) so it was long, but we needed it!
We watched multiple birthing videos – some medicated, some not and everything in between. They really helped me see what was going to happen during the birth and what to expect (for the most part). The videos clearly weren’t scripted and really showed all sides of labor and birth.
She showed us some breathing techniques which we wrote down and used during birth. Breathing properly is SO necessary, whether you’re going all natural or not.
She also showed us some moves we can do with our partner to help ease some discomfort, which was nice.
We took our class in the hospital we were going to deliver in, so the instructor gave us a tour. This was really nice because we got to see the whole floor: the nurses station, the delivery rooms, the recovery rooms, the room with the tub in it, and more. Again, just lessening the amount of unknowns really calmed me down.
We also had a chance to freely chat with the other couples which was great because we really felt comfortable enough to let out our fears and learned we aren’t the only ones with these fears!
Our instructor passed around instruments sometimes used in birthing: forceps, vacuum, a tool used to break your water, even an IV (with no needle). This lessened more unknowns for me and helped me face some fears.
So, is taking a prenatal class necessary?
If you’re a first time mom (heck, even if you’re not), I’d say 100% yes. However, I recommend finding one that is all encompassing, like the one we found. A Lamaze class may not cover everything that you want to know.
I felt more prepared and less terrified after the weekend class. I had a better idea of what to expect and I felt more in control. My problem is that I like control and knowing that birth is so out of my hands (mostly) was hard for me to accept. But seeing other women do it on the videos, asking all the questions I needed to ask, and being reassured that my fears were valid was seriously worth it completely.
Did you take a prenatal class? Did you find it worth your time? Tell me in the comments!