A list of Pregnancy Classes available for couples, mom or dads
Pregnancy and childbirth classes instill in future parents the knowledge and confidence to manage their baby journey. Every pregnancy is unique, and sometimes things don’t go exactly as planned, classes prepare parents for any outcome and manage their expectations throughout the entire experience.
Along with learning breathing techniques, pregnancy classes give you a platform to talk to healthcare providers about your fears and concerns, ask your labor and delivery as well as antenatal questions and meet other people who share your concerns.
It’s not only about the ‘’oohs and the aahhs!’’, you see in the movies, some childbirth classes cover specific types of births, such as C-section, natural birth and multiple births. It’s not only for first-time parents, but refresher courses are also available for parents who simply want a review or more information. Other classes focus on specific methods of childbirth such as:
- The Bradley Method
- Informed Beginnings
- Birthing from Within
Childbirth pregnancy classes and their benefits
1. Learn about labor, delivery and postpartum care
Childbirth classes will teach you and your partner a thing or two about what happens to your body during pregnancy, labor, delivery and postpartum. You'll find out how to identify the signs of labor and stage of the journey as your baby makes his or her way into the world.
2. Address your fears
During childbirth classes, you'll have the chance to talk about your fears with other women who share your concerns. The instructor will dispel myths and ease your fears, classes will build your confidence in your body’s natural ability to birth.
3. Connect with your partner
Childbirth classes will teach your partner or labor coach about childbirth and how to support you during labor. It also creates a special bond between mom and dads.
4. Discuss options for handling pain
You'll practice methods for managing pain such as breathing techniques, massage, relaxation, and visualization. Most classes also cover the pros and cons of medications, such as epidurals.
5. Discuss complications and medical interventions
Most women have a birth plan but sometimes there are complications and things don’t go as planned. In such instances, it’s always good to have a plan B in place. Childbirth classes will teach you basics medical intervention procedures, routines for handling complications and all you need to know if things don’t go as plan.
6. Check out the facility
This is a good way to get to know the facility you’ll be using, find out about policies and standard procedures. You might tour the facility you’ve chosen and got a feel of the atmosphere, the doctors and equipment.
7. Brush up on newborn care
You and your partner will be taught a lot about a newborn, everything from breastfeeding to changing diapers, to choosing a pediatrician, and bathing.
Lamaze pregnancy classes and its benefits
Founded in France by Dr. Fernand Lamaze, the “Lamaze method” uses breathing and relaxation techniques to increase confidence in your ability to give birth naturally. Lamaze classes help future parents understand how to cope with pain in ways that both facilitate labor and promote comfort. It focuses on breathing and massage, Lamaze revolves around 6 fundamental principles:
1. Let labor begin on its own
2. Walk, move around and change positions throughout labor
3. Bring a loved one, friend or doula for continuous support
4. Avoid interventions that are not medically necessary
5. Avoid giving birth on your back and follow your body’s urges to push
6. Keep mother and baby together – It’s best for mother, baby, and breastfeeding
Lamaze helps you to know how to better communicate with your healthcare providers during labor, to make sure your needs are met and your desires are respected. It teaches your partner how to encourage and support during labor and informs you of complications that may arise as well as medical interventions that are necessary. Lamaze gives you the tools to be a participant rather than a spectator during childbirth.
2. Managing pain
Lamaze teaches you the appropriate body mechanics to reduce the pain and discomfort of pregnancy and childbirth. It focuses on breathing and relaxation techniques to manage pain, such as massage, hydrotherapy, meditation, walking, and position changes. Classes also discuss medical interventions like epidurals and other pharmacological options, their pros, cons, risks, benefits and everything you need to know to make an informed decision should the need arise.
3. Helps with anxiety and fear
It helps you to know what to expect during pregnancy, childbirth, and labor provides moral support and education that will ease your fears and build your confidence. The Lamaze method prepares you to handle contractions without relying on pain medication. The classes aren’t just about breathing techniques, they expand to more holistic ways of thinking, including psychological counseling.
Aqua Pregnancy classes and its benefits
Also known as Aquanatal classes, these are specifically devised exercises for pregnant women carried out in water. Aquanatal classes offer pregnant women an opportunity to exercise safely and to maximum effect from weeks 20 - 40 of pregnancy, they are usually conducted by a physiotherapist. Water gives you the freedom to move lightly and the sensation of being agile and flexible, sensations that are rare during pregnancy. Here are some of its benefits:
4. Increased Energy And Stamina
During pregnancy, exercise is extremely important, and water is a great medium for keeping fit. Water acts as a supportive medium as it reduces the risk of injury and ensures no muscle soreness. The strain gotten from water activities makes for a bigger challenge that will increase muscle tone, strengthen your core and wear you out so you can sleep better. Especially at the later stage of pregnancy when everything is much more difficult.
5. Improves All Aspects Of Health
Water gives you the opportunity to exercise without overheating and without endangering your body. It improves blood circulation, reduces leg and ankle swelling, reduces the appearance of varicose veins and improves bowel movement as well as your overall health.
6. Prepares You For Childbirth
Aquanatal exercises teach you the essentials of childbirth, breathing techniques and promotes mental well-being by providing mental and physical relaxation exercises leading to ‘’happy hormones’’ and reducing the risk of postnatal depression. It improves balance and coordination, core stability, promotes pelvic floor awareness and reduces fluid retention all of which you need to prepare for labor and delivery.
Yoga pregnancy classes and its benefits
Prenatal yoga is a great way to workout for moms-to-be, and it also provides good preparation for delivery and beyond. Medical experts at the Mayo Clinic say prenatal yoga is “a multifaceted approach to exercise that encourages stretching, mental centering and focused breathing.” These are some of the areas yoga can alleviate and improve.
7. Works on Breathing
Breathing is a very important part of delivering a baby, it helps to relax the body and take your mind from the pain and strain. Known as pranayama, the breathing part of yoga uses the abdominals and the diaphragm to breathe. These deep breath right from the belly stills the mind and shuts down everything else including pain.
8. Improves Posture
As your baby and belly grow so too does your center of gravity changes. Your upper and lower body become disproportionate, affecting your balance and causing back pain and strain. Chakravakasana gently works all four abdominals to give them strength and yoga poses to teach you how to find the right balance between your upper and lower body.
9. Strengthens the Pelvic Floor
The pelvic floor is a layer of muscles that are attached to the pelvis. This muscle supports the vital reproductive and digestive organs, as well as the baby during pregnancy and plays a vital role in sexual intercourse for both men and women.
Pregnancy and childbirth have the ability to weaken the pelvic floor and start serious health issues, but yoga exercises strengthen the pelvic floor and build their muscles. A weakened pelvic floor can cause low back or lower abdominal pain, constipation or incomplete bowel or bladder emptying, urinary or stool incontinence, sagging of the uterus, bladder, or rectum and a lot more.
Whichever route you chose to take, do yourself and your baby a favor: TAKE A CLASS! It will educate, prepare, support and motivate you through this amazing experience called childbirth. You’ll be empowered to feel in charge and participate instead of being a spectator or a victim of unfolding events. It doesn’t matter if you decide to go natural or have medical assistance, pregnancy and birth classes will provide all the information you need to navigate your pregnancy smoothly and make an informed decision with a serene mind should the need arise. Have a great delivery and enjoy your pregnancy journey!