Many couples aren’t sure what to expect from their first childbirth class. Although no class is exactly the same, here are 3 tips that are sure to help you get the most from your natural birthing classes.
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1. Attend Class with Your Birth Partner
One key to getting the most from natural birthing classes is to attend with your birth partner. If you’re taking an online natural childbirth class, this means setting aside the time to watch each class together. We all know that natural birthing classes aim to prepare mom for a positive birth experience. But couples may not realize that classes also prepare mom’s birth partner to provide meaningful support for her during labor. Partners learn a wide variety of physical and emotional support techniques. These may include touch, massage, pressure techniques, helping mom with her breathing techniques, and strategies to help mom if she’s losing her sense of confidence.
Another benefit of attending with your birth partner is that he or she will be able to hold you accountable for weekly or daily practice. Your partner can also observe your technique and give you instant feedback about your progress. Additionally, your partner will be familiar with the coping tools that you’ve been learning and will be ready to help reinforce them during labor.
Learn more about being a supporting partner, not just in labor but throughout pregnancy: How to Be a Supportive Partner During Pregnancy
2. Practice Regularly
In order to get the most out of your natural birthing class, commit to regular practice of the coping techniques you’ll learn in the class. Although childbirth is a positive, exciting experience, it can also be stressful and overwhelming at times. In a time of stress, people most often revert to familiar coping techniques. So, if you want to be able to relax like a rag doll or use a patterned breathing technique during a strong contraction, you’ve got to practice beforehand.
For example, in Kopa Birth® natural childbirth classes, couples are encouraged to practice the skill of deep relaxation for 20 minutes every day that they possibly can. This challenge to practice regularly starts on the day that you first learn the skill and only ends when baby is born. By practicing most days, mom will feel calm and confident in her ability to relax her muscles when the big day comes.
3. Have an Open Mind!
It’s fair to say that natural birthing classes can seem a bit kooky or even slightly awkward at times. Between relaxation scripts that encourage your cervix to open like a blossoming flower and practicing low moans in a group full of strangers, you might start to wonder what you’ve gotten yourself into! But stick it out and have an open mind! A high-quality childbirth class will teach a wide variety of coping tools for labor, and some of them may be a bit of a stretch for your comfort level. Although you might think, “I’d never act that way during labor!” or “There’s no way I’d be comfortable making noises like that,” you just might surprise yourself! To get the most from your natural birthing class, try to let go of your inhibitions and embrace the experience.
Remember That There are Options
If you’re really uncomfortable with the idea of experiencing or practicing these things with strangers, remember that there are many great online childbirth classes to choose from. Kopa Birth’s online classes are taught by Kopa Birth founder Katie Griffin who is relatable and humorous and acknowledges what everyone is thinking — that some of this feels awkward at first. Being able to laugh about that and then move past it and embrace the skills gives you the best chance of accumulating the skills you need to cope with the trying times your labor will bring.
Learn more about what to expect from Kopa Birth’s online birth classes and see a peek of instructor Katie in action: The Format of Online Birth Classes
Natural birthing classes are an important step in your preparation for a positive, unmedicated birth. As you attend class with your birth partner, commit to practice, and have an open mind, you are setting yourself up for an amazing class experience. Enjoy!
Kopa Birth’s online birthing classes allow you to prepare for a natural hospital birth from the comfort of your own home, 24/7. Enroll today in our free online childbirth class and start preparing for your natural birth!