There’s nothing quite like good childbirth prep courses to get you believing in yourself and your body as well as your baby. I don't mean those courses that mention only the stages of labor, pain relief, how to act like a “good” patient by following protocol.
When I talk about good childbirth education I’m referring to those courses that will educate you about your body, hormones, baby’s position, connecting to yourself, letting go and surrendering and opening to birth, the spirituality of birth, and the rite of passage that it is.
When I was pregnant
When I was pregnant, I swallowed so much information about birth, practically anything I could get my hands on. I read books and listened to podcasts to the point that I became so knowledgeable I was able to make a decision that was right for me and know how to advocate for myself.
I hired a doula, decided that I wanted to have a home birth and did everything I could and needed in order to receive midwifery care at my home birth instead of OBGYN care at the hospital (in the Netherlands where I gave birth midwives provide the first line of care unless there is a medical condition, which in my case was Crohn’s Disease but was very mild and under control).
Being informed can help you have the birth you want
Being informed about birth, the physiology, but also the protocols of your country and place of birth (e.g. hospital) are important to having the birth you want. You may not have even stopped to think that you can give birth without epidural.
As one mother who described her birth as quite traumatic recently told me, she just put epidural into her birth plan because this was all she knew. This was the most common thing she had heard of and she didn’t stop for a moment to question it. The only birth preparation she received was from the hospital which in my opinion is biased by default.
My recommended childbirth preparation courses
Now that we’ve covered the importance of good childbirth education and what that includes, let’s talk about some of the options that may have.
- Hypnobirthing - This is the brand name for what is essentially a deep relaxation technique that involved slow breathing combined with surrendering and letting go to welcome the sensations. There are many hypnobirthing training schools around the world and you can very easily find a hypnobirthing instructor in your area or online. This is also the course that I took in my pregnancy so I can recommend it first hand.
- Evidence Based Birth Childbirth Class - These classes are now available from wherever you are in the world. What I love about this one is that it’s based on real research and evidence that’s been put together in such a comprehensive way. You’ll hear the facts and will be able to make your own decision based on nothing but pure knowledge. As a postpartum doula, I also really love that there’s a module on breastfeeding and newborn care to acknowledge that the birth is only the beginning of your life long journey as a parent.
- Spinning Babies - Spinning Babies takes a different look at childbirth preparation. The focus here is on the baby’s position in the woman’s body before he/she is born. “The mother’s job is to dilate and the baby’s job is to rotate. Let’s help the baby rotate” is a sentence you’ll hear from Gail Tully, the found of Spinning Babies. By moving the body in certain ways that are clearly shown and explained on the Spinning Babies website, you can help your baby get into the most convenient and optimal position for birth that will help the baby rotate and be born with greater ease. You can find a parent educator here and filter according to your country to find an educator near you.
- Birth Prep Series by Adriana Lozada, host of The Birthful Podcast - Adriana is a wealth of knowledge and she leads great discussions over on her podcast which was one of my personal favorites while I was pregnant and for my professional development. The website page has a detailed explanation of the week by week topics of the course which actually starts on January 11th, so go on over there and take a look. What I love about this course is the emphasis Adriana puts on the importance of physiology and belief in your body and baby.
These are my personal favorite childbirth education courses which I feel are an essential and key part to preparing for birth beyond your conventional classes provided by the hospital. If you have any thoughts or questions coming up from reading this blog post, I’d love to hear them over on my Instagram page.