Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Childbirth Education

I'm sure this isn't hard to believe, but having a baby really changed a lot of things for me. Amazing, right? One of the things that changed which I never expected was that suddenly I had a strong passion to educate & empower women in their pregnancies - specifically first-time moms. I've been really thinking a lot about getting my childbirth educator certification. I was emailing Queenie at The Planet Pink the other day & she got me really excited about this! 

I feel so blessed to have had a really wonderful nurse-midwife who introduced a Centering Class in her practice. Through this class, I was given extensive information with an air of grace. We were informed on all our options. We were taught natural labor techniques & what to expect in that experience. We were also taught about all our options for medication ranging from IV-administered medication to epidurals. We were taught everything about c-sections & what to expect both in emergency & scheduled situations. We were not judged on our preferences or choices related to birth. We were just given information & encouraged to make decisions that fit our family. By the time I was toward the end of my pregnancy, I felt so prepared for whatever may be coming.

I did end up having a natural childbirth, but my Centering Class had a wide range of birth stories. Out of 6 women, we had 2 c-sections, 1 epidural, 1 induction with natural birth & 2 natural births. When we met again about 4 weeks after Isis was born, it was so interesting to see how different the experience was for everyone! It's truly a miracle to bring a child into the world - no matter what method the baby ends up arriving. After experiencing this & talking to these women as well as many others since then, I've become even more interested in my childbirth educator certification. I really would love to be able to present information & encouragement with sincerity & grace.

I also now love to talk about babies & birth & I just think it would be so fun! And a great way to spend some time in the summers when I'm not teaching!

What kind of pregnancy education experience did you have?
Did you feel informed & prepared going into your first labor?
Are there any ways you feel you could have been more prepared?

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E. Hurst said...

I attended the (free) classes at our on-post hospital and LOVED them. The childbirth classes were over two nights and the teacher wasn't too serious or too laissez-faire. Being by myself, I wasn't made to feel out of place and used the extra nurse (a teacher trainee) as my partner.

The main teacher mixed humor with matter-of-fact info and didn't shy away from difficult questions. For example, one dad asked "What's the worst case scenario for blahblahblah (can't remember)?" She honestly answered, "Well, left unchecked, your baby will probably die and your wife will be very sick with XYandZ." She didn't laugh it off, but didn't unduly scare us either.

I have also attended the Infant Safety class, but haven't made it to breast-feeding class yet. In Infant Safety, I liked the first teacher because she didn't overwhelm. The second teacher tried to scare us, it seemed, especially regarding car seats. I would prefer to have all the info and make my own decision than have her cramming her opinion and judgments onto me.

PS-Are you still BFing? Can you update on your progress?
PPS-She used proper names for all body parts, which I loved. The jig is up, we're all pregnant...call it a vagina!

adriel, from the mommyhood memos said...

oh, i just finished sending you an email and then came over to comment on your crunchy mama post and saw this. love it... and was hoping you'd write one about this actually. i think you've only scratched the surface here though... you have lots more to share about what you learned in that class and through your midwife. hope this is the first of a few posts on the subject. :) good on ya cameron!

also, to answer some of your questions, yes, i had an amazing midwife who taught me so much about natural birth. i also took a one day class at the hospital run by another midwife and learned more there about the drugs, interventions, c section, etc. and am so glad that they covered some of this stuff too. we also got a tour of the hospital "just in case" we needed to be transfered. this helped when i did in fact need to be transfered! even still, i wish i'd learned a bit more about the hospital side of things "just in case"... but am glad that i wasn't totally blindsided! one thing i didn't learn anything about was the recovery and future implications for a c-section. maybe they didn't want to scare us or something, but in hindsight, i do wish i'd understood more of that from the beginning. overall though, i had such a good experience with my birth education and felt really empowered, which in turn took a lot of the fear out of childbirth!!

Liz said...

good for you for doing it naturally!

i know i've said it before, but i think there is so much that is out of our control when we go through labor, that no amount of education can really prepare you for how it will be.

Jhen.Stark said...

oooh- DO IT. I had no insurance while pregnant which meant the basic and minimal care I could receive when I was pregnant. Basically, although my doctor was really nice, I got the minimal care in regards to preparing me for labor and check-ups. I WAS SO UNEDUCATED. COMPLETELY!!! I would definitely follow you in regards to this process and would love to learn what you have to share!!!!!!!!!!

That Mama Gretchen said...

We're 80% through the Bradley Method Class. It has been awesome! I really appreciate how involved dads are in this class ... Bradley places alot of responsibility on dads being the support/coach.

We'll see how it all plays out in October :)

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