Amy Meilen, PT, CD(DONA)
A good childbirth education class (CBE) can make the difference between parents feeling out of control and overwhelmed and being able to handle the expected and often unexpected of your baby’s birthday and the days and weeks that follow.
When you’re thinking about signing up for CBE, consider your ideal birth plan and look for an opportunity to learn with an instructor who can give you all of the information and resources to help prepare you for that birth, as well as someone with the perspective to share how birthing days can also be unpredictable. The information you receive at your CBE class will be your biggest resource as you move toward your birthing day and beyond.
The topics you should expect to cover at your CBE class include but are not limited to:
- Normal labor, birth and early postpartum
- Positioning for labor and birth
- Pain management techniques
- Labor support
- Communication skills
- Comfort measures, including breathing strategies, relaxation and massage techniques
- Risks and benefits of medical procedures (aka “interventions”)
- Healthy lifestyles-activity, exercise and nutrition.
It is a plus if you can find a CBE class that also covers the 4th trimester-postpartum time- and gives information and practice on Newborn Care.
Too often, as a doula, I work with couples who have spent hours and weeks preparing for their birth and have not thought about the demands of the 4th trimester on their bodies, their relationships and their babies. Additionally, mamas bring home a baby that is demanding of their time, energy, and bodies and the sleepy sweet newborn they experienced in the hours and day after their birth is now squawking, red-faced and wide awake. Learning to properly care for yourself (or your partner) as well as a newborn should be a large piece of your CBE class!
If it’s your first baby, plan to spend between 9-12 hours preparing for your labor, birth, and postpartum time. If you’re experienced parents, but feel like you’d like a refresher, there are plenty of one-day refresher classes available.
To learn more about Sage Birth & Wellness Childbirth Education Opportunities, see our events page and call early to reserve your spot!