Often couples question whether or not they actually “need” a prenatal class. It is not uncommon for them to be told by well intentioned friends, co-workers, or family that they do not need prenatal education, and that they are “not that helpful anyways”. They are however missing some important facts….
NOT ALL CLASSES ARE CREATED EQUAL
When couples suggest prenatal classes were not helpful for them, they certainly did not take a comprehensive class! Unfortunately prenatal classes can often be taught with outdated information, or the duration is simply too short to cover enough information to be truly helpful. They can unfortunately be more of a course on “what to expect when arriving at the hospital” versus understanding your body and knowing how to work with it to have the best outcomes.
Our classes are comprehensive and cover EVERYTHING you need to know about your body and how to work with it to have the best outcome. We teach about your partner’s role, all the stages of labour, how to work with your caregivers, how to effectively communicate and navigate within the medical system, how to be prepare for the unexpected, how to customize to you and your partners personal philosophies, what to expect post birth and during the breastfeeding journey, and so much more.
PARTNERS FEELING LEFT OUT
Far too many prenatal classes do not specifically involve the partner and so the content can feel foreign and irrelevant to them, making it tough to be engaged. We have high expectations for partners to be involved and we prepare them to assume the role of “key supporter”. We believe in empowering partners to be equally knowledgeable and passionate about the task at hand. This shared vision, combined with dedication, trust and love, increases the likelihood of a more positive birth. Labours with adequate support are shorter, less painful, and require less intervention. When a loved one takes on this awesome responsibility, birth becomes an intimate bonding experience unlike any other.
We believe our partners crave to be involved and supportive of their “momma to be”. We have decades of evidence, that when you provide the knowledge and give them a voice and a place in birth, there is simply NO BETTER labour support on earth!
Statistically when expectant parents are well educated, their birth outcomes are much better. When they are armed with an adequate understanding of anatomy and physiology of birth, they know how to work with their body to help labour progress and this leads to safer, quicker births with less intervention.
I AM PLANNING TO HAVE AN EPIDURAL ANYWAYS
Expectant mothers often think that prenatal classes are not necessary if you are planning on having an epidural. There is much more to learn about birth than simply pain management. Whether you plan to have pain medications or not is really irrelevant when beginning a prenatal class. We focus on how to reduce pain and shorten labour to make it more manageable, as well as discussing your potential pain relief options, both natural and medical. We encourage couples to come to class with an open mind and develop their birth preferences throughout the series, as their knowledge increases.
I AM WORRIED I WILL FEEL PRESSURE FOR NATURAL BIRTH
This is your birth and your choice! We promote informed decision making, not a one-size-fits-all style of birth. Experienced prenatal instructors know how to manage the classroom environment to encourage support of all birth philosophies. No-one is required to disclose their personal preference or decisions for their upcoming birth if they do not want to. Couples in class will end up with a variety of birth outcomes that further prove that all women’s bodies are different and we need to always be open minded. We celebrate all births! Our goal is to help you have the most “optimal” birth regardless of whether or not medical interventions are used or needed.
FRIENDS & FAMILY INFLUENCE
One of the most powerful motivators of decisions surrounding birth is social influence. In fact, this is a key point in our first class! It is important to know that not all women are the same. Your friend’s birth may have gone one way, but yours may not be the same. Your Mom’s experience was decades ago and obstetrics is always changing and evolving. Different care providers have different philosophies, bias, and routines. Different hospital have different and ever changing routines and support systems in place. Its most ideal to learn the most accurate and up-to-date information to be fully prepared. Besides, this is YOUR birth, not theirs, so you need to figure out what is important to you. Prenatal classes help encourage great discussion between you and your partner so you can decide together what is best for your family.
One of the great benefits of attending in-class prenatal classes is the life long relationships that can form during this time. Couples often underestimate the importance of having the community support of others going through same things at the same time. We offer suggestions on how to keep these relationships going and are proud to have prenatal class groups that are still friends decades later. Many say having “like-minded” companions journey through the early days, months and years of parenthood was a huge blessing and provided a support system like no other.
WHAT IF THINGS DO NOT GO AS PLANNED?
All too often couples don’t plan for things to go side ways. Or if they do, they assume they will be taught everything they needed to know as it happens. Unfortunately, during labour when you are tired and in pain, is not the ideal time to learn new information. This adds unecessary stress to the situation and a lot of pressure on your caregiver to try to explain so you are fully informed. Unfortunately, couples can walk away from birth not fully understanding the big picture and why things unravelled the way they did.
IMPROVED POSTPARTUM OUTCOMES
Sometimes couples need to be reminded that the birth is just part of the experience. Once the birth is over, you’ll be wanting to enjoy your new baby and now begins the next stage of postpartum recovery, learning to breastfeeding and getting to know your new love. When new moms are recovering from a difficult birth, this can interfere with this precious time. Breastfeeding can be negatively affected when birth is difficult. Often expectant parents are unaware of this link and should understand pro-actively that prenatal education helps to fill this void.
Curious to learn more? Consider taking our FREE TRIAL e-class. The content in this e-class is the same information you’d be learning in the first couple sessions of one of our prenatal programs. This will give you a taste test of what types of information and discussions we cover.