Childbirth Classes

I’ve heard of lots of talk lately about childbirth classes.  You’d think this talk came from my doctor, and yes, I was given a few pamphlets of class times to consider.  The bulk of this talk though was overhead at work, by none other than co-worker N, and surprisingly his conversations with Debbie Downer.  Could there be any other two people I want to hear talk, and about childbirth???

Before I say any more, please know these are my personal feelings and I certainly don’t mean to disregard others opinions and desires…  Whether or not you choose to attend one or 20 classes to prepare for labor and delivery and all that follows in raising children, I understand it’s completely up to you.  We all come with our own set of prior knowledge and experience.

All that said, I don’t wish to take any formal childbirth classes.  Eric is not an OB/GYN (whom he refers to as ureter assassins as they routinely cut into the bladder and/or ureters during C-sections which he is forced to fix at all hours of the night) but he has delivered his fair share of babies, and cared for thousands as both in and out-patients.  See, here’s the thing I didn’t understand about medicine until I met Eric…  If you admit a patient, you are responsible for their entire line of care, unless you call for another specialty’s consult.  That means any issue that patient has, be it heart, liver, respiratory, you name it, he deals with it.  I’m truly amazed they expect this, but they do!  So I have every confidence in Eric to help me care for this child once we take it home from the hospital.  As far as the actual labor and delivery, well, I guess I figure one way or another, this baby will enter the world.  I trust the nurses and doctors available the day of my delivery will help Eric and I through the process.  I mean, way back when women had babies alone in fields right?  Sure, some died, but I’ll be in a top-notch hospital with plenty of specialists should the need arise.  I’m not at all concerned.

Maybe I’m just not into formal classes…  I mean, I’ve watched enough children in the past, I know how to bathe them, change diapers, feed them…  And besides, all babies/children are different, right?  I’ll get to know my daughter’s habits and patterns…

So my question to all of you, whether you took formal classes or not, are there any books you would recommend?  We can probably stay away from ultra-natural childbirth related books, as I’ll be ordering my epidural on the way to the hospital 🙂  No judging please, I don’t deal with pain well, and heck, if it’s available, I’m gonna enjoy the relief!  What about books on getting babies to sleep, or getting them on a schedule?  Or breastfeeding, I assume there must be some good books out there on that topic, as that is an area I’m not as familiar.  Again, my plan was to rely on a lactation specialist at the hospital once baby is born, but if I can learn some ahead of time on my own, all the better.

I appreciate any and all suggestions, thanks 🙂

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17 thoughts on “Childbirth Classes

  1. The happiest baby on the block is the best thing you can order. I wish I had used those techniques with my first and so glad I did with my last. It teaches how to calm them and it works. Oh and use the lactation specialist because it is good hands on learning. You’re right you will learn a lot on your own. Read up on some safety things as those are kinda important, but you can read that on any pediatric site. Epidurals are good! Yes you’ll be fine. I read to many books because my kid was different so it didn’t apply. I took every class possible and it was a waste of time except the safety stuff.

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  2. Absolutely no judgement here! I had pretty much the same birth plan you seem to have. Just get the kid out safely. I also had the most glorious epidural in the world. I took one info course about what to expect through the birthing process, but mostly I took it to get a tour of Mercy L&D. Anyway, the point of this randomness – this isn’t a child birth book or anything, but I read Happiest Baby on the Block and it was the best book ever. The tips and suggestions (the 5 S’s) were lifesavers.

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  3. First, the epidural was my best friend with my first son! 🙂 I slept through the bulk of labor (3cm-8cm) and woke up, 10 minutes before it was time to push. It took only 2 pushes to get him out and it didn’t hurt a bit. Once they removed the epi, YOUCH, I definitely felt the damage that little man had done! lol But I’m totally pro-epidural!
    Second, I did the formal classes (there were three) and I was bored out of my skull. I definitely don’t think I really got anything “necessary” from the class. I didn’t do the breathing or the exercises and I was totally fine. I don’t have book recommendations, because in the end I just winged it and it worked out great 😉

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    1. Oh girl, I could tell you stories that would scare the crap outta you… But I’ll keep those to myself. But yes, they do, and quite often. I’m actually quite surprised OB/GYN is considered a surgical field, as their residency/training is much shorter than others. Although I guess they don’t really operate all that much… Although that explains their lack of skill too. From the stories I’ve heard I think I’d rather have a general surgeon do my C-section than an OB/GYN 🙂

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  4. I would highly recommend a class on breastfeeding. In my experience, the hospital lactation consultant was not helpful at all, and I was very glad I had taken a class prior to birth. Of course as soon as you have the baby, it’s all kind of a crap shoot. I had a LOT of issues, and ended up supplementing with formula very early on. I still nurse though at 8 months!

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  5. My sister lent me Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, and I’m glad I read it. It was repetitive in parts, so you can skip bits without issue, but it seemed to have sensible advice without being preachy. The two biggest things I took away from it were: Most kids need far more sleep than you think they do; putting a kid to bed earlier can sometimes have the counterintuitive result that they sleep longer. When Gwen was young, we aimed for 15 hours of sleep per 24 hour period; now that she’s older (3), we aim for 12-13, and unless we’re traveling or doing something unusual, we pretty much always get it.

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  6. I had a childbirth class scheduled with Bella, but my bedrest sort of got in the way of it. We had really only scheduled it because Lance knew the woman who taught the class from his OB shifts in residency and said she’d be a great teacher. But we ended up getting a c-section anyway so I’m glad I didn’t go through with it!

    As for books, I enthusiastically recommend Happiest Baby on the Block, and more importantly that you BOTH read it.

    When it comes to nursing, I read two books on it beforehand, but honestly, it just didn’t make sense until I re-read the book once I had a baby in my arms. Our pediatrician’s office also had an AMAZING lactation consultant and I credit her with getting us through a very difficult first few weeks!

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  7. I didn’t take any classes when I had Derrek. I asked around also and everyone told me they were a waste of time, so I skipped them. If you can find a good book on nursing and read up on that I would definitely suggest that. I’m not going to lie, nursing is tough in the beginning but once you get it figured out it is pretty amazing! The most important thing you need to remember is to relax (which is not easy sometimes) I nursed both kids for a year. Epidurals are GREAT! When you mentioned Eric having to fix bladders from C-section it sent chills down my spine. With both kids I had to have C-sections and I remember the Dr. in the or saying “all I need to do is put your bladder back, add a few staples and you are good to go” …… that was definitely something I was expecting to hear

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