Do I Really Need a Childbirth Ed Class? 5 Myths

Maybe you just got your big fat positive, or maybe your estimated due date is fast approaching…and as you ponder your birth planning options while also looking at your calendar, your bank account, or your partner you wonder, “do I really need a childbirth ed class?” Short answer yes. Don’t fall for these 5 myths!

Myth #1 I trust my body/ the process so I don’t need a class

Yes, birth has been happening since the dawn of time, and yes, the body usually does just what it needs to in order to birth a healthy baby. So why do you need a class? Childbirth education is not about teaching you how to give birth as much as it is about helping to prepare your mind so you know what to expect, you have the information you need to make decisions that will align with the experience you want to have, and will have ideas and practice when it comes to coping techniques for a smoother, less stressful birth. In addition, birth is always unpredictable and it never hurts to have a plan for how to handle the unexpected. It’s about learning about all your choices ahead of time, as well as how to go about communicating your desires to your care team should something come up, so that you are able to have a calm, positive and empowering birth no matter how things unfold.

Myth#2 I trust my provider/partner/doula so I don’t need a class

Your provider may align well with your birth philosophy, your partner may have read all the books, and your doula may come with years of experience. None of this changes the fact that in order to be able to navigate birth from a truly calm, confident and prepared place you need to have personal in-depth knowledge of all facets of birth, and there is just no substitute for in-person, face to face childbirth education and practice. Don’t short yourself of an important opportunity to learn about all your options and practice hands on techniques.

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Myth #3 I’m getting the drugs so I don’t need a class

There are a few reasons why a class is still needed even if you are planning on using medication during your birth. For one thing, you may not get the drugs as soon as you think. For many laboring people they spend many hours laboring at home before they reach the point that they are given the green light to head to the hospital. Once there it can take time for the anesthesiologist to arrive to place an epidural or for the nurse to administer other meds. There are also benefits to holding off until well into active labor to receive an epidural, and some labors move too fast to get an epidural or the epidural doesn’t work as well as hoped. In all of these situations it is VERY helpful to have other tools in your toolbox. Even if you do end up getting the perfect epidural and you have no discomfort, there are MANY other things you learn and prepare for in childbirth education classes such as what happens after baby arrives, which is just as important!

Myth #4 I don’t have time for a class

Time constraints can be very real in our busy culture. This is something that was thoughtfully considered when designing the Haumea Empowerment Series. The series is intentionally broken up into 5 separate parts so you can prioritize which to fit in first, and each class is offered at a couple different times (Thurs. evenings or Saturdays) to accommodate different schedules. Also, remember making time for childbirth education now has the potential to save you a lot of time and stress down the road!

Myth #5 I don’t have the money for a class

Even though the birth of your child will be one of the most memorable, important times in your life (remember how much money you spent on your wedding day?!) budgetary concerns are not uncommon at a time when you are also making preparations for a nursery, time off work, college fund, etc. Fortunately the Haumea Empowerment series is very reasonably priced. At just $75 for the shorter classes and $150 for the longer Birth Essentials class, the series really is a good value, and 100% worth it. Some insurances cover childbirth education also, so it doesn’t hurt to inquire, or you could look into using a health savings or flex spending account. Lastly, if cost is a barrier for you but you’d like to take a class, please, send us a message.

Want to learn more about what each class in the Hauma Empowerment Series entails? Check out the class descriptions on the Haumea website here!

Written by Angie Traska, CLC, Director of Childbirth Education at Haumea and Birth Doula/ Lactation Counselor supporting clients in Madison and the surrounding areas at Align Doula Services.