Pregnancy and birth bring so many questions along with them. I enjoy getting questions from moms-to-be — I like to know what's on your mind and what you need. One question I've seen a lot lately is:
Do I need a childbirth class?
Maybe I'll sound like I'm contradicting my own advice here, but no, you don't need a childbirth class.
That's right, I said it 🙂
Well, What Do I Need?
I'm not going to let you off that easily, however.
I think there's a ton of information out there now — this site has a ton of information for you to discover what healthy, natural birth is. There are many resources to find out what you may face during birth, what interventions may be offered to you and your baby, etc. You can get several good books and feel confident about the processes of labor, home vs. hospital, etc.
But you do need something, no matter where you're going to give birth. No matter how you're going to give birth.
You need birth skills.
I've been trying to figure out some hip, trendy way to say this. Something that will make mothers flock to what I've said as if a celebrity on “bump watch” had uttered those words.
Sadly, I can't. But truly, you need birth skills.
See, you need to know *what* to do when labor hits. You need to understand that you can work with your body.
You can work with your baby. No. Matter. What.
Reading Birth Stories
I'm in a nice position to have had five babies. I've had five good birth experiences. When I read birth stories, I can't help but reflect back on them in relation to my own birth experiences. I love all natural birth stories.
It's funny, though. I read dreamy stories about longer labors, where moms go to “laborland” and they're just there, and it's something unreal and almost magical (though still tough). Those are the kinds of stories I loved to read, and I had some of my births like that. But I've also had births that went like freight trains — intense from the word go, breathless, and over almost as soon as they started.
All births are different and what we want may not be what happens. What we expect may not be what happens.
I'm not saying this to scare you.
Get Ready — That's What You Need to Do
I am telling you this because labor and birth may be unexpected.
- It may hurt.
- It may take forever.
- It may be there and gone again like a speeding freight train.
- It may be painless.
- It may go exactly like you expect.
Are you ready for that?
Maybe you feel like you “trust your body.” Maybe you feel like you don't know what in the world “trust your body” means. Maybe you're confident. Maybe you're terrified.
Can you prepare for all of those situations?
Birth skills are different than childbirth education. They're different than reading birth stories. They are different than picking the best hospital, the best midwife, or choosing an unassisted birth.
Birth skills give YOU the power to work with your body and your baby. You and your birth coach work through discovering these skills together, and they are there for you when you're in labor.
- You use them when you're scared.
- You use them when it hurts.
- You use them when it's taking forever.
- You use them when your baby is “stuck.”
- You use them labor is going fast.
- You use them when you're in “labor land”
- You use them at the hospital
- You use them when you're at home
- You use them with an OB
- You use them with a midwife
- You use them for your baby's health
I have been in the birth and baby community for more than a decade now. I have seen a lot pass by, and I have heard a lot of what comes and goes. I run a site on natural childbirth.
And I can strongly say, without a shadow of a doubt, that what all moms need is to take a few minutes a day to discover birth skills. They're ready for you to use no matter where or how you want to birth — and they are key to a great birth experience. The best part? You get the birth skills. You don't have to worry about what anybody else does. You decide you want to go into labor calm, confident, and totally prepared — and then you do it 🙂
Click here to get more info on how to develop birth skills in my information on calm, prepared childbirth. It is a discussion about a product. You need something to learn the skills from 😉