Childbirth Education Online
Here you'll find our exclusive interview with the provider of one of Internet's most comprehensive online childbirth education classes.
Preparing for childbirth can be done in many ways.
Some women read everything they find, go to classes, do yoga and exercises, learn breathing etc; others don't do much at all. It is very individual.
I've given birth twice and in my experience preparation is great. Then I don't mean watching horrible birth videos at YouTube, but rather learn as much as possible about labor and delivery, as well as about relaxation and breathing (yes, it really helps!).
If you do want to prepare and think it would be nice to be able to do it in your own pace, some quality online childbirth classes may be a good alternative or complement to all other ways you prepare for giving birth.
Below you'll find my exclusive interview with Catherine, the woman behind one of Internet's most comprehensive online childbirth education classes.
Childbirth Education Interview
Who are you and why did you create these online childbirth classes?My name is Catherine. I'm a childbirth researcher, independent childbirth educator, birth advocate and natural birth mother of 2. I've been studying and researching childbirth for the past six years.
My passion in life is bringing evidence-based childbirth and pregnancy information to women so they can make informed decisions about their care during this special time in their lives.
Who would you say that these classes are for?These childbirth education classes are suited for a variety of people, from the first-time mother, birth companions, doulas, midwives honing their skills to veteran mothers of four.
Birthright is well suited to those with little knowledge of pregnancy and birth to those with years of experience.
The classes are also beneficial for any woman who's had a negative birth experience and wishes to fully inform herself on her options to help ensure a better birthing experience.
Isn't it better to attend "real" birth classes? What is the advantage of these online classes?While attending childbirth education classes may be the ideal, in reality, many women do not have open access to quality childbirth education.
For many, private classes may not be offered in their area or may simply be too expensive with the impending cost of raising a child. In most cases where hospital-based classes are available, these options offer a run-down of hospital procedures rather than providing evidence-based information on childbirth choices to empower and inform women and their birth companions.
Birthright offers access to women who would otherwise not be able to benefit from childbirth education classes. The lessons focus on fully teaching women the what, when, where, why and how of childbirth so they can face their births free from unnecessary anxiety and feel confident in their bodies and their decisions for birth.
I'm a first time mom and I'm really worried about the labor and delivery. How can these birth classes help me?Birth can evoke anxiety in every woman, from the first-time mom to the veteran mom. It's normal to be worried about childbirth. It's the fear of the unknown that arouses these fears.
Ultimately, these fears can complication your labor and delivery by undermining your body's ability to labor effectively and cause the complications you fear. Because anxiety can be so detrimental to birthing, Lesson 1-4 cover the sources of anxiety in birth, confronting fears about birth as well as how to change those perceptions and remove barriers to childbirth.
You will not only learn what to expect, but to understand how your body works to birth your baby, how your choices can help or hinder your birth, how to recognize each stage of labor, and most importantly, how to respond to the events along the way.
I'm so worried about tearing during labor. Will I learn anything about how to prevent it?Prevention of tearing starts in pregnancy, not during birth.
Lesson 7 addresses specific techniques that can be applied in late pregnancy to increase perineal flexibility and elasticity so that the risks of tearing are minimized.
Tearing during birth is most often caused by inappropriate birth positioning and forced pushing. In Lesson 8 you will learn evidence-based birth positions and pushing techniques that can shorten labor, prevent complications, and reduce or eliminate the risks of tearing.
Everybody goes on about how good breathing is for giving birth. Will I learn about how to breathe correctly?
Breathing for childbirth is a very important piece and in most cases, women have little exposure to truly effective breathing patterns for childbirth. There's no he-he-ho-ing in these childbirth education classes.
In Lesson 9, you will learn how to use your breathe to let your body push your baby down, reducing your need for active pushing and allowing tissues to slowly stretch. You will also learn how to use your breathing to work with your contractions rather than against them.
I know I want to give at the hospital and I think I will want at least an epidural. Are your birth classes still useful for me?Childbirth education classes are helpful for all mothers, not just those planning a natural birth.
Lesson 14 details the use of medications during birth. If you do choose medications, you will have learned what to expect, what your options are, and the risks and benefits of the interventions that accompany medications.
You will be able to make truly informed choices as to what type of medication you want and how it may affect both you and your baby.
My baby is currently in breech position and it is likely that I will have a C-section. Is there any point in buying these birth classes for me?
There are in fact many ways to turn a breech baby before and even during labor so that a c-section can be completely avoided. You will learn these techniques in Lesson 14.
Unfortunately, many care providers are unaware of these methods so view a c-section as the only course of action. By completing these classes, you can avoid the painful recovery and risks that accompany a c-section.
I'm a pregnant mother of two and although I'm not very worried I don't exactly look forward to giving birth again. Can these classes help me prepare mentally for my third time labor and delivery?
Absolutely. Many experienced mothers have taken these classes due to negative birth experiences in the past.
Negative feelings can undermine future births. Many times, the poor birth experience was due to a lack of information and loss of control as interventions were added or complications arose. This increases a mother's stress and anxiety and places her at risk of developing postpartum depression after the birth.
By becoming more informed on their childbirth choices, women lessen their anxiety and can look forward to their birth. Women who complete childbirth education classes report higher levels of satisfaction with their birth experiences and experience less complications, shorter recoveries, and lower levels of postpartum depression.
I'm considering home birth, but what if something goes wrong... Can these classes help me plan for safe home birthing?
While the idea of a homebirth may seem scary or even reckless to some, over 75 years of research have shown homebirth to be as safe or safer than hospital birth for low-risk pregnancies with a skilled birth attendant.
In fact, 93-95% of all births are completely uncomplicated. Choosing a homebirth does not mean choosing to stay home at all costs, but to understand what deviations from normal may require specialized care that can only be received in a hospital.
In Lesson 10 of these childbirth education classes you will learn the normal progression of labor and birth which will help you recognize warning signs that may necessitate a hospital transfer.
For how long after buying these classes can I ask for help through email?
Email support corresponds to the class option you choose. With the 7 week and complete curriculum options, you can receive email support for 8 weeks. With the 12 week option, you can receive email support for 12 weeks. However, technical support is always available should you need it.
I want my husband to learn about how he can help me during labor. Is there anything in the classes for him?
Lesson 11 is devoted entirely to birth companions, be they husbands, friends, or whomever you choose. In this lesson, the birth companion will learn their role in supporting you during birth as well as suggested tips and activities for each stage of the journey.
This level of education often make husbands and birth companions feel more confident and capable at the birth because they know what to expect and more importantly, how to help.
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