Prenatal Classes: What info you need and WHY you need it!

groupprenatal

Though a woman’s ability to birth comes naturally, understanding the birth process requires learning and coaching from a professional. Most health care providers will recommend early on that you seek out a good prenatal class before the birth of your child… but how do you know what classes are “good”? As an Edmonton birth doula, I’ve understood for a while what information absolutely needs to be relayed onto all moms before they enter their births. However, after taking training towards offering Edmonton prenatal classes as a Lamaze certified childbirth educator, I’ve realized that being a childbirth educator requires a lot more than just experience attending births, or a bachelors degree from 5 years ago. Birth is not a new thing, and evidence and recommendations are constantly changing according to new research happening every day. For example, did you know that low-interventions births are now recommended for most mothers by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists? This recommendation came only a few months ago, but has it made it’s way into Edmonton prenatal classes yet?

In this post, I’m going to talk about how you can go about finding a high-quality Edmonton prenatal class, and why sometimes investing a bit more money in your class will broaden your knowledge massively and make a huge difference in how comfortable you are come the big day.

 

Choices ARE your friend!

Many people looking for Edmonton prenatal classes will, under default, look to their local hospital for the generic prenatal class that is cheap and quick. However, in a recent poll that I conducted, moms expecting in the Edmonton and St. Albert area revealed that they felt less prepared if they had taken a prenatal class through AHS. In no way does this mean that these classes aren’t of value, the problem lies in the fact that prenatal classes offered through a specific hospital will focus entirely on the particular “norms” of that care facility. While this may be fine for a small percentage of those who will give birth at that hospital and wish to blend in with these norms, many women want to know and discuss all of their options with their care provider before the day of the birth in order to ensure their wishes are met… as you should! Making decisions during the birth prepares you for the many decisions you’ll have to make as parents. In an out-of-hospital Edmonton birth class, our focus is on educating parents on the many options that are out there, allowing you to make the choices that best suit you and give you some things to discuss with your care provider before the big day.

Not all learning environments are for you

As different as we all are from each other, we also learn in different ways that are efficient for us. Myself personally, I find it extremely difficult to sit in front of an instructor all day and still be expected to retain information. There are many of us that feel uncomfortable in large groups settings, need to get up and moving during a class and even some of us who need discussion options to address specific questions we have. A key question you should ask before registering for an Edmonton prenatal class is HOW content will be covered. Will you be sitting through an 8-hour lecture with small breaks? Will you be in a smaller setting with less participants? Will there be opportunity to discuss options of certain topics with your peers? All of these aspects are very relevant in your ability to take the most away from your Edmonton childbirth class.

Consider the birth outcome you most desire

We all know (or should know) by now that birth is very unexpected, and we can’t 100% control our outcomes. We can, however, prepare ourselves for our worst case scenario and take steps to increase the odds of our best case scenario. Notice how I say OUR best case scenario? Every woman has their own idea of the ideal birth, and none are right or wrong! Your first step in ensuring that your birth goes your way is by educating yourself so you can decide what that exactly is. Do you already know that you’ll have a planned cesarean? Then ensure your educator has non-biased information about the prep and recovery. Do you want to avoid all medications as much as possible? Then check in with your educator and make sure they are able to provide effective pain management strategies. Find out from potential teachers where their experience with childbirth lies – maybe they have never seen a birth, or maybe they are doulas that have only attended home births. Let these factors help you decide who you will trust to gain information from in order to achieve the birth you desire.

Now time for some shameless self-promotion 😉. As you’ll find out after going through my site, I am a proud Edmonton doula and Edmonton childbirth educator and provide both private and group prenatal classes based on non-biased, evidence-based information. I pull from my experience of attending a variety births in Edmonton and allow that to help me inform expecting couples on the huge range of normal in childbirth. If you’re currently looking for a quality Edmonton prenatal class, contact me today and we can chat about what I can offer you!

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