Especially if this is your first pregnancy, you and your husband or
partner can learn a lot by taking a childbirth education class. A good time to
start is in the sixth or seventh month of your pregnancy. If a friend is going
to be your labor support (labor coach), he or she can come too. These classes
usually run for 6 or 8 weeks.
Most childbirth education classes:
Provide accurate information about what you can
expect during pregnancy and labor and delivery. Information on what to expect
in the hours, days, and weeks after delivery (postpartum period) may also be
Provide information on proper diet and
Teach techniques for relaxation, muscle control, and
breathing during labor and delivery. There are several methods that might be
taught. Lamaze, Bradley, and Read are the names of the most common
Teach your labor coach how he or she can best help you
during delivery. Childbirth education classes also help the father become more
involved in the pregnancy and delivery.
Give you a chance to spend
time with other couples who are expecting a baby.
Taking a childbirth education class can reduce your stress both
before and during labor and delivery by preparing you to deal with what might
happen. Contact your health professional's office or your local hospital or
birthing center for information about childbirth education classes.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.