Childbirth education is so critical in today’s medical system. Things have gotten so complex, it requires time, focus, and an open mind to understand how things are changing, and how that will impact your pregnancy and birth.
Formal childbirth education classes create a spot in your schedule to sit down with your partner/support person and process the above questions. People sometimes say “women have been having babies for thousands of years; they don’t need someone to teach them how to do it”. The purpose of most childbirth classes isn’t to “teach” women how to birth, it’s to increase the confidence of both the women and their support person that birth is a normal, natural process. Furthermore, it informs expectant parents about current research on various topics so they can make their own decisions.
We currently have a variety of prenatal and childbirth classes taking place in the Durham Region. Click here to see the schedule
Why Take Classes?
Historically, women learned about childbirth through watching and taking part in the births of family members. Now that the majority of woman are birthing their babies at hospitals, we have lost the knowledge and confidence in our own abilities to birth our babies.
Childbirth classes help to bring that knowledge and confidence back to expecting women and their support persons. After a Childbirth series you will have the knowledge and skills to help you to become an active participant in the birth of your child.
Why are some classes more expensive than others?
Lamaze classes have been around for more than 50 years and are the most common form of childbirth preparation out there. Many parents however are looking for something a little different. Many times, there is a type of class that will fit best with your particular goals or philosophical approach. For example, with HypnoBirthing, parents get additional text books and CDs (only available through the HypnoBirthing Institute). Also, all couples attending the class receive several additional copyrighted scripts that are only available through the classes, and are additional tools and techniques to contribute to the success of the program. These classes are different and there are fewer educators in any given area to teach these trainings. All of these factors drive up the cost of the class. We know that whatever class you choose, you will be satisfied with your choice. Our feedback is so overwhelmingly positive! We often hear parents saying “this was so much better than I could have expected”. If you’re not sure which class is right for you, we can help you figure that out. Just call our toll-free line to speak with a specialist at 1-877-247-8436
How do I know which classes to take?
Pre Natal Classes, Birthing Classes, Lamaze Classes, HypnoBirthing®, - what is the difference and which should I take ??
Selecting the right childbirth education class can help give you the information you need to have a healthy and fulfilling childbirth experience. The challenge comes with knowing which childbirth education class to select.
For a description of each class and a listing of all our dates, please click here
To assist you in having a healthy and fulfilling childbirth experience, Lamaze® International (a leader in childbirth education) recommends that you look for these features when choosing your childbirth educator:
1- A certified childbirth educator
Certification conveys that the educator has the knowledge and skills that help women give birth with confidence and joy! The educator also guides women through the maze of modern obstetrics so that they are able to make truly informed decisions about their health care. A certified educator is a skilled teacher, a knowledgeable professional and a passionate advocate for women and their families.
2- Informed decisions
A curriculum that supports birth as normal, natural and healthy, and empowers women to make informed decisions. Look for someone who helps you make your own decisions, not someone who ‘tells’ you their opinions.
3- Varied content
Class content should include information about labour, birth and early postpartum; positioning for labour and birth; relaxation and massage techniques to ease pain; labour support; communication skills; information about medical procedures; breastfeeding; and healthy lifestyles.
4- Length of course
This is a big one!! Lots of people may choose a class based on price. Things to consider are “How much instruction am I getting for this reduced price?” and “Will I have to pay parking in addition to the course fee?”. Some courses cost less but you get a condensed course that allows little time for discussion. A Lamaze® class for example is required to have at least 12 hours of instruction (and often 15) with emphasis on skills practice (especially positioning and relaxation), comfort measures and class discussion.
Research tells us that childbirth educations helps to:
- Bring about positive change in some health behaviors 1
- Increase communication with partners 2
- Increased relaxation 2
- Increased confidence for labor and birth 2
- Decrease anxiety 3
Furthermore, 91% would recommend childbirth classes to their friends.
A woman’s satisfaction with her birth experience has to do with being informed and involved in the decison-making process. This is much easier to do when we’ve had time to review the various topics, and discuss our wishes with our support people.
What Topics are Covered in a Lamaze Class?
During your series, you will meet and interact with other expecting parents in a fun, warm and friendly atmosphere.
Topics covered will include:
- Late pregnancy health and wellness (nutrition, exercise) and anatomy
- Physical and emotional aspects of labour and birth
- Coping strategies and comfort measures (including: positioning to facilitate the normal progress of labor and birth, massage techniques to ease the pain of labour and enhance relaxation, understanding the use of heat, cold, pressure and hydrotherapy)
- Relaxation skills for use during labour and after pregnancy to relieve stress
- Understanding the importance and role of support and the impact on the childbirth experience
- Awareness and informed decision-making
- Communication skills for the pregnant woman with her partner and the members of her health care team
- Medications and medical interventions (what will be available to you at the hospital you are choosing)
- Early postpartum and newborn
Myth #1: Lamaze is all about breathing.
Reality: The goal of Lamaze® classes is to increase women’s confidence in their ability to give birth. Lamaze® classes help women discover the inner wisdom they already have for giving birth. Women learn simple coping strategies for labour, including focused breathing. But breathing techniques are just one of many things that Lamaze® classes will help you uncover!
Myth #2: Lamaze® promises painless childbirth.
Reality: Many women are afraid of the pain of labour, and that’s normal! Lamaze® classes help women understand the origin of pain and learn how to respond to pain in ways that both facilitate labour and increase comfort. We’ll discuss many ways to decrease the pain you’ll experience in labour.
Myth #3: Lamaze® childbirth means you can’t have an epidural.
Reality: Lamaze® classes provide information about natural pain relief options as well as epidural anesthesia (and other medications). Eliminating pain completely is pretty much impossible – regardless of your plans for use of medication! Lamaze education will assist women and their partners in making personal decisions that are right for them.
Myth #4: Lamaze® doesn’t work.
Reality: Lamaze that “works” has nothing to do with feeling pain, taking or avoiding medication, or developing complications that necessitate medical interventions. Lamaze® teaches women that nature has designed birth simply and close to perfectly and that women already know how to give birth. Lamaze® works if you are informed and become an active participant in your experience.
Myth #5: Lamaze® is not for everyone.
Reality: Women have always prepared for the birth of their babies. Until recent times, women learned about birth from their own mothers and sisters. Birth took place at home with family rituals and traditions to help them feel confident in their ability to give birth. Women were surrounded by family and wise women who provided comfort and encouragement through labour and in the days and weeks after birth. Today, Lamaze® childbirth classes provide the knowledge, skills, and support that help women give birth with confidence and joy as they have done for centuries. Lamaze® preparation is for everyone!
We hope you’ll allow us the opportunity to share these special times with you!
If You’re Still Early in Your Pregnancy
- What’s safe and not safe now that I’m pregnant?
- What kind of exercise can I do?
- What kind of caregiver should I choose (midwife, family doctor, obstetrician)?
- Fetal development: what’s my baby doing now?
- The pregnancy experience: how you and your partner are likely to feel
- Importance of childbirth education
- Breastfeeding: so that’s what they’re for!
- Other local resources and information for your area
Note: package available via mail for those near a Discover Birth location, and available via email for those outside our operating areas.
For a listing of early pregnancy workshops, check your local Discover Birth location by locating an educator/doula
Request a copy via our contact page