I went back and forth about taking a birthing class that was offered through our hospital. They had a couple of options of a class that was from bump to bassinet. Basically meaning from labor through the newborn phase with a hospital tour included. We had the choice of an all day Saturday class or break it up over a couple of weeks. We chose the 8 hour Saturday class and I started regretting it the closer it got.
Saturday we packed up a few pillows, that we were requested to bring, snacks, water, and set off for the hospital. We were joined in a room of 15 other couples and two teachers. To make a long day, short in story, it was the biggest waste of 8 hours and $80 for us. I can honestly see how it may have helped some couples in the class but for us, it wasn’t worth it. I understand birth, the vocab, what is coming and what our plan is. I know newborn care, I’ve been there before. I honestly thought maybe I would gain some new knowledge or tools for labor that I haven’t looked into. I thought maybe I would gain some more confidence for labor itself and perhaps help educate my Husband some more on what he can expect on his end. I also thought we would be refreshed on a few newborn ideas but got absolutely none of that. What I did get was frustrated.
In fact, we almost left at lunch and didn’t come back. The instructors were very heavy on the natural birth topic and I felt the information on interventions (such as c-sections) and pain relief (such as epidurals) were explained with mere scare tactics. Instead of mentioning that labor, you know, hurts, they liked to just say it is uncomfortable. Contractions are uncomfortable, massaging the uterus post labor can be uncomfortable, recovering from c-section can be uncomfortable, pushing can be uncomfortable BUT that is all.
In our postpartum section of the class a few people asked questions that were related to formula feeding, not breastfeeding, and what to expect physically from their body in that circumstance. Those questions were not answered and instead the instructors said they would answer those questions separately at break. So much for the “feel free to ask anything at all” comment that was made at the beginning of class. There were many questions that were asked that the automatic response from the instructors was “it is best to ask your health care provider” or ” it is best to ask your pediatrician.” What was covered was very basic at best.
There were a few other topics that felt very one-sided from the instructors. Which I’m very okay hearing all options but that is the thing, you have to give more than one! The instructors both have older children and would discuss how kids aren’t really that expensive until they are much older. Financially, babies are not that much. I’m sorry, what?! Another tough topic was how much you are a mommy now and you can no longer be anything else so you should accept that. You will lose your friends, your sex life, your social life and so forth so you should just accept that and make the best of your new life because you are a mommy. Yay!
In a nut shell, I felt like this class was taught from one perspective only. If I had wanted that perspective or knew that ahead of time then that would have been fine. I think if that is what you are looking for, then you can easily look into those more topic specific classes. However, when this is supposed to be a broad class through the hospital, that all doctors encourage you to take, I expect a bit more open-mindedness to the fact that not everyone will be birthing or handling their newborns the same.
I should have questioned my doctor a bit more on why she thought it was such an ideal class to take. I should have questioned what the class covers (or lack there of) a bit more. And I should have trusted my own instincts on whether or not we even needed the class. My suggestion to you, make sure the class is what you are absolutely looking for.
We did rally afterwards and went out for a nice steak dinner and made it home in time to see our football team lose in over time. Not a complete waste of a Saturday that way:)