Does Childbirth Education Really Work?

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Is attending a childbirth education class worth your time?  Is it worth the money?  Will classes really do anything to improve your experience or make birthing your baby any easier?  What kind of classes are best?

I must preface this post by saying that I have personally been a student in 3 different childbirth education courses.  One as the birth coach, and two as the expecting mommy.  I completed a series of Lamaze classes, hospital provided childbirth education, and an entire 12 week Bradley course.  Each class had a different approach to birth education, and each offered something new to help me along in the birthing process.  Because of my personal experiences with birth, and attending births as labor support, I decided to become trained and seek certification as a childbirth educator.  I did so through Passion for Birth ,a training organization for Lamaze International.
So, needless to say, I believe childbirth education to be an indespensible part of preparing to give birth and keeping your pregnancy and birth a healthy one.  In this post I wanted to share with you some scientific studies which back up this belief of mine, and what it is about childbirth education that is helpful to the mommy-to-be.  I will also share with you some resources for choosing the childbirth course that is right for you.
In August 2009 a Chinese study was published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing, evaluating the effectiveness of simple childbirth education.  The women participating in the study took two 90 minute classes between their 33rd and 35th week.  The conclusion of the study was, that even within 3 hours of classes, the women’s perception of pain diminished, their anxiety eased, and their personal belief in their ability to give birth was heightened.  Of course these things will result in a more positive birth experience. 

In a span of 20 years, these two studies show that childbirth classes consistantly are useful in helping women acheive positive experiences in childbirth by providing them with knowledge that eases fears and increases their confidence.  What do you fear most the familiar or the completely unknown?  How does fear impact our experiences?

Responsible childbirth organizations and educators work diligently to stay up-to-date in their information and pratices so that women go into birth fully informed from the classes they take.  Mother’s Advocate has a great handout highlighting the things to look for in a good childbirth education course.  Not all childbirth classes are created equal, so I highly suggest you take a look at this link, and seek out a class that fits that description.  These classes can be available through the hospital, but often you will find them through independent childbirth educators who are trained or certified through the various organizations interested in promoting healthy birthing information.  These classes may have a fee for them, but the information you receive within them will be priceless.  Many educators are willing to worth with you on pricing options as well.

On my website, I include a FAQ page where many of the most common questions are answered – Birth True Childbirth Education – Why Take a Childbirth Class?  Take a look there, and begin searching for a class option near you.  I know if you look into things thoroughly, you won’t regret the choice to take a class.

Many blessings to you and yours,



About Kelli

I am Kelli B. Haywood, LCCE, a childbirth educator certified through Lamaze, a birth doula, and prenatal yoga instructor. My two little girls light my life. I am the wife of artist, musician, and teacher - John Haywood.
This entry was posted in Birth Planning, Birth Topics, childbirth education, Eastern Kentucky, Healthy Pregnancy, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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