5 Reasons Why You Should Take an Independent Birth Class

Written by: Anna Rodney, CCCE, CLD, CPD of Birth and Baby University
Posted: June 18, 2023

In my career as a lifelong learner, I truly believe education leads to empowerment.

Over the past ten years running my doula agency Chicago Family Doulas, and growing educational resources for families through Birth & Baby University, I have come to see that most of the families who take classes and further their education have a better birth experience and postpartum recovery. Even if their birth doesn’t go as planned, knowing what to expect really impacts their overall mental health and adjustment to their baby.
Hospitals do offer birth, newborn care, and infant feeding classes to prepare families planning to deliver at their hospital, however they aren’t always the best option.

I implore expecting families to explore independent birth classes for the following 5 reasons:

1. Independent classes are longer and more comprehensive. 

Hospital classes are typically shorter and not as thorough, and you will learn about the basics of labor along with the specific hospital’s policies. Through our independent classes, families gain a more comprehensive education (along with a workbook) which includes in-depth information about labor, birth, babies, and infant feeding. We have specific classes that prep you for what to expect at the hospital, along with information that will help you make informed decisions. These tools are aimed to help empower our families to have a positive positive.

2. Independent classes don’t have an agenda.

In most hospital classes, you will learn about that hospital’s policies. These classes typically prepare families for what to expect in terms of hospital setting procedures and birthing in that setting. 
Our classes are non-biased and explore all options families can have when laboring.

3. Independent classes teach you about all your options.

We give families the option to learn about both unmedicated and medicated births. If you do choose to have a medicated birth, you learn about all the different medication options you can have, as well as coping techniques and additional options you may have while medicated. We want our families to feel confident in the decisions (both expected and unexpected) they may need to make during labor. If you do choose to have an unmedicated birth, you will learn more than just how to cope during labor.

4. Independent classes prepare you for postpartum.

Families get to learn about what happens immediately postpartum, as well as when they bring baby home. There are independent classes that solely focus on baby care as well as breastfeeding. Independent classes share the many resources available in the community and are able to share a wide range of perspectives and options. Hospital classes are often only able to share from a perspective that is in alignment with their hospital.

5. Independent classes aim to empower.

The more opportunities for education families are given, the greater their chance for a positive birth and postpartum experience. Independent classes can discuss a wide range of choices and options that are not often discussed by your doctor. Families typically struggle with knowing what specific questions to ask to yield the outcome they are seeking: independent classes can help families formulate these questions. With hospital classes, you are often offered the options that the hospital is most comfortable with.

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Category: Tips From BeHerVillage Providers & Partners , Getting Ready For Your Baby
Tags: pregnancy , pregnancy support , ready for birth , birth prep , childbirth education


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