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What every woman ought to know about childbirth classes


© Olga Miltsova |

Can a pregnant woman get a warm welcome from the natural birth community if she won't say no to drugs? Unfortunately, women looking for a way to reduce their risk of cesarean surgery are often met with judgment when they reach out for information and support from natural birth advocates.

Natural childbirth advocates will remind us all that when you go out for Italian food, you cannot order Peking Duck. Not all the hospitals offer great options for coping with pain aside from the drugs - things like hot tubs and relaxing spa showers,and complete freedom of movement. However, what natural birth advocates rarely acknowledge is that women do not make their childbirth choices in a vacuum. Most women are birthing in the most local hospital that accepts her insurance. Sometimes that place has little besides an epidural to help with the pain of labor. Women reach out looking for better coping techniques, but they too often met with condemnation unless they will state upfront that they will not be getting an epidural. Women planning any type of birth need support and have a right to the latest research.

What you need is an evidenced based childbirth education class. A hospital class my not adequately address your concerns, but rather teach you how to be a patient at that hospital. Other independent classes might teach a specific technique that some women find helpful for birth. There are independent educators out there in your community. Spend the time to find an educator who will answer your questions and help you find the information you need. It will be worth the extra time and effort.

For more information about independent childbirth classes or to find a certiified childbirth educator, search here: CAPPA, Lamaze International,  and ICEA.


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