One of the many fun things you get to do as a pregnant woman is taking birth classes.  It may not sound like fun, but I assure you that they really can be!  I’m not saying that you HAVE to take these classes, after all women gave birth for generations without the need of a class.  Clearly they aren’t imperative to your labor success, but they can be a wonderful resource, especially if this is your first pregnancy. 

You will be given the opportunity to ask questions of someone who has been there, done that; someone who most likely works in a hospital birthing environment (or has in the past.)  This will be someone with experience, whom you can ask all of your questions.  Many hospitals offer birthing classes, which is a great resource to take advantage of. 

During your classes at the hospital, you will be able to become more comfortable with your hospital’s layout and figure out where everything is.  What type of birthing class you take is completely up to you, and your beliefs on labor.  I would recommend a class that covers several different laboring techniques, and also discusses c-sections and inductions.  Even if you do not plan on having a c-section or on being inducted, it is healthy and smart, to have the knowledge in case your situation changes and you end up going that route.  The same goes for education on pain medication during labor.  Find a class that discusses all of your options.  If you planned on a natural labor, but find yourself changing your mind while in labor, it will be helpful to have all the information already. 

Also keep an eye open for newborn basic care classes.  Classes are often offered online if your schedule is restrictive. 

-Stephanie Wright

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