8 reasons why 'Birth Education' is a valuable investment.
Birth education is likely to be placed on the table of options when planning your pregnancy and birth. Often these options get juggled around and prioritised, depending on time, finances, opportunity and importance.
Sadly, birth education seems to be falling by the wayside as the internet and Dr Google provides ‘everything’ you need to know about pregnancy, birth and looking after a baby, or so you think!
There are countless awesome books on the subject and you most likely know many women who have had babies and are very willing to share their stories with you. Or this may be a subsequent pregnancy and you feel like you’ve done it once, twice or three times and it will be FINE!
There are online courses available that may or may not cover the essentials that you need to know for your particular situation, options, area, hospital or even country that you live.
Hospitals provide birth education, however it may come with an agenda, which includes promotion of and compliance with the policies of the hospital that is hosting the course.
A study, completed in 2016, suggest that child birth education has a positive impact on reducing interventions in birth and improving satisfaction levels for birthing Mums.
Attending independent childbirth education classes are recommended as the educators themselves make it a priority to provide you with solid education, which includes best practice and suggestions that support you and your partner’s wishes for you and your baby’s birth outcomes.
So what are the benefits of independent birth education, especially if you are considering pushing that to the side as other more important items crop up?
1. Community - A huge benefit is that of developing community, of being around other parents-to-be, who are on a similar path to you. Being in a group can open up conversation and also remind you of things you may not have thought of. And the chance to share some of the highs and lows of the journey, which may ultimately provide you with a ‘cheer squad’ for years to come.
2. Evidence Based Practice - Another reason not to push the idea aside is the opportunity to learn about current evidence based practice, so that you can begin to explore what is important to you as a couple and then base your plans around that.
3. Informed Decision Making - You will explore what it means to be part of an informed decision making process, no matter what decisions need to be made and how that empowers your birthing experience.There will be many decisions to make on the journey through to parenthood, and so having specialist birth workers to help you map the terrain, can help to lessen any surprises and also give you a support system, if anything should crop up.
4. Birth Plan - Discover the benefit of having a birth plan, even though birth can be unpredictable, plans can set you up for success and are a way of informing yourself and your partner prior to labour and birthing. Couples who have a birth plan often work better together as a team and are more likely to feel more empowered with all decision making, rather than leaving it up to the hospital staff to make important choices for them, which are often based on policy .
5. Comfort Measures and Natural Pain Management - New skills, practices and positions as comfort measures for pregnancy, labour and birth. Including natural pain relief, explored openly and honestly. As the classes progress, you have time to practice and find what is best for you. Also having the opportunity to go back to class with questions and the time to explore solutions.
6. Connection - Birth education gives you, as a couple, a chance to focus on yourselves as soon to be parents without having all of the distractions of life. Classes offer great skills that will unite you as a team and prepare you for labour, birth and early parenting. Classes may also give you an insight into what is most important for each of you and how you might use your individual skills and unique gifts to support each other. As soon to be parents connection is important.
7. Birth Videos and Clips - Positive birth wisdom helps to inspire you and your partner and take away the fear of child birth. Any birth clips shown are shown to encourage and awaken your strength and power as a woman, not to frighten you or instil fear.
8. Breastfeeding and Post Partum Care - A lot of couples focus all their attention on the birth and then find the first few weeks and months to be overwhelming. Birth education can help you plan for a soft landing after bub arrives. Breastfeeding preparation, caring for a newborn, caring for Muma post partum, caring for the family while bonding to bub and adjusting to all the newness of having a baby in your nest.
The crux of birth education is to empower couples and give them the best chance for a safe and natural birth and a confident start to early parenting. The ethos behind most independent birth educators is to reinstate confidence and teach women and their partners about the natural physiology of birth and how to best to trust and support each other through this sometimes daunting but always life changing event.
Om Birth’s next Birthing Wisdom course begins on Thursday, January 10th in Pacific Palms. This course runs for 4 weeks each Thursday from 6:30 - 9pm. BOOK HERE and please pass this information onto anyone that you think might benefit, thank you. MJx
 - A policy is a guideline not a law = you have a choice, you can say NO.