Antenatal Classes... Are you spending your money on a myth?
Conception, pregnancy and childbirth are some of the most incredible, beautiful and powerful moments of human existence. Creating, growing and birthing a baby into the world is nothing short of a miracle. But with intensity comes vulnerability. With so much at stake, parents-to-be are some of the most marketed to consumers on the planet. Pharmaceutical companies, car companies, and product makers have all jumped on the band wagon. Sadly, the field of antenatal education is no exception. So we're here to bust 5 common myths about antenatal education so your family can make an informed decision when booking your pregnancy course!
Myth #1 Being taught 'how to' give birth is essential for a positive birth experience
Your body does not need a lesson on 'how to' give birth. Notice how no other animal goes to birth preparation classes...? Every female mammal is born with the instinctive knowledge of how to birth her baby! When a woman gives birth in an undisturbed setting conducive to natural birth, her 'reptilian brain' takes over and tells her body what to do. Instead of explaining to parents-to-be the exact physiological process for giving birth, antenatal classes should focus on:
How to set up an environment conducive to natural birth
Which positions in pregnancy will help encourage baby into an optimal position for an easier birth
Nourishing your pregnant body and womb baby
Preparing spiritually and mentally for the birth of your baby
How to look after a newborn
Like to find out how to set up your birth space in a way which helps your instinctive ability to birth your baby? Check out this replay of The Birthing Room's Live Q & A Session -A Labour Room of Love.
Myth #2 The best time to do antenatal classes is near the end of pregnancy
The traditional 6 week antenatal course at the end of pregnancy is almost viewed as a rite of passage by many expectant parents. However, a large number of families miss out on completing their course because their baby was born prematurely or they started too late in pregnancy. It also renders parents-to-be helpless to make positive changes that will impact on their pregnancy and birth. What's the use of finding out which foods will nourish your body in the second trimester if you are already in your third? Or finding out how to prevent pregnancy complications if you already have them? This is one of the reasons The Birthing Room bucked the trend and started offering antenatal education from early in pregnancy years ago, and continues to do so.
Myth #3 All antenatal classes teach the same information
Before you sign up to a pregnancy course, find out a little bit of background information. Who is facilitating the course? Are there restrictions on what information they can give you? Which organisation funds the course? What is their agenda? What is their philosophy about birth? Why is the course held at a particular location? What do others have to say about the course? Does the course teach holistic information, or just focus on the physical? When looking at which childbirth education organisation to train with, one of the reasons I chose BirthWorks International was because of their internationally acclaimed board of advisors. This made a huge difference to the education I received. Having good background information will help you choose the right antenatal education fit for your family.
Myth #4 Antenatal classes just freak out parents-to-be
Because many traditional antenatal classes just focus on teaching pregnant families 'how to' birth their baby, they do freak out the participating families! When we were pregnant, the shocking video we watched in our antenatal course left us petrified, and in fact, one family never came back. This kind of 'teaching' is unacceptable. All antenatal education should leave families feeling empowered, and less afraid. Everything that is taught should equip families with more confidence in their ability to birth their baby. One Dad in The Birthing Room's antenatal classes was telling me he was getting some grief from his work mates about attending antenatal classes. He just laughed at them and said he had no idea what they were on about. He LOVED The Birthing Room antenatal classes. He was really gutted when his course finished and wished it could have gone on for a lot longer.
Myth #5 Antenatal classes are only for those who like participating in groups
Ever sat in a group and hoped like heck the facilitator won't ask you to come up and participate in a role play? I sure have. I hate role plays!! Maybe you are someone who doesn't like to read in front of others, or who struggles to chat to new people. Maybe you are well known in your community and don't want to talk about your personal situation in front of others. Or maybe where you live just makes it impossible to travel to a group course. The good news is there are lots of options out there -It's just about finding the right fit for your family. For example, you could try...
Private antenatal education. This can be done in your own home in many places, or via Skype. The beauty of education such as this is that you can pick and choose what topics you'd like to cover.
Individual online courses. The Birthing Room offers one for each trimester, as well as from birth to 3 months. These can be done in your own home, and at your own pace.
The Birthing Room's Premium Package. This little beauty of a bundle gives you all 5 antenatal courses for a discounted price, as well as monthly Live Q & A Sessions and access to our private Facebook support group.
Antenatal education can and should be an amazing experience that equips your family with empowering evidence-based information, and fills you with confidence. If you'd like to find out more about how The Birthing Room can partner with you in your pregnancy journey, we'd love to hear from you. Contact Us