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    Find out what other moms-to-be are asking. Join in the discussion with Henci Goer, whose expertise is determining what the research tells us best promotes safe, healthy birth. If you would like to contact Henci outside of the Ask Henci forum, send an email to

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    Nov 12

    child birth necessary?

    Archived User


    I'm pregnant with my first child, a boy, and I'm really excited. At first I really wanted to do birth classes just so I would be totally prepared and what not. However after going to my first class which was basically an introduction I decided against doing it again. I dont have any experience with the breathing part and so forth but how necessary is it really? My mom never did it nor my husband's mom and many pregnant women I know and they had great babies plus they pulled through fine. Secondly I dont have the money to be spending on these classes as we have to be focussing on so many other things in our lives. Am I being silly when I say I dont want to do the classes?

    Henci Goer

    Of course you are not silly to want to spend your time and money on other things if you felt the class would not be useful. But the question I have is "What turned you off?" Unfortunately, there are a lot of not-very-good-classes out there taught by people who have no qualifications to teach them. (Training as a maternity nurse, BTW, no more qualifies someone to teach expectant couples than certification as a childbirth educator qualifies someone to be a nurse.) Or perhaps the class simply wasn't a good fit for you. Before you abandon the idea of childbirth classes, consider what a class can give you:

    • Knowledge about the last months of pregnancy, labor, breastfeeding, early life with a new baby
    • Labor coping skills for you and your partner
    • The ability to get questions answered and participate in discussions
    • Information on what policies and practices are most likely to promote a healthy, satisfying birth experience
    • Peer support--the chance to get to know and share with other people in the same life phase you are

    to name a few. Take a look at Choosing a Childbirth Educator for general information on how to find a good class that's right for you before you give up the idea. You can also get questions answered elsewhere on the Lamaze International website.

    If you choose not to take childbirth classes--or even if you do--I strongly suggest you hire a doula. I also recommend getting The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin for specific information for your partner on helping a woman during labor, and for all-around basic information, get ahold of The Official Lamaze Guide: Giving Birth with Confidence. I also suggest you sign up for Lamaze's weekly e-newsletter. It's free.

    -- Henci

    Archived User

    some place. offer free class.

    for me .& my husband. was the best. beacuse  they are prfesional. you can ask many questions.

    about labor and delivery. breastfeeding. etc. if think you dont need. its ok.

    we went to a hospital. (class-free).we live en miami

    you can go to  werite "free child birth en your area"

    Henci Goer

    I'm glad you were pleased with your class, but often it's a case of you get what you pay for. Before signing up for a class simply because it is free, I would suggest finding out about the teacher's qualifications and making sure the class is a good fit with what you are looking for.  (See the links I posted above in this thread.) If it's a matter of what you can afford, many independent childbirth educators will work on a sliding scale, schedule payments, or accept barter. (Years ago, I found the woman who has been my hairdresser ever since by exchanging a perm for classes. Her baby is now grown and has a baby of his own.)

    -- Henci

    All Times America/New_York

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