"An eight hour class to learn about birth?! All that for just one day?!"
There are so many decisions and choices surrounding the birth of a child -- your child. So yes, a childbirth class requires time to cover all of the relevant information on childbirth. BUT, a comprehensive childbirth class also covers much more than birth! If you attend a comprehensive childbirth course (at least 8 hours in total length) taught by a certified childbirth educator, you can generally expect to receive education on some or all of the following topics, outside of information on birth:
- Caring for your postpartum body for vaginal and cesarean births
- Basics of and resources for breastfeeding
- Signs of and resources for postpartum depression and related disorders
- Basic newborn care
- Prenatal and postpartum nutrition information
- Your post-baby relationship
Birth is a big deal. Life after birth is a huge deal. Preparing for both in advance of your birth can help you and your baby get the best start in life. Most parents will say they wish they had known more about what to expect in the first few days, weeks, and months after bringing baby home. If you're considering taking a childbirth class, but don't know if it's worth your time and effort, know that with the right class, you'll receive information to take you beyond your birth. Also know that not all classes are created equal. Research classes in your area -- if the course content is not detailed online, email the instructor to find out what is covered.
You can find a Lamaze class in your area with the Lamaze class locator. Many Lamaze instructors offer different types of courses that range from a "quickie" class to the more traditional, comprehensive classes that cover several topics.