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Childbirth classes: What types are available and what do they teach?

While childbirth classes are not essential or required, it can be a great way to prepare for the delivery. There are a variety of different types of classes which includes different lengths and requirements. They are taught using a combination of methods including discussion, exercises, lectures, and demonstrations. Any class you choose should be led by a trained childbirth instructor.

These instructors can be found online or through word of mouth recommendations, but many hospitals hire them and hold childbirth classes as well. The topics are varied and you may find one or a combination of a few to be useful.

Topics most childbirth classes cover include the signs of labour, techniques for handling the pain of contractions, incorporating your partner into the childbirth process, and when to contact your doctor.

There are different types of childbirth classes to choose from. It will be up to you to decide which classes make more sense for your family and birthing plan. The most common class is Lamaze, a class that focuses on coping strategies and breathing techniques for the delivery. Lamaze also emphasizes a natural birth, without the use of an epidural, but also accept a mother’s right to take pain medication if necessary.

Bradley Method courses are also about natural childbirth and preparing a pregnant mother for what is ahead. Diet, exercise, breathing techniques, and spousal participation are all emphasised.

Hypnobirth classes teach a mother how to safely deliver in water and use methods to help a mother experience a calm, peaceful and relaxing birth. There are other programs and methods where there are qualified instructions available and ready for instruction.
 
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