As a birth worker, families ask me in many different ways - Why are childbith prep classes so important? Not to sound like a broken record for those who have already asked me, but here's why I feel so strongly about them.
Picture yourself planning a big vacation. You may pick a place to go immediately or take time to figure out the best option for your destination. Once you've picked your spot, you figure out travel plans to get there, where to stay, make dinner reservations or schedule tours, etc. You may leave some of your vacation more open so you can relax or decide what to do once you are there. Heck, some of you may take a spontaneous trip and book a flight two hours before it takes off! However, for many of us, flying by the seat of our pants may sound more stressful than exciting.
Thinking through all the small details you attend to when planning a vacation can help you understand why taking a full-day or 6-week childbirth education course before baby comes is so beneficial for you and your partner. You both will benefit immensely by taking the time to learn more about the journey you will be going on to meet your sweet babe. Also, because most of us didn't grow up around birth, it may make us uncomfortable or fearful of the unknown.
It wasn't always that way. Many years ago (and still in some cultures today), giving birth was very much a community effort. Women helping women, men supporting the community collectively and so on. Our society has gotten away from birth as a community and family effort. As a result, we don't talk much about labor and birth, and we have so many unknowns when it comes to childbirth.
A version of this blog previously appeared over on the Stacey Schmitt Birth & Photography blog.
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