Hubster and I attended 4-2 hour evening sessions to get ready for labor and delivery at our hospital. It was exhausting going to class after a long day of work, but it was worth it.
First, they were so informative! We learned about different interventions used and when, got advice about how to handle nonmedicated childbirth, the actual process of labor and delivery, the hospital’s protocols, and that we have a choice about every part! Except the cases when emergency c-section is needed, which she explained. The highlights for me (besides knowing my birth plan would be carried out, if possible) were:
1. Finding out the following are standard protocol:
-skin-to-skin immediately following birth
-skin-to-skin with partner after c-section
-delayed cord clamping (YES!)
-wireless fetal monitoring systems to labor freely
-labor and delivery positions are determined by the woman giving birth (unless given an epi)
(AND THEY GOT NEW BEDS THAT FACILITATE SQUATTING FOR WOMEN WHO GET AN EPI!)
2. That she taught the partners some massage techniques that might help during labor. Not only did she show us what to do, but had them practice. And then she watched each of them do it and help them get it right.
3. She taught the preggos different positions to help during labor and we practiced them.
4. Also, did I mention this is a university teaching hospital?! I chose this one because of their giant combo labor/delivery rooms and they have the best NICU in the area so if by some chance our baby has to go there, he won’t be transferred to a different hospital from the one I’m recovering in. But I never in a million years anticipated they would be natural-birth-friendly. I figured I would have to rely on the fact that my OB believes in patient-led care.
5. The nurse teaching the class was very open and real about how painful, exhausting, and emotional the whole process can be, but I appreciate that. She wasn’t trying to scare is into drugs, but is totally supportive of however you need to birth your baby. And she was HILARIOUS! Hubster and I cracked up the entire time. And we were both genuinely sad that our classes were over. Hopefully she’ll teach the Breastfeeding & Baby Basics class we’re going to next month!