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Pregnancy and childbirth expert Robin Elise Weiss, PhD, teaches couples about pregnancy and birth and has attended hundreds of births since 1989.
In a post for About.com she lays out five very important reasons why NOT to take the childbirth classes offered by your local hospital – unless, of course, your hospital is doing the opposite of what’s on this list.
Childbirth classes are so important. Choose the best ones.
Here’s why hospital childbirth classes may not be your first choice.
Classes are too short
Many hospital childbirth classes are only 2-4 hours, maybe a full day at the most. Compare that to The Bradley Method, a weekly class spanning 12 weeks. There’s so much to learn about pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and caring for a newborn-especially for new moms. 2-4 hours, even 8 hours, just isn’t enough time.
Classes are too large
If your plan is to birth at a large hospital, chances are there will be lots of other women birthing there, too. This means large classes to accommodate all you expectant mothers – up to 100 moms in one class! As you can imagine, that’s not a great environment to get your very personal and unique questions answered. If only for this reason you should opt for a smaller class size, even if it costs a bit extra.
Classes are too late
If your hospital won’t let you take their childbirth class until you’re in your 36th week, which is common, what if you give birth early? What if you need guidance that you should be implementing earlier in the pregnancy than 36 weeks? Waiting so long could be more stressful than helpful.
Educators usually aren’t certified
In a hospital setting, your educator will typically be a nurse or administrator, not someone certified in any method of childbirth education. “Add this to short amounts of time and it can quickly become a quick Power Point overview of labor.”
Education is guided by hospital policy
If a hospital employee is teaching your class that employee may not be allowed to speak freely about any and all topics. This means you’re likely getting biased information that’s skewed towards the best interests of the hospital, not of you, the birthing mom.
Throughout pregnancy, and in labor, you should be fully supported in your choices and provided complete information to make those choices. A hospital class may not be able to provide that for you.
Check out Weiss’ original post for a list of questions to ask so you can find the best hospital classes to fit your needs.
Source: “5 Reasons Not to Take Hospital Childbirth Classes” via About.com