Should I Take a Birth Class?
Should I Take A Birth Class?
June 14, 2021

Should I Take A Birth Class?

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Should I Take A Birth Class?.
Should I Take A Birth Class?

When I was still working as a doula and health educator, I can’t count how often pregnant people would ask me, “Do you think I need a birth class?” And my answer would always be “absolutely,” and not because I wanted them to take my birth class, but because of something I still believe deeply—health education is healthcare.

Whether you’re birthing at the hospital, at home or in a birth center, taking a class can empower you to take action. When you have a deeper understanding of how your body is evolving, the care interventions that might be offered to you, how those interventions actually work and what might happen in an emergency—plus self-care strategies to cope—your experience is going to be better, no matter what happens.

Think of it this way, for the safety of ourselves and others, we have to educate ourselves and study before we take a driver’s test and get our driver’s licence. Prenatal education works similarly. What you stand to learn can help keep you and your baby safe and protect your mental health—every mother deserves that opportunity and benefit.

It’s one of the reasons we created a Pregnancy & Postpartum Program at LOOM. It’s packed with actionable, evidence-based information to educate and empower women from their first positive pregnancy test, right through birth and into the first few months postpartum — it’s the latest addition to a growing list of wonderful online education options out there. Your hospital or birthing center may offer low-cost class options, as well.

You can also carve your own path and create your own birth education experience by pulling in books, websites and podcasts and following care providers who create science-backed content on social media. Here’s a list of my go-to resources and why I love them to help you get started.

Books

I love this book for its simplicity and comprehensiveness. It’s everything that you really need to know about pregnancy, birth and the early postpartum shift from the integrative perspective of Penny Simkin, one of the most well-respected doulas and women’s health physical therapists.

This book gets right down to it. It’s a really great reference guide that can compliment any other pregnancy book. It’s very clinical and not super warm and fuzzy but more about getting the exact details that you need.

My book takes an integrative approach from the first trimester right through the first few months postpartum and pulls together self-care and mindfulness exercises, trimester-specific holistic remedies, nourishing foods and recipes for every month of pregnancy, and insights for every birth environment.

This book is data-driven all the way and really helps cut down on decision fatigue. It makes often-complex or polarizing concepts like epidurals and Cesarean births much softer and easier to find comfort with through a data lens.

The Fourth Trimester is an incredibly gentle, actionable and soulful read about preparing and protecting and healing your body and mind after having a baby.

Websites

Evidence Based Birth This is a fantastic resource that’s scientifically orientated and pulls together the latest and best data about pregnancy, the birth experience and early postpartum interventions. It’s a great website to use as a tool to work with your care providers.

Droplet Droplet is a Stanford-based website that goes into granular detail about the first few days and weeks of breastfeeding.

Podcasts

The Birth Hour We learn through shared experiences and hearing other people’s experiences, and the Birth Hour is a great example of that. There are hundreds of birth stories compiled over the years by birth content pioneer Bryn Huntpalmer.

The Motherhood Sessions This podcast is another listen-and-learn opportunity that covers the expanse of motherhood—from pregnancy and birth to later in parenthood.

OB/GYN’s & Midwives on Social Media

Whatever you decide, give yourself the gift of knowledge to support this monumental shift in your life. You deserve to thrive and getting informed in whatever way feels right for you is one way to ensure that you do.


Erica Chidi is the co-founder and CEO of LOOM, a platform empowering women through sexual and reproductive health education. She is also a doula, health educator and the author of the Nurture: A Modern Guide to Pregnancy, Birth, Early Motherhood.

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