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8 Ways Birthing Classes Will Transform Your Birth Experience

pregnant couples sitting in a birth class in minneapolis, minnesota

Let’s face it, parents-to-be, birth can be as unpredictable as it is magical. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t feel totally prepared and empowered if things go awry.

Birthing classes provide the knowledge, tools, and support to navigate your birth journey with confidence, leading to a more positive – and yes, transformed – experience.

Here are the eight ways that birthing classes will absolutely transform your birth experience.

 

1. You’ll be Ready to Handle the Unknowns of Birth

Birth plans are great, but don’t always go as expected (~20% of births in the US involve unplanned c-sections and 37% involve inductions, often unplanned). Due (guess) dates are notoriously unreliable, labor can happen really fast (or slow) and quite simply your body can get a mind of its own when you’re in the thick of it.

And that’s okay. It doesn’t mean you have to feel helpless, though. Getting prepared psychologically with the right mental models is crucial to being ready when the unexpected strikes.

Birthing classes will introduce you to the BRAIN decision-making model – a framework designed to help you ask the right questions, understand your options, and trust your instincts when facing unexpected situations.

You’ll practice applying this model to common scenarios you may not have considered, leaving you better equipped to make fully-informed choices in collaboration with your care team.

 

2. Your Community Will Lift You Up

Pregnancy can be an isolating time, but it doesn’t have to be. Pregnancy classes connect you with other expectant parents in your community who understand exactly what you’re going through.

Sharing stories, anxieties, and those funny pregnancy moments helps you feel less alone and builds a bond with families who may become lifelong friends. Think of your birth class as the start of your “village” – a support system that extends far beyond the delivery room. There really is no substitute for this kind of deliberate, mindful and face-to-face connection – and no, watching videos online just won’t cut it.

 

3. Your Partner (or Support Person) Will Feel Like a Superhero

dad sitting by pregnant mom in the blooma birth class

Birth partners often crave ways to feel involved and helpful during a time when they might otherwise feel sidelined. Dads and support people want to know what to do – and what not to do – during labor.

So here’s a radical idea: let’s tell them.

Birthing classes teach them specific techniques they can master, from massage and counter-pressure, to providing words of encouragement tailored to your needs. Practical exercises and role-playing scenarios help partners develop confidence as an active part of your birth team, not a spectator in the corner with two left feet.

 

4. You’ll Bond More with Your Growing Baby

pregnant woman holding her belly in prenatal birth class

Pregnancy is a whirlwind of doctor’s appointments, nesting, and those wild kicks! Birth classes carve out dedicated time to connect with your baby on a deeper level.

Mindfulness practices like guided breathwork and visualization not only reduce your stress but also create a sense of calm and connection with your little one. This prenatal bonding can lead to a smoother transition to motherhood and stronger recognition of your baby’s unique cues.

These practices help reduce prenatal stress for both mom/parent and baby, which can lead to better health outcomes such as a lower risk of preterm birth and low birth weight, lower risk of preeclampsia and improved fetal development.

5. You’ll Feel Confident About Your Provider Choice

Choosing the right care provider is one of the most important decisions you’ll make during your pregnancy. Prenatal classes – ideally during your first or second trimester – will explain the importance of evidence-based care, help you understand different birth settings (hospital, birth center, home) and teach you how to communicate effectively with providers.

Finding a provider that aligns with your birthing preferences and beliefs is critical to improving your birth experience. You’ll learn not to be afraid to interview multiple obstetricians and midwives until you find someone who makes you feel safe, respected and fully aligned with your vision.

 

6. You’ll Learn Effective Tools for Managing Pain During Labor

From movement and position changes to breathing techniques, massage, and visualization, classes will teach you a variety of strategies for coping with labor naturally. Exploring these non-pharmaceutical methods builds confidence, reduces fear of labor pain, and gives you greater control over your birth experience.

While pharmaceutical medication is always an option, you may discover a greater capacity for managing labor than you ever thought possible. And if you do opt for an epidural, there’s nothing wrong with that – but you’ll do it having been fully informed on how it may impact the remainder of your birth experience.

 

7. You’ll Master Your Transition to Postpartum

Consider this your postpartum pep talk. The “fourth trimester” is often overlooked, but birth classes prepare you for this tender and challenging time. You’ll learn about realistic expectations for physical and emotional healing, strategies for self-care and tips for protecting your mental health as a new parent.

In-person birth classes also provide information about essential resources like local postpartum support groups, where you can connect with other new parents for continued support and community. Don’t underestimate the impact of a new mom’s group!

 

8. You’ll Demystify Common Labor Interventions

Birth classes offer unbiased, evidence-based information about common labor interventions such as induction, cesarean section, fetal monitoring, and pain medication. Understanding the benefits, risks, and alternatives to each intervention empowers you to make informed decisions about your care, should the need arise.

You’ll learn how to confidently discuss your options with providers, advocating for the birth experience that feels right for you.

In-person, professionally led birthing classes – like those offered at Blooma in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota – are a worthy investment in your emotional and physical readiness for childbirth and the postpartum period. (psst: Blooma offers virtual/custom/private birth classes, too)

Review your options (hello, Google) and find a class that resonates with your values and birth philosophy.  With preparation, knowledge and unwavering support, you can step into your birth journey with confidence and a positive mindset.

expecting mother sitting in a birth class
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