Do you think that if you were to wake up tomorrow and someone offered you 20 million dollars to start a marathon that day and you had to finish it but there was no time limit could you do it? It might not be pretty, but most of us could manage to finish that darn thing even if it took us a month. Now contrast this to someone who has been carefully preparing for this same marathon. They have been eating and training with the marathon in mind for months. They have prepared physically, emotionally and mentally. While the marathon is still hard work they are able to accomplish it with significantly more ease and grace (and typically in much shorter times!)
How does this relate to labor and delivery? Childbirth is a marathon and of course you can simply show up on your baby's birthday and know that eventually that baby will come out one way or another. However if you thoroughly prepare and train for it you will complete it with much more ease and grace (and once again typically in much shorter times!)
Do any of you remember the Seinfeld episode where George talks about how he does a "leave behind" to arrange for a woman to see him three times "What's the difference? You know they way I work. I'm like a commercial jingle. First it's a little irritating, then you hear it a few times, you're hummin it in the shower, by the third date it's (sings) "By Mennen!" Preparing yourself mentally is a little like this. If you do not have faith in your ability to confidently birth your child it is just short of impossible to do this in most cases. Attitudes and habits take weeks of reinforcement to change. Often times I have students who are so self confident and assured in their abilities during the early weeks of class. Then about halfway through the week they need a pep talk about it since other influences in their life have caused them to question their innate ability. By the end of the class my students are no longer doubting themselves, they are secure in the knowledge that their body was made to do this and that they will have their best birth!
An important aspect of a childbirth class is information. That's what you are going there for in the first place. There are a lot of things out there to wade through in terms of understanding childbirth in America. We have a lot of arbitrary rules out there that originally intended to provide for safer outcomes in childbirth however much research doesn't support these routine protocols. In our time together we barely scratch the surface of these issues and still expect our couples to do outside readings and homework. It is difficult to fathom how someone is able to cover even a fraction of the relevant material in a class that isn't even half as long.
Another key component of a childbirth class is the introduction of techniques and time to practice them. In our series you are given an entire toolbox of ideas of how to manage your labor and exactly how to use them. Then you are given time in class to practice them so you can feel confident that you are using them in a way that will maximize the benefits your receive from them. Many couples report this time in class is the only time they find to truly focus on these activities in their busy lives.
In order to have your best birth you need to be in your optimal physical condition. Obviously pregnancy isn't the time to try to lose weight or start an intensive exercise routine however you do want to be in your best condition in order to stay low risk and to have an easier labor and delivery. This includes eating a balanced diet and adding moderate exercises including pelvic rocking, light squatting and something for overall fitness like walking or swimming. Building physical strength and stamina takes time and we want to encourage you over the course of the class to be in your optimal health.
The biggest reason behind our length of classes is that it works. Statistical analysis done by the American Academy of Husband Coached Childbirth shows us that couples who completed a full and continuous series of classes were significantly more likely to have an unmedicated birth. The fewer the weeks of class the higher the rate of medication. You deserve your best chance at your best birth. Do not settle for less!