Birthing Classes in Raleigh, NC
Whether you’re delivering your first child or your fourth, birthing classes can help you prepare to meet the challenges of labor and delivery. At Blue Ridge OB/GYN, we recommend our patients take WakeMed North Hospital Birth & Family classes. These are taught by experienced childbirth educators at several Wake County locations, to help expectant parents successfully prepare for the arrival of their new baby.
Reasons to Take Birthing Classes
There are many reasons why expectant parents in the Triangle area should consider taking prenatal or birthing classes in Raleigh NC. Some of the information you’ll learn during these classes include:
- How to identify the signs of labor, and what will happen to your body during the process.
- Ways to know whether your labor is on track, which will help you avoid unnecessary distress.
- Coaching for your partner and the opportunity to understand what will happen during childbirth, and how best to support you.
- Options for managing pain, such as breathing techniques, relaxation and visualization as well as common medications such as epidural blocks.
During the classes, you’ll receive information on medical interventions and possible complications, and how these can affect the labor process. You’ll also meet other parents-in-waiting and be able to discuss your joys and concerns with people in the same situation as you are.
Ideal Time for Classes
Anytime before your labor begins is a good time to take birthing classes, but we recommend enrolling around month 6 or 7 of your pregnancy. If you feel you would benefit from more time or from taking the classes more than once, then start earlier. You’ll also have more flexibility if you take classes in the early stages of the pregnancy, although this can result in forgetting some of the information you learn. After 6 months is ideal, because your belly will have expanded enough for the experience to feel more realistic. The closer your classes are to your delivery, the easier it will be for you to retain the information.
Types of Birthing Classes in Raleigh, NC
Some birthing classes target specific types of births, such as vaginal birth after C-section or multiple births, while others focus on particular methods like Lamaze and Bradley. With Lamaze, the purpose is to improve your confidence and help you understand how to cope with the pain, such as focused breathing and massage. The Bradley method, however, promotes the natural birth process and teaches ways to relax and for your partner or labor coach to support you.
At WakeMed North Hospital, birthing classes are available that cover a range of different topics, such as:
- Labor and birth education
- Multiples labor and birth class
- Labor and birth review
- Preparation for C-section birth
- Doula services
- Gestational diabetes
You may also find classes that include elements of other methods, such as hypnobirthing, which incorporates self-hypnosis and deep relaxation.
Whatever class you choose, attend regularly and aim to get comfortable with the information and method. Practice the breathing techniques or strategies you learn during the class, so you’ll be ready to use them during labor.