For newly pregnant women, the sheer amount of information and resources can be overwhelming. You’ll come across conflicting advice and recommendations from books, websites, well-meaning friends and family, medical professionals and even total strangers. When you arrive at an appointment with a certified nurse midwife like myself, it is my job to sort out myths from facts and give you advice tailored to your desires and needs.
Where can I find childbirth education resources?
There are several resources I recommend for expecting mothers in the Denver metro area. HealthONE offers several birth preparation classes at Swedish Medical Center, including Birth and Baby Basics, Boot Camp for New Moms and Boot Camp for New Dads, Breastfeeding Preparation, Labor, Birth and Beyond and more.
Are certain child birthing classes better than others?
Each type of childbirth class offers different techniques to expecting moms. Instead of asking which method is the best, you should consider which type of class is best for you. This will vary based on your lifestyle, your relationship with your partner and your intentions for natural or medicated labor. Here are some childbirth classes for women hoping for a natural childbirth:
- Lamaze Technique – This is the most common childbirth class in the United States. In a Lamaze course, your instructor will provide information on labor, birth and post-partum care. The primary focus of Lamaze courses is a breathing technique that helps women cope with the pain of childbirth. This is helpful for both natural and medicated childbirth. Lamaze courses promote a positive environment for your delivery to achieve healthy outcomes for moms and babies.
- The Bradley Method – This method is also referred to as husband-coached birth. The Bradley method prepares the baby’s father to be the mother’s birth coach during the labor and birth process. This method encourages healthy diet choices throughout pregnancy and making good choices during labor. About 90 percent of women who use the Bradley method and have a vaginal delivery choose natural, or un-medicated, childbirth.
- Hypnobirthing – Also called the Mongan method, hypnobirthing classes utilize self-hypnosis techniques to help expectant mothers achieve a more relaxed, natural childbirth. They also use different wording to describe how they are feeling, which helps combat the fear of pain women experience in pregnancy and delivery.
We encourage you to discuss the coping techniques you are learning with your midwife or OB/GYN so we can better support you during your delivery.
What are the benefits of natural childbirth?
Although sometimes intervention is medically necessary, the American College of Nurse Midwives provides some information about the benefits of natural childbirth. These include more mobility during labor and delivery, intermittent monitoring and intrusion, more options for child birthing position, the ability to drink and eat light snacks during labor, and the promotion of an immediate connection between mother and baby.
More than half of women receive medication to start or speed up their labors, and one-third of US women deliver by cesarean section. Learn more about the benefits of natural childbirth here.
What is a midwife’s role in childbirth?
A midwife’s role is to support your decisions while also promoting the health and wellbeing of you and your baby. As midwives, our philosophy focuses on the belief that birth is a normal and natural physiological process. We work with patients to minimize the fear of the labor and delivery process. We do everything in our power to ensure the childbearing process is a positive emotional experience for you and your family.
If you have additional questions, you can always reach out to your OB/GYN or midwife. To schedule an appointment with myself or any of the Mountain Vista OB/GYN and Midwifery staff, call 303-788-8808 or visit our website.
** This blog post was written to serve as informational guidance about childbirth classes and should not be taken as concrete medical advice, nor do the views above reflect the views of Mountain Vista OB/GYN and Midwifery or the HealthONE organization. As with any medical questions or concerns, it’s imperative to make an appointment with your physician for proper counseling.
Lauren Linden, CNM, MSN, practices at Mountain Vista OB/GYN and Midwifery. She completed her undergraduate studies in nursing at Michigan State University and earned her midwife certification and Masters of Science in nursing from the University of Michigan. Lauren was inspired to pursue midwifery as a career after a medical mission trip to Kenya. Lauren has extensive experience in care for women and newborns during labor, delivery and immediate postpartum for both vaginal and caesarean births.