Childbirth Education Classes: An overview of options
An Overview of OptionsThe following is a summary of some of the types of classes offered during pregnancy. Though each presents a unique way of preparing for childbirth, all include information about pregnancy and the process of labor and birth.
Bradley classes teach the woman's partner to be a "coach", and instruct couples to use relaxation techniques during labor and birth to avoid using medication. There is a strong emphasis on prenatal nutrition throughout the classes.
International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) classes focus on informed consumer choice and family-centered birth. Labor-coping techniques, predominantly progressive relaxation, are taught with a focus on benefit versus risk for all options.
Lamaze International classes are based on the philosophy that birth is normal, natural, and healthy and seeks to help women give birth with confidence. Classes teach women a wide variety of ways to seek comfort during labor and birth including movement, changing position, relaxation, breathing, massage, and hydrotherapy.
Sibling classes help to prepare brothers and sisters for the arrival of the new baby. Classes focus on birth and newborn care (holding the baby, diapering, etc.).
Breastfeeding classes are offered during pregnancy to prepare women for nursing by providing basic information on techniques, maternal and infant nutrition, and strategies for success.
Regardless of which type of class you choose, all classes provide support and will guide you through the changes that occur during pregnancy, birth, and your new life as parents.
Most recent page update: 3/6/2012
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Childbirth Connection is a national not-for-profit organization founded in 1918 as Maternity Center Association. Our mission is to improve the quality and value of maternity care through consumer engagement and health system transformation. Childbirth Connection promotes safe, effective and satisfying evidence-based maternity care and is a voice for the needs and interests of childbearing families.
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Listening to MothersSM III is the third national survey exploring womenís experiences in pregnancy and childbirth. Commissioned by Childbirth Connection, conducted by Harris Interactive, and funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the survey polled 2,400 women who gave birth in U.S. hospitals from 2011 to 2012. Results show that medically intensive experiences are typical, and evidence-based practices are underutilized. Childbearing women need better support and knowledge to navigate their maternity care.
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