I will probably be having a cesarean section birth. Is there any reason for me to attend childbirth classes? - Donna in Colorado
The expert answers
Even if you are definitely having a cesarean, I still think it is worthwhile to take classes. Remember that your baby does not know your doctor's schedule! You may find yourself in labor before you planned. Knowing what to expect will help you cope both with the contractions and with a change of plans.
In any case, the breathing and relaxation exercises taught in childbirth classes don't only apply to birth -- they are life skills with many applications. Relaxation can help lower your blood pressure and give you a greater sense of control over your body.
Many women use the breathing and relaxation techniques during cesarean birth to help them get through the surgery and the recovery.
Most childbirth classes also cover the reasons for a cesarean, so you will be able to make informed decisions. You and your birth partner will also learn the procedures for a cesarean and what to expect, whether it is your first c-section or even if you have experienced a surgical birth already. You will also learn ways to help you recover more quickly.
One other benefit of childbirth classes is that you meet other couples who are experiencing the same things as you. It's an opportunity for socialization and support with a diverse group of adults, whose children will be your baby's peers!
- Kira Smith, M.Ed, ICCE