What should a pregnant woman know about choosing a childbirth education class and educator?

Childbirth classes are an important adjunct to your learning as you prepare for the birth of your baby. While your most important teachers about birth will be women who have given birth naturally and normally and willingly share their birth stories, childbirth classes can and should be a forum for hearing the story of normal, natural birth.

The story of how your body works and is designed to give birth should lead you to have confidence in your own ability to give birth and a deep trust in the process of birth. To achieve this, the childbirth educator you choose needs to be knowledgeable about natural childbirth, and she needs to believe in your ability to do the hard work of labor and birth without medical interventions. The childbirth educator trusts birth, is a good teacher and has confidence in you. She should be an advocate who shares the information that you will need to make decisions about your birth. And she should respect your ability to make decisions that are right for you.

Finding a Childbirth Educator
Finding a childbirth educator who trusts birth and has the knowledge and skills to help you develop a deep confidence in your ability to birth your baby can sometimes be a challenge. Within the hospital system there is sometimes pressure to prepare women to willingly accept routine interventions and restrictions on their freedom. And if that is the approach, you may leave your class with little confidence in yourself and a great deal in technology, tests and machines. The truly knowledgeable and effective childbirth educator knows normal, natural birth and also knows how to help you negotiate the healthcare system to be able to give birth naturally, safely and confidently.

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