By now, your baby weighs 1 pound 5 ounces (700 g) and is about 8.5-9 inches (22 cm) in length. At this time the baby's bones are hardening and the brain is growing at a rapid speed. The body parts would appear relatively proportional at this time.
Today, taking a childbirth education class is part and parcel of being pregnant and preparing for your baby's arrival. The classes will not only teach you techniques on how to deal with the pain associated with labor and delivery, but also about proper diet and exercise during your pregnancy. It is a great opportunity for bonding with your partner as well as meeting other people that are experiencing many of the same physical and emotional changes that are related to pregnancy and a new baby.
It is not unusual to feel apprehensive about the actual birthing process and to wonder what is really going to happen the day of your delivery. Getting education during your pregnancy can serve as a tool to help you prepare for that day. Some women are concerned that they will have no control over their labor and delivery, but with education you will feel much more confident and in control when the actual time arrives!
There are three common childbirth education techniques that are taught. These include: Lamaze , Bradley , and Read . The techniques are all slightly different, but the basic theories revolve around how to manage pain by using special breathing techniques, along with exercise and diet during pregnancy. While some of them are more focused on dealing with the pain of labor without any supplemental medication, others support medication as well. It is important, before you take a class, to decide if you are considering medications or an epidural so that you take the appropriate class for you and your focus on childbirth.
Many classes will help you in developing a birth plan. If you do outline a birth plan while in the class, just be sure that it will work hand in hand with the hospital where you are planning to deliver. Discuss your birth plan with your health care provider. Every hospital has different policies and procedures that they follow. Often the hospital you choose for your delivery may have childbirth classes available in the facility.
What's the difference between Lamaze, Bradley, and all the other approaches to childbirth? Fill out this childbirth education class checklist to determine which method of childbirth education is right for you.
Meet some expectant moms in your area for moral and physical support. Join a group for pregnant women or enroll in a prenatal exercise class. You never know: You and your future baby may gain new, long-lasting friendships!
Review Date: 12/9/2012
Reviewed By: Irina Burd, MD, PhD, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.