During pregnancy (and even before!), it’s important to spend time preparing and educating yourself about what to expect during the remainder of pregnancy, and for your upcoming labor, birth, and postpartum period. Fear of the unknown can cause more tension, thus causing more pain, and adequate preparation can help you to avoid not knowing what to expect. Moms and dads who have seriously prepared for birth are often rewarded with a much more satisfying birth experience, especially due to the fact that they had a better idea of what to expect, and what was going on with mom’s body during the different stages. Being able to learn about the natural processes, how these things affect mom and baby, what positions can help at what times, etc. all serve to enable a couple to work as a team as they bring their baby into the world.
While it’s ideal to take a live childbirth class whenever possible (this gives you personal time with the instructor, the chance to ask questions, and the fun of interacting with other couples experiencing pregnancy), there are often times when there are no natural-minded classes available in your area, or when time constraints make it impossible to attend a series of classes. When this is the case, don’t give up the desire to be prepared! There are many different online classes, videos and books that can all help to educate you on the labor and birth process, and this list is intended to give you some pointers on where to start:
Actual Childbirth Classes-either online or DVD:
http://birthbootcamp.com/online-childbirth-education-classes/online-class-faq/ Birth Boot Camp is an intense class, available online or in various locations around the US, focusing on preparation for a natural childbirth by teaching relaxation techniques, exercises, etc., taught by midwives, childbirth educators, lactation consultants and others.
http://spinningbabies.com/classes/eclass-for-pregnant-parents-2 Gail Tully teaches an incredible class on optimal fetal positioning, and this is a link for the online childbirth classes that she recommends.
http://injoyvideos.com/mothers-advocate-dvds.html This DVD is a “mini childbirth class”…30 min. of good advice and information, available to purchase, or on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/user/MothersAdvocate
Other Helpful Links/DVD’s:
http://spinningbabies.com/videos/spinning-babies-video Taught by Gail Tully at Spinning Babies, the Parent Class DVD is an excellent resource for teaching couples techniques and exercises for encouraging baby to get in a good position and prepare mom for birth.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZDeozklQw8&app=desktop An older Lamaze video, this shows several moms in labor, and talks about ways to be prepared for natural childbirth.
http://www.happyhealthychild.com/ This DVD set, available through Amazon, is taught by a variety of OB’s, midwives, doulas, and other professionals. It covers prenatal nutrition, labor preparation, natural childbirth, birth choices, newborn care, and more in a lecture-type style.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xath6kOf0NE, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDP_ewMDxCo, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ze53Ep-gwBQ&index=5&list=PLD8C569116E48F504, Short, 3D animated medical videos giving excellent visuals on the birth process, contraction action, station explanation, and more.
http://www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com/ Excellent documentary explaining birth choices in the US. Features quotes by OBs, midwives, doulas, and home/natural birth moms. Available to watch for free on youtube!
http://www.mothering.com/articles/6-birth-videos-used-prepare-child-siblings-entrance/ Various birth videos
http://babies.littlethings.com/husband-wife-home-birth/?utm_content=buffer0f17b&utm_medium=Facebook&utm_source=sungazing&utm_campaign=PFPost A really sweet home water birth video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uvk08EfgECk A brief overview of the stages of labor.
One more thing to note…if you live local, I’d be more than happy to share with you some of the great options for live childbirth classes in this area!