This is a post in my series on Owning your Birth.  It is my strong belief that your birth experience profoundly impacts your early days with your new child.  The way you feel while birthing your baby can inform how you feel about yourself as a person, mother, and partner.  If you feel respected, strong, and supported during pregnancy, labor and delivery, you will improve your chances of beginning your mothering journey with confidence and hope.  If you feel disrespected, controlled, or unheard during pregnancy, labor and delivery, you may enter your mothering journey with fear and sadness. 

Birth is normal and breathtakingly beautiful.  But it is also mysterious and unknown, sometimes overwhelming and scary.  With any labor and delivery, you can have an experience that is woman- and mother-centered.  Feeling respected and heard, and experiencing your own strength and power during birth, comes down to owning the experience, even in its uncertainty. And often still, things won’t go as you expected. If you are surprised, overwhelmed, or sad about your birth experience, you will be better able to confront it and work through it if you feel prepared, strong, and confident enough to reach out for support.  

You cannot plan your birth.  Birth will takes its own course and we do best when we can let birth happen.  But birth can happen best when we are physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually at our best.  In this series, I’ll share ideas about what you can do to own your birth experience. 

Own Your Birth: Part 11 of 24
Own your Birth (9)Take a Childbirth Class

There is so much you can do to learn about and prepare for giving birth. And I’ll be the first to tell you that it can be overwhelming! Can’t we just let go and trust our bodies to do their jobs? Yes, we can. But understanding the process of childbirth and how we can work with it can help us to have a better, more satisfying and powerful experience. While there is so much to read and watch about giving birth, nothing can replace the experience of taking a childbirth education class with a skilled instructor. You have access to a very knowledgeable person to whom you can ask all of your burning questions. And with many classes, you can join with other expecting families to create community and positive energy about your upcoming labors and births!

Types of childbirth education

There are a handful of different approaches to childbirth education. I’ll share a few common ones below. You might want to do some reading about each one to help you think about what resonates most with you.

Bradley Method
Birthing from Within

There are other approaches as well and it’s absolutely worth it to speak with instructors in your area about their approach.

How can I find childbirth education in my area?

The best way to find a childbirth class in your area is to ask friends and colleagues for recommendations. You can also post on local facebook and/or yahoo groups. Many hospitals offer childbirth education series. Sometimes these can be good, but you’ll want to keep in mind that they can be somewhat skewed in that they will teach based on their hospital’s philosophy of childbirth. For example, if you’re hoping for an intervention-free birth and the hospital that offers a class is highly interventive when it comes to labor and birth, you might want to look elsewhere. Keep reading if you’re local to the seacoast of NH or southern Maine for some local options!

Childbirth Classes on the Seacoast of NH and southern Maine

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Are you interested in birth and postpartum doula services on the seacoast of New Hampshire or southern Maine? I serve Dover, Durham, Somersworth, Newmarket, Portsmouth, Kittery, Eliot, and surrounding areas.

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