Pregnancy Workshops and Common Birth Interventions

This Isn't A Do-It-Yourself Project

What's the big deal? Women have been having babies for thousands of years - isn't having a baby just a natural part of being a woman? Well, it's true, women have been having babies for a long time and we're all very glad of that. Yes, having a baby is part of womanhood, however, even in ancient times there were women who served in the capacity of midwives to assist laboring women in their deliveries. Having a baby is a wonderful experience, but you probably wouldn't want to go through it alone and without some sort of understanding of what is happening to your body as you bring forth your child.

There are myriad pregnancy workshops available from a wide variety of excellent sources. Your doctor can give you the names of some of them in your area, as can your local health center. Women's Resource Centers are another great connecting place for pregnant women to find resources that will help them during their pregnancies, labor, and deliveries.

The Value of Pregnancy Workshops

Pregnancy workshops, or prenatal classes, all serve the same purpose but come in a wide variety of forms. Usually they are free if they are run by the local hospital, and if a midwife or other agency is involved, then there may be a nominal fee. The most important thing for you to know, as a participant, is that the instructor is properly trained and certified to give these classes. Pregnancy workshops, besides being great educational centers, are also ideal for making new friends. Together you can share your experiences, concerns, and even what works for the insomnia you (and they) have been experiencing.

And Breathe...

You'll be well prepared for labor and delivery through pregnancy workshops. They usually run about eight weeks, one class per week, and they consist of lectures, discussions, questions and answers, demonstrations and exercises. The goal is to minimize fear and enhance the beauty of the experience. Labor and birth positions are discussed where you'll learn about various positions for labor. Breathing and deep relaxation techniques and methods will enable you to go through your labor without being tense and restricted. By using some of the deep relaxation exercises, you can go through the intensity of labor without the fear of the pain.

Knowing What To Say - And When

Your birthing partner will ideally attend classes with you where effective communication and ways of providing comfort measures will be taught. That way, when you go into labor, your partner will be able to ask the right questions, and more importantly (if it's your husband) to say the right things. Effective communication can mean less stress for both mother and partner and a much more enjoyable delivery. Birthing affirmations are a great way to keep the mind on positive statements during labor. Your partner can learn them with you and help you remember them as he or she coaches you through your labor and delivery.

Prenatal yoga is an excellent method of developing breathing techniques, learning how to relax and focus, stretch the right muscles for pregnancy and birth, and prepare your body well in advance for the experience of birth. Prenatal yoga classes are available in many places, just make sure the instructor is well training in prenatal yoga. Some of the positions are not conducive to pregnant women and should be avoided - the instructor must know which poses are the best and be able to instruct them well.

When Interventions Are Necessary

Pregnancy workshops also help to prepare you for the possibility of interventions during delivery. If you've opted for a natural home birth, then you have also opted to have no interventions, including pain medications. Learning how to manage labor pain is important if this is the path you are taking. Sometimes a decision needs to be overturned. If you find you can't manage the pain, then a common birth intervention is the administration of pain medication. Another common birth intervention is electronic monitoring of the baby. If there has been some indication that things are not going as smoothly as hoped, the baby may need to be monitored. In extreme cases, like a breech presentation, a cesarean delivery may be called for. In these cases, when you have been properly prepared through pregnancy workshops, there is less mental stress and trauma. You're more prepared for what lies ahead and your labor and delivery will still be amazing - just different.

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