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Attending childbirth and parent education classes is an excellent way to prepare for the birth and develop a support system. The classes:

  • Provide information on the physical and emotional aspects of pregnancy.
  • Provide information on childbirth and early parenting.
  • Teach coping skills, such as pain management.
  • Offer a forum for support from professional sources and social contact with the other class members.

The self-confidence and understanding you develop from the knowledge gained enables you to participate in the birth and parenting experience with enthusiasm and a positive attitude. Ask your doctor or midwife for details of childbirth education programmes in your area.

Coping skills

coping-skills
Techniques taught in childbirth preparation classes are based on the principle that fear causes tension, which in turn increases pain and fatigue.
Pain and discomfort are a natural part of childbirth for most women. You can manage your fear with accurate, realistic information to understand what is happening to your body.
Relaxation and patterned breathing techniques, and a variety of other comfort measures, help to reduce tension. In turn this reduces pain and stress and gives you a sense of control over what you are experiencing.