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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.
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.