I get it... I've been there. I too thought a full Childbirth Education Class over multiple weeks was overkill. I even remember price shopping and eventually chose the cheapest, least amount of effort class that was through the hospital system I was birthing at. Let me tell you, I chose that class for all the wrong reasons, and you know what I learned? I learned how to be a good patient and my husband learned how to give me a hand massage. I used neither of those things in labor. I can count zero times I've used a hand massage as the method to help a woman have an un-medicated OR medicated birth as a doula. Yes, yes... I know, I hear you, one person who is now going to tell me the hand-massage is the "THING" that got you through. Glad it worked! Onward... ;)
I know you don't want to waste 4 weeks in your childbirth education class giving up all those juicy weekends or weeknights when you could be creating that nursery, enjoying a baby shower, or taking long walks around Lake Harriet. I understand! We can meet on the patio for drinks and apps after class!
But there are some really great things about putting in the time and effort into a multi-week Childbirth Education course. Plus, who doesn't love a good solid Top 5 list...
1. You need time to process!
Its important that you spend the car ride home, and the days in between your classes processing, researching, reading, and asking questions. The mama who shows up on day one of my class is almost never the same human I encounter leaving my class on the last day. There is a process, just as in birth, that needs to happen for the information to be fully absorbed.
2. You can't learn everything you need to know to prepare in 4 hours.
Its just not possible! I've taught the quickie classes, and ALWAYS get handfuls of evaluations saying they wish they had 5 more hours for more time together.
3. You don't know what you don't know.
Yes, you can tell me on class one all you care about is comfort measures and normal stages of labor, but as an experienced doula and educator I know you need more. I know you need to hear about Meds and Interventions. Not because think you're going to use them, but because if you're giving birth in the hospital you're bound to at least encounter the conversation. It's quite rare to have a completely hands off no Meds or Interventions birth in a hospital. You should probably wrap your head around the suggestions and/or protocols you may encounter once you arrive. If you're birthing at home or in a birth center, then why not at least be armed with the information in case a transfer happens, if not for YOU and YOUR birth - you can be the friend who knows some helpful stuff when asked.
4. You're going to need to be more pregnant before you think of that next question.
I can't tell you how many times I have had a couple show up on class one with a very succinct idea of what is going to go down at their birth and it isn't until class 3 when they are now 35 weeks that they discover their baby is breech or that they aren't clicking with their provider or that there is a hospital policy where they are birthing that is now throwing a wrench into what they were planning.
5. Building community doesn't happen in your 4 hour class.
The couples who have taken my 12 hour classes over the past 5 years are still friends today. They have coffee, meet at yoga class, go for walks, use each other as sounding boards during those sleep deprived weeks/months. Ya'll need EACH OTHER. Build your village by spending time with each other and having a common experience of 3 to 4 weeks of class time together. You won't regret it.