A friend who is expecting her first baby had been going through the usual set of apprehensions and anxiety that every pregnant woman goes through. Needless to say, expecting a baby is as nerve-wrecking an experience as it is heart-soothing eventually. Of course, carrying a human inside you for nine months in itself is a big thing. But the ultimate moment of childbirth can fill you with fears about how painful it could be, how will you cope with it and what to do thereafter. So, to put her fears to rest, my friend has signed up for birthing classes.or prenatal classes on a physiotherapist’s recommendation.
Health Shots reached out to Dr Neha Gill PT, Senior Physiotherapist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Chandigarh, to find out the benefits of birthing classes for a pregnant woman.
“Pregnancy itself is a challenging event of a first time mom. Towards the last weeks of pregnancy, the fear of labour is not less than any nightmare. But for better recovery, everyone desires to have a vaginal delivery. The more you move towards your D-day, the more anxious you get. We train our mind that labor is going to be very painful, so that’s what we perceive,” explains Dr Gill.
How to overcome fear of labour?
The first step towards overcoming fear of childbirth is to educate ourselves, so here comes the role of childbirth education classes. They will provide you all the information regarding birthing process. It will help to eliminate all your doubts.
“For a first-time mother labour is like a marathon. Just like an athlete trains himself or herself for the run, a pregnant woman needs to do so by preparing her mind and body. To train her body, she needs to do regular exercise provided there is no complication,” adds Dr Gill.
This is what your prenatal fitness classes are going to accomplish. They will make your pelvic muscles flexible enough to stretch easily at the time of birth. To train her mind, she should educate herself by attending the childbirth classes.
As per a study in 2016 presented in Society of Maternal- Fetal Medicine, women who have taken childbirth classes were more likely to have vaginal delivery than those who didn’t. Therefore, educating yourself about the process can help you deal better with the pain during childbirth.
What do you learn during birthing classes?
* Knowledge about labour, its stages, signs and duration.
* Tips to deal with the pain
* Breathing exercises
* Different labor positions
* Pain relief methods
* Relaxation techniques
* Hand on techniques to relax the tensed muscles
* Correct pushing technique
* Importance of golden hour to initiate breastfeeding
* Why you may need an emergency Cesarean (C-section) delivery?
Also read: Let pregnancy be easy-breezy for you with these 4 exercises
Another benefit of childbirth classes is that all your doubt and queries will be answered by an expert.
“Proper guidance, education and support is important to relieve the anxiety of new parents to be. That’s why the childbirth education classes are important for couple to attend and it has shown to reduce the fear and anxiety by empowering the women with the strength she has forgotten because of the fear of the pain,” adds Dr Giil.