A childbirth education class can teach you and your partner a lot. This is especially true if it's your first pregnancy. If a friend is going to be your labor coach, they can come too.
A good time to start the class is in your sixth or seventh month of pregnancy.
Most childbirth education classes will:
Give you good information about what you can expect during pregnancy and labor and delivery. You may also learn what to expect in the hours, days, and weeks after delivery (postpartum period).
Teach you about proper diet and exercise.
Show you techniques for relaxation, muscle control, and breathing during labor and delivery. There are several methods that might be taught. The most common are Lamaze, Bradley, and Read.
Taking a childbirth education class can reduce your stress both before and during labor and delivery. That's because the class can prepare you to deal with what might happen. Call your doctor or midwife or your local hospital or birthing center to learn more about these classes.
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