Childbirth Education to suit every budget
Birth education… how it’s changed! It used to be that everyone would just attend the hospital based birth classes sometime in the 3rd trimester where you would meet some other expecting parents, get shown a daggy birth video from the 80’s and get given the details of all you pain relief options. Oh and maybe get a few free biscuits and a coffee if you were lucky. And there are great things about the hospital classes; you usually meet mums who live in the same area and are due around the same time as you who can end up being lifelong friends. Being able to see the rooms you will likely give birth in and become a bit familiar with the hospital protocols can be incredibly valuable, and the midwives running the courses ae usually a wealth of knowledge, so it’s a great time to ask questions.
However, not only has the pandemic affected if and when these classes are offered, but every woman’s feelings and approach to birth is different, and the classes are very one size fits all. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the best alternatives for birth education, so you can see which one feels right for you.
Birth Podcasts- Cost: Free
Birth podcasts usually involve women recounting their childbirth experiences. These are not strictly education, as they are not run by healthcare professionals, however the benefit of them is that women become familiar with the process of labour and birth, and the many variations it can take. Birth is unpredictable, and many women feel much more confident when they know roughly what to expect. A bonus is you can listen to them on your commute to work, or when you’re out walking the dog.
Our top pick;
Australian Birth Stories – Possibly the most popular Australian birthing podcast, host Sophie presents a wide range of birth experiences. You can even filter by birth type or keyword on the website to find stories that resonate with you. A real plus is you can become familiar with standard practices in many Australian hospitals, birth centres or homebirth programs.
Books – Cost: $20-60
If you’re a reader, there are thousands of books on childbirth and you can pick and choose what appeals to you.
Our favourite is Birth Skills by Juju Sunden. This book tends to appeal to many first time mums as it offers practical and hands on techniques to use during labour including movement, voice and even props. Juju is an Australian obstetric physiotherapist with years of experience in childbirth education so she really knows her stuff!
Online Childbirth education – Cost: $85 -300
Many birth education courses have gone online in the last two years, which is really handy as you can do them in your own time, or at home in your pyjamas! Some top picks include;
Hypnobirthing Australia: Don’t let the name fool you, if you haven’t heard of hypnobirthing, it’s all about making you feel as prepared and empowered as possible heading into birth, and equipping you with a range of tools to do this. Perfect for fans of yoga, as there is a special emphasis on breath, mantras and mediation. Hypnobirthing also offers a positive caesarean course, so all modes of birth are covered!
Aboutbirth: A fantastic resource offered by experienced childbirth educators, this course offers video modules in everything from the birth process, how to create a positive birth, tricks and tools for labour, types of interventions that may be suggested, and tips from real life parents. Even better, there’s a whole module on what happends after birth; including breastfeeding and the transition to parenthood. With plenty of input from both real life parents and healthcare professionals this offers a really well balanced approach to birth education for only $85.
Let’s not forget the Dads!
Whilst most Dads can and do participate in all the other forms of childbirth education; there are some classes which focus specifically on them and their role in the whole process, while also giving them a safe space to ask questions. Because let’s face it, a supportive partner is crucial in childbirth! Our favourite for this is Beer and Bubs, which is a childbirth education course just for partners, which is held at a pub. They are usually run by doulas or midwives all over Australia, and even offer online classes for locations that are not covered.