We went to a few classes but didn't really stick with them. Probably should have but it was difficult to get there regularly. Some good tips were given, some of the guys and one mum to be almost fainted (and this was just a video in class), and a lot of attention given to pain relief.
I heard a good thing said in one of the classes (my wife agreed). The RN(registered nurse) midwife type person speaking for this class was a guy. He informed and reminded all wide-eyed mothers to be that the pain of childbirth is natural pain; not to be frightened that something is wrong; that some women deliver naturally without any pain relief. He knew as a guy that he was treading on dangerous ground here however 3 cheers for him.
When he talked of epidurals, that got my attention. The idea of someone sticking a needle in your spine; no thanks. Not if I could avoid it. He explained that there are real risks associated with epidurals. Some women can be left with permanent pain or recurring back problems. Despite perhaps being howled down, I'm going to say think carefully about your spine. Perhaps you can suck severely on the laughing gas instead. My wife (who's pain threshhold is pretty much non existent) decided against an epidural; a little more on this at a later time. It was good information because.....
You see, people go into patient mode all to often and accept everything said without really questioning or considering it. I've watched this from a personal point of view.
What did mums to be do before hospitals and pain relief? Apparently some tribal women somewhere have their babies to go. When on a track they take a few minutes out, instantly lose weight and carry on with fresh bub on back. Not for me Charlie Brown. Hospitals are there to help if things go wrong, childbirth is a serious business.
Knowing that pain in childbirth is natural helps in its own way. When all the screaming starts, the Mums to Be can forget everything they were told and go for whatever pain relief is at hand. Dads to Be can be assured that those animal sounds and contortions are all just as natural as can be, last thoughts as the floor moves to greet them.