Independent Birth Education: 9 Reasons You Should Do It

There is a lot of information out there for pregnant women who desire the greatest possible birth for themselves and their baby. Here are nine reasons why independent birthing education will help you have the best possible experience. For this reason, why should you go for a private birthing education course? Because…

Teachers who work alone are experts at what they do.

Independent educators have specialised training in the field of childbirth education. Some are also trained as midwives, birth attendants (doulas), natural therapists, and other allied health professions, for example. In contrast to a hospital, which may or may not have specialised educators, an independent educator’s work includes a significant amount of birth education. Since midwives and physiotherapists in particular are frequently rotated into the role of teaching birth education, there’s no way to predict who you’ll receive, what their conceptions of childbirth are, or even if they enjoy doing it. They may be required to perform it as part of their employment. In either case, teachers are devoted to their profession.
Independent educators know exactly how to make you and your spouse feel at ease and involved in the learning process. “You all definitely prefer natural delivery right now, but roughly 40% of you will end up with caesareans anyhow,” a smug-sounding presenter could say at the opening of a session. They assured me this was the case in their classes. Start the session with a good outlook! That being said, even if this is true, negativity is contagious, and it’s all about how you portray your information. My clients left the class shortly after that because it appeared to be going poorly from there. One-on-one autonomous instruction was a big hit with the students.

You can still benefit from excellent birth education even if you’ve had a negative experience in the past, so don’t give up! Don’t settle for McDonald’s when a lamb roast with all the fixings is on the menu instead! Hospital-based classes don’t teach you as much as independent education does.

There is no bias in the information provided by hospitals.

Every hospital has its own set of rules for maternity care, and those rules can have a significant impact on what you hear, as well as what is and isn’t allowed for you to do.

Even if it’s in in the mother’s best interest, policies can be focused on reducing the likelihood of legislation, allowing births to go at their own pace to make room for personnel, or otherwise making life easier or more “safe” for them. Midwives in a renowned Melbourne private hospital have refused to allow women to give birth on the floor (on a mat/squatting etc.) due of occupational health and safety concerns (the midwife also stated that she didn’t want to stand on her head). Finally, the mother was instructed to lie down and get up off of the floor to make things easy for herself. The good news is that my dad said no.

During labour, you may think, “Gees, it’s extremely uncomfortable in this position and I don’t know if I can cope any longer,” if you’ve received hospital instruction (or believe what you see on television!) that’s just how you’re supposed to do it – “Ahhhh, I need to get on the bed and lie down my back!” In retrospect, I thought it interesting that I had unconsciously gravitated toward the bed when I arrived at the private hospital where my children were being treated. This is probably because the bed is situated in the middle of an empty room, and I was completely lost and confused of what to do. Fortunately, I’ve learned better since birth.

It’s not uncommon for hospitals to demand that you remain on the bed and cooperate throughout labour, even though this is the last place you want to be. As a result, pressing while on your back is both more uncomfortable and less successful — in fact, it’s the worst possible posture to be in when trying to get something done. Why? Because your uterus generally contracts away from your body (or upwards if you’re lying down), if you’re lying down, it will be working against gravity. As your pelvis contracts, you’ll naturally lean forward as a mother-to-be goes into labour, so use that to your advantage. Squatting, on the other hand, increases your pelvic space by up to 30 percent, but lying on your back reduces it. You won’t hear it in the hospital classes you’ll attend. You might not even be allowed to do that if you wind up in a private hospital like the one I mentioned, which is another reason why they don’t have their facility structured around the idea of helping you have the best/easiest birth.

Always keep in mind that a hospital is first and foremost a business with business concerns to address. For them, it’s not about making women happy, but about making a profit and running a successful business.