Childbirth Prep When You Don't Want to Take a Class: Podcast Episode #222
Kristin Revere offers tips on ways to plan and prep for childbirth if you don’t have the time or funds to take a childbirth education class. Some ideas include: YouTube videos, listening to podcasts, reading books or blogs, downloading meditation or pregnancy apps, Pinterest, and more.
Hello, hello! This is Kristin Revere with Ask the Doulas, and I am excited to share a solo episode today, all about childbirth prep when you don’t want to take a class or don’t have time to take a class. So before we dive into that, I would love to give those you who don’t personally know me a bit about my background.
I have been teaching childbirth classes since right after my son was born in 2012 and became a doula shortly after that. I am a certified elite birth doula as well as a certified elite postpartum doula and infant care specialist. I am a newborn care specialist trained through Newborn Care Solutions, and I’m also a transformational birth coach through Birth Coach Method. I love educating my clients and my students. I teach a virtual as well as in person Comfort Measures for Labor class. But not all of my doula clients have the time or extra funds or interest in taking a childbirth prep class. So I wanted to chare some resources that I give my clients with those of you who are in a similar position.
My number one tip is to look into books. There are so many great books on everything from feeding your baby to newborn care to childbirth preparation. We offer HypnoBirthing at Gold Coast Doulas, and there is an amazing HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method by Maria Mongan that you can certainly either check out from the library or get a printed copy from a bookstore, or even get an audio book for many of the books I’ll be recommending, depending on if they’re in that format.
Natural Hospital Birth; Ina May Gaskin has a variety of books. You can look into spending some time reading and even having your partner read. The Birth Partner is an example of an excellent book to read with your partner.
We have a book coming out, but it won’t be available until later this year, so stay tuned for more info on that!
Podcasts are excellent. Of course, I love our own Ask the Doulas Podcast, where we interview experts in the birth and baby space, our own doulas, our own clients, and our own HypnoBirthing students. You can get birth stories in past episodes and stories from students of our HypnoBirthing course and other classes that we teach. If that is inspiring to you, The Birth Hour is great with birth stories, and you can look into Evidence-Based Birth. They have a podcast. There are just so many great ones. So choose one that works for your schedule.
YouTube is also amazing. You can learn everything from a hip squeeze to paced bottle feeding to information about how to use a baby carrier and info about all the baby gear questions you have. You can pretty much learn anything on YouTube. Gold Coast has an awesome YouTube channel, so check that out.
You can also look at articles and read anything from blogs to subscribing to a parenting magazine or just read articles in a bookstore related to parenting.
There are so many different ways that you can get information that can be free, from online articles, or certainly paid. And Gold Coast has a blog on our website that has everything from expert guests who contribute blogs; we have each of our podcasts transcribed into blog posts, to our own blogs that we write.
You can look into documentaries related to childbirth. One of my favorite streaming sites is Informed Pregnancy+. They have everything from The Business of Being Born to information about different feeding options and loss and maternal mortality rates. Definitely check out some documentaries related to issues that you want to become more educated on.
Another option is Pinterest. Pinterest can be great for planning a baby shower, setting up your nursery, figuring out what to pack in your hospital bag, coming up with a birth plan. Those are some things that a childbirth class might cover, like birth plans and packing your bag, some of that postnatal preparation, information about breastfeeding and resources. Gold Coast has an amazing Pinterest page with a lot of awesome resources for you to check out. I often send my clients some of that information, as well.
Another thing that you can do: it may have a fee with it, or some of these apps are free, but you can download anything from a contraction timer app that you would be able to figure out when it’s time to go to the hospital based on the frequency of your contractions. I don’t have a favorite, but any contraction timer, I would recommend and use. Looking at apps like Expectful could be a great one, or even looking into some guided meditation related apps to doing things similar to what you’d learn in Gentle Birth. I know they have an app, or in HypnoBirthing, with some of that calm breathing and guided meditations. That can be very helpful because, as I say, and I feel like I can’t say it enough, birth is as mental as it is physical. It is helpful to prepare in many ways, and also get your partner on board. You can send your partner articles or have your partner listen to a podcast about how partners can be supportive with newborn care, or the partner role during birth and so on.
Again, so many different options. Sometimes that childbirth class comes at a time where your due date is too soon and the class is offered weeks before and so it doesn’t work out. I know at Gold Coast, we offer some self-paced classes, like our Becoming a Mother birth and baby prep course, as well as some different options for just thinking about a private class or something that doesn’t have to be as planned. It could be an individual class if having a group is intimidating to you.
Depending on where you live and what options you have in your area, you might have more childbirth ed examples and options than you previously thought.
Again, it’s all about knowing your options. If you don’t know them, then you don’t have any. So just a few of my top of mind tips, and I hope that can be helpful. I would love to hear from any of my listeners and doula clients about things that you’ve done that I may not have mentioned as far as prepping for your upcoming birth.