Last night was my second birthing class. I feel it was more informative and less likely to make me giggle like a middle schooler. This was class 1 of 12, so we met with the other couples that would be with us for the next 12 weeks.
In my second class I learned:
- The goal of the Bradley Method is to provide a birth that results in a "healthy baby, healthy mom." That doesn't necessarily mean an all-natural birth, but Bradley feels that all-natural is ideal.
- Some basic relaxation techniques and some pregnancy exercises to help me relieve pain now and to help me cope with labor.
- That I am not the only woman who is so terrified of needles she would prefer the pain of natural childbirth over having a needle jammed into her spine.
- The side effects of an epidural. see below
- Not to wear a skirt to any future classes. Let's just say tailor sitting (the PC term for sitting 'Indian Style') is not very relaxing when you're constantly tugging your skirt over your lady junk to prevent flashing the other moms and dads.
This class was a brief overview of what we would learn in the following 11 weeks. We hit the high notes - a bit of quick info on the big things like breastfeeding, epidurals and what to expect from a hospital vs. a less traditional birth center. I have done quite a bit of reading so very little of this was new to me, but I learned something MAJOR about epidurals. I am guessing the Bradley Method wants to really hammer this point home, so it will probably be mentioned early and often.
NOTE: I debated with myself whether or not I wanted to share with you what I learned about epidurals. Part of me wants to shout it from rooftops and write it on billboards. The other part of me knows that there isn't just one way to birth a baby and that you don't come here to have me lecture you on the way I choose to do things. In the end, I would rather put the info out there and if you don't want to listen to me, you don't have to. I just think women have the right to know what they're doing to their babies and their bodies.
Most of us already know what an epidural is. It is pain medication, administered through the spine, that numbs Mom from the waist down but leaves her mentally clear. This shouldn't be news to anyone reading this blog. Some of us even know that an epidural can leave Mom feeling lethargic for a few hours after delivery. However, what I didn't know - and I'm guessing you might not know either - is that an epidural will effect Baby for two weeks after delivery. TWO. FREAKING. WEEKS. The reason is because Baby has a tiny liver and it takes that long for the liver to process all that medication. Until the meds have been processed out Baby will likely be quiet, groggy and may even need to be woken up for feedings. I don't know about you, but that doesn't really sound like "healthy baby" to me.
Like I said, I am not here to judge what any other mom chooses to do with her pregnancy and delivery. I just feel like that bit of information isn't common knowledge, but should be. That information is probably buried in the fine print of the epidural consent form, but who has time to pore over all those details when they're in the midst of labor. If I have educated even one person, then I feel like I have done a good thing.