Does a third-time mom need childbirth classes?

I’ve had two healthy babies at Alta Bates Summit in Berkeley. Both times leading up to the big event, I took childbirth prep classes. The first time was a multi-class series held over a number of weeks and the second was a quickie afternoon refresher course. Read more about my childbirth prepping and child-birthing on Babycenter.com today. My current birthplan is “give me the epidural as soon as possible and try not to deliver in the car.”

So, I’m trying to figure out… should I take another prep class?

Through the Parent Education Center, Alta Bates Summit offers monthly sibling prep classes and a range of childbirth prep classes including VBAC and a new online series. Birthways offers many new parent support classes including childbirth education; what I didn’t find is a quickie refresher for a mom like me. If you’re a member of Kaiser, their basic childbirth prep classes are free; since I’m not, I can’t tell you much.

Dear readers, what should I add to my repertoire of birthing knowledge? Are there any classes you’d recommend? Is there a place to send my husband for a “just in case you have to deliver this baby in a car” class?

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    Washington Hospital in Fremont has a quickie refresher course. It’s a bit of a haul from Berkeley, but still in the 510 area code. ;)

  2. Anonymous says

    I’m gonna say, don’t bother with any classes – you are busy enough! Just plan to drop everything and get to the hospital right away the second you feel anything, so have your older kids’ childcare plans lined up and drumtight. With my second baby, I skipped early labor entirely and woke up in *active* labor on my due date. Two hours and seven minutes later, there was the baby. (three pushes!) In retrospect, I should have woken up my husband right away. I toughed it out for 15 minutes, then got him up, then there was another delay for the babysitter to make it over to our house. We still got to Kaiser with a half-hour to spare, but I wouldn’t recommend that stress to anyone. You should just GO!

  3. Anonymous says

    I think it all depends on your previous delivery experiences, you expectations and how comfortable you feel with the delivery process. With it being your third baby, I would think you’d be more than prepared to deliver without having to take another childbirth class (which all cover the same things for the most part). I would say that if you were wanting to have a natural childbirth, then by all means take a refresher course or go all out with the Bradley/Brio Birth series in order to remind yourself what hard work labor is and what to expect. However, since you sound pretty set on getting an epidural immediately and having a medically managed birth experience, then I don’t see the need to spend money on a class that will “refresh” you on things that you can easily re-learn on the internet or through a childbirth book. Just remember that early epidurals are statistically correlated to unplanned c-sections, despite the number of previous deliveries. Best wishes. :)

  4. Anonymous says

    I didn’t take a class for my second. We just did the hospital tour because I had my first child at a different hospital. Not taking the class was just fine. I didn’t miss it.

    If you have to deliver in the car (or at home) unexpectedly, I believe you just call 911 and they will talk you (ok your husband) through it.

  5. Anonymous says

    I didn’t take a class for my second. We just did the hospital tour because I had my first child at a different hospital. Not taking the class was just fine. I didn’t miss it.

    If you have to deliver in the car (or at home) unexpectedly, I believe you just call 911 and they will talk you (ok your husband) through it.

  6. Anonymous says

    Kaiser Oakland offers a refresher course, though I don’t know if it’s open to non-members or not (and it may be refreshing you on what they teach in their basic class, which might not make much sense if you didn’t take the basic one). Their childbirth classes aren’t free for members, though, so they might be open to others (many of their other classes are for a small extra fee). We’re only on baby #1 so can’t offer much insight on whether you really need a refresher or not, though!

  7. Anonymous says

    Alta Bates has gone through some changes over the last two years so I liked taking the sibling tour so they could see the hospital and I learned the new layout and rules…

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