Welcome back to The Pulling Curls Podcast! In today’s episode, we’re diving into the benefits of attending a prenatal class. We’ll explore the studies that show how these classes can improve birth outcomes and reduce the risk of C-sections and other interventions. Plus, we’ll discuss why it’s important to choose the right class and instructor. So let’s untangle the importance of prenatal classes in pregnancy and parenting.
Big thanks to our sponsor The Online Prenatal Class for Couples — if you want these great benefits it’s your best option!
Links for you:
Do birth classes improve birth outcomes? (has links to all the studies mentioned inside this episode).
00:01:20 Taking prenatal classes linked to less C-sections.
00:05:05 Delaying hospital visits with natural pain management.
00:07:05 Two options for budget and learning needs. Join our classes for valuable information on nutrition, breastfeeding, babies, and baby sleep. Don’t miss upcoming episodes with a doctor sharing tips for better sleep. Next, we’ll discuss organizing bathroom cupboards. Join us soon!
- Importance of taking a prenatal class to prepare for birth
- Studies show that taking a prenatal class can decrease c-section rates by 8%
- Decreased chance of failed induction and vacuum extraction/forceps delivery with prenatal class
- How prenatal class helps improve communication with healthcare provider
- Importance of realistic expectations in childbirth and how prenatal class provides them
- Role of movement and strategies for movement during labor taught in prenatal class
- Benefits of prenatal class in reducing the need for epidural during labor
- Decreased pain reported in early labor for those who took a prenatal class
- Less perineal trauma and newborn resuscitation with prenatal class
- Importance of choosing the right prenatal class and joining the online prenatal class for couples
Producer: Drew Erickson
[00:00:00.600] – Hilary Erickson
Hey, guys. Welcome back to the Pulling Curls Podcast. Today on episode 217, we are talking about what a prenatal class can do for you, what do the studies show? Let’s untangle it.
[00:00:12.020] – Hilary Erickson
Hi, I’m Hilary, a serial overcomplicator. I’m also a nurse, mom to three, and the curly head behind Pulling Curls and the pregnancy nurse. This podcast aims to help us stop over complicating things and remember how much easier it is to keep things simple. Let’s smooth out those snarls with Pregnancy and Parenting Untangled, the Pulling Curls Podcast.
[00:00:40.440] – Hilary Erickson
Today’s episode is sponsored by the online prenatal class for couples. I honestly don’t think there is a better way to get prepared for birth and you’re going to find out that you need a great birth class in order to have the effects of a good birth class. So come join me in the online prenatal class for couples. It truly is the easiest way to get prepared for your hospital birth.
[00:00:58.230] – Hilary Erickson
Okay, before we get started, I want to remind you guys that only the class that you take will actually improve the outcomes. A lot of people, I think, buy a prenatal class and then don’t get in there and take it, which is my worst nightmare as a prenatal educator. I really try and get you guys to get in there, take the class so that you can have these great outcomes. Just a reminder that’s not just buying the class, it’s also taking it.
[00:01:20.880] – Hilary Erickson
I actually have a whole post over on my site on the pregnancy nurse talking about birth outcomes when you take a prenatal class. I’m going to link that in the show notes if you want to see all the studies that I’m referring to. Now, the biggest outcome that I found was a decreased C-section rate. 8%, you guys. You are 8% less likely to have a C-section if you take a prenatal class, which I was just astounded by.
[00:01:42.840] – Hilary Erickson
Also in the studies, it showed that you had a less chance of a failed induction, and that means where you go in for an induction, it doesn’t work and you end up having a C-section. Again, reduced chance of C-section.
[00:01:53.690] – Hilary Erickson
On a side note, it also showed a lower chance of a vacuum extraction or forceps delivery, which is where they help pull the baby out as you’re pushing.
[00:02:03.350] – Hilary Erickson
Why would there be a decreased risk of C-section? I couldn’t understand it because honestly, I think a C-section is usually caused by one, your provider; two, your hips… Some people, if your pelvis is tilted a specific way, it’s more difficult to have your baby; and three, your baby. If your baby gets stuck in there a specific way, it can be hard to get it to turn, and sometimes you just end up needing to have a C-section in order to get baby out.
[00:02:29.540] – Hilary Erickson
And a birth class really isn’t going to change any of those things. I’m not changing your doctor, although I might encourage you to change your doctor early on. I’m definitely not changing your pelvis if it’s tilted, that’s the way it is. And while I’m helping you do movement and use movement to your benefit, that really doesn’t fix it all the time. So I didn’t really understand. So I was thinking it over quite a lot. And I came up with these three things.
[00:02:52.640] – Hilary Erickson
First off, I’m going to help you communicate with your provider in a way that you’re not just when he says, I’m recommending in a C-section, you go, Okay, versus, Huh, okay, that’s interesting. What are you seeing? Why do you think a C-section would be best right now? Then having a discussion rather than just, Okay, we’re going to have a C-section.
[00:03:10.650] – Hilary Erickson
We talk a lot about provider communication in my class and getting the information that you need from your provider. I think that is super important and something that they should teach in every great prenatal class.
[00:03:20.830] – Hilary Erickson
I also think that we aren’t teaching you how to fight with your provider. A lot of times you’ll see doulas or people who have birth classes online teaching you how to fight with your doctor. That’s not what we want because you’re going to need their information as you move forward. You’re just taking into account your desires, the information they’re giving you along the way.
[00:03:38.020] – Hilary Erickson
I also think that a birth class gives you realistic expectations. When my students go in for an induction, they aren’t thinking that baby is going to be out within 4-8 hours like it would be if you went in an active labor. They’re thinking, This induction could be quite a long time. I’m going to bring card games. I’ve loaded up my tablet with games. My husband and I have some videos on my tablet too. We are going to make the best of this situation because we know we’re in it for the long haul because I’m giving you realistic expectations, you’re not as likely to beg for that C-section after eight hours of labor where it’s just been boring and you’re losing your mind.
[00:04:07.980] – Hilary Erickson
And finally, I talk a lot about movement. I have labor movement cards. I have ways to move while you’re in labor. And I talk about some strategies of how to move during labor and how partners can help you keep movement part of your labor. And that is so important to prevent baby having that spot in your pelvis where they just can’t move. When you’re moving frequently, it helps baby to move frequently, and hopefully they’ll be in a good spot to come out of your pelvis.
[00:04:33.260] – Hilary Erickson
Those three things can really help reduce C-section rates. The studies show it. Time and time and time again. If you read my article on my website, you’ll see that prenatal classes, quality prenatal classes will reduce C-section rates, which is amazing and what a benefit. You guys, I’m not saying that it’s going to prevent all C-sections because a lot of C-sections are important and necessary, and I’m so grateful for C-sections, but if we can prevent ones that don’t need to happen, I think that’s a big win in my book.
[00:04:59.840] – Hilary Erickson
Okay. Also, you’re less likely to need an epidural during labor. And I think that comes from a few different things. Not going to the hospital is early, having some natural pain management techniques. I have a whole bonus video on that in my course. I think that delaying when you go to the hospital and not showing up too early is one of the huge benefits of taking a prenatal class because you just have a little bit more confidence as to when you should go in. So not getting an epidural can be a benefit of taking a prenatal class.
[00:05:24.980] – Hilary Erickson
Another thing that I found really interesting is that in one of the studies, they actually reported decreased pain in early labor. I honestly think that’s because you know what’s going to happen. Early labor can be really scary at home. And if you don’t know what to expect, you may haul your butt into the hospital way before you need to because you’re feeling unsafe or it seems a little bit scary to you, especially to partners, which is why my prenatal class is there for partners. Making sure that you head into the hospital at the right time is important.
[00:05:53.090] – Hilary Erickson
Also, when you’re not scared in early labor, you don’t have scared plus pain in early labor. You just have the pain. You’re like, I knew this was going to happen. This is what I need to watch for to go in. I’m in close contact with my provider. I know how to get in contact with them if I need to, and it really takes the scary part of the pain away, which is awesome.
[00:06:09.660] – Hilary Erickson
Finally, it did show less perineal trauma, so that would be tearing or epesiotomies, and it did show less newborn resuscitation, which I think would have to do maybe with the stress of the mom. If you’ve listened to my stress at delivery episode or read that post, you’ll know that when mom is super stressed out at delivery to the point that she’s freaking out, she gets all these stress hormones into her body, and those go to the baby too. Then when baby comes out, they’re like, ugh! They just lay back like they’ve just run a marathon. Whereas we need baby to come out crying and upset and get all that fluid out of their lungs.
[00:06:41.550] – Hilary Erickson
Now, the most important part that I want to share with you guys today is that it’s really important who you take a prenatal class from, because if you’re going to take somebody that teaches you how to fight or you’re going to take somebody who doesn’t tell you how to communicate with your providers or move your body or really get ready for birth, you’re not going to have these outcomes. I want you guys to join me in the online prenatal class for couples. It is truly the easy way to get prepared for birth. There are payment plans. There are two different options depending on your budget and if you need to learn about things like nutrition, breastfeeding, babies, baby sleep. So come join me in the class that works the best for you, your budget and your life.
[00:07:16.620] – Hilary Erickson
Do not miss our upcoming episodes. We have a doctor coming on to talk about baby sleep, mommy sleep, all sleep. And honestly, his tips have made a huge difference in how Hilary is sleeping. So I can’t wait to see you in there. And then the week after that, we are talking about organizing your bathroom cupboards, like under the sink. This is a problem zone for a lot of people, and I want to give you some of the best tips that I have to keep it organized and easy to use. So come join me in the next couple of weeks.
[00:07:43.200] – Hilary Erickson
Thanks for joining us on The Pulling Curls Podcast today. If you liked today’s episode, please consider reviewing, sharing, subscribing. It really helps our podcast grow. Thank you.
prenatal class, studies, birth class, outcomes, c section rate, induction, vacuum extraction, forceps delivery, provider communication, fighting with doctor, realistic expectations, movement during labor, pelvis, epidural, pain management techniques, early labor, hospital timing, perineal trauma, tearing, episiotomies, newborn resuscitation, stress delivery, stress hormones, baby crying, fluid in lungs, online prenatal class, pay med plans, nutrition, breastfeeding, baby sleep, organizing bathroom cupboards