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Childbirth Education Classes
- Divya Deswal


Pain is the biggest fear in the mind of a pregnant woman. Classes can help you cope - not just with pain, but with the entire childbirth process.

Childbirth classes owe their beginning to "psychoprophylaxis" - the theory of conditioned response, which was first practised in Russia. Childbirth education has now evolved to more than just conditioned response. A lot of other "tools" are now being offered to a woman to help her cope with pain through theories of pain and pain management.

Today's woman seeks information as it increases her confidence levels and helps her de-stress, which in way lessens the perception of pain and helps her have a better childbirth experience. Such information can be found extensively in books as well on the internet. Despite these sources of information, childbirth classes are unique in that all the information is available in a cohesive manner. The classes are a forum to help pregnant women get information and support, and to find their comfort zone after exploring various aspects of pregnancy, labour and childbirth.

There is an interaction between the educator and the women at a professional, personal and emotional level. Also, they form a platform for interaction between couples / pregnant women at a social level which helps in building a support system for women who are passing through a similar phase of life.

The classes aim at allowing the woman to understand what her body is capable of achieving and the changes it goes through. This knowledge empowers her to have a positive birth experience and to have a feeling of being in control.

Medical experts concentrate on the medical needs of the pregnant woman. In addition, they are required to deal with numerous other patients, thus blurring their role as an educator.

The childbirth educator however is trained and focused on the pregnant women, her well being and her growth. The traditional six classes allow the educator to develop a relationship based on friendship and trust with the women and their partner. The classes are a familiar comfortable place where the woman can address her queries about childbirth and even non-medical aspects of pregnancy that come to her mind. They provide adequate time for discussions regarding doubts and fears. Sometimes vocalisation of the issues put them in the right perspective. The educator may at some time be a part of the woman's comfort zone. It is not surprising that the woman may want to include the educator as one of her labour support person. Sometimes the educator may need to follow up for breast feeding support. Also the educators speak to the women after birth and the rapport established earlier allows her to speak of her experience and be healed if needed.

Childbirth classes also help the pregnant woman's partner share his feelings on being a father. He is able to share with other men their perspective on fatherhood and is able to understand the changes the woman is undergoing. It helps him understand the woman and take part in the miracle of birth. The classes encourage communication between the partners which would hold them in good stead while their lives change with the coming of a baby.

The need for these classes is more in these times. Not every man and woman has seen small babies at home. They lead busy lives, live in nuclear setups where families are small and precious. True, our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents delivered child after child, and never was there any need for classes. However, it is important to remember that family support in earlier times was much more than it is today. There were many experienced women by our parents' and grandparents' side to guide them every step of the way. Such help is not always an option nowadays, with everyone leading busy lives. It is thus important that pregnant women look out for themselves.

Childbirth classes also include nutrition, exercises, labour, delivery, breastfeeding, baby care etc. All topics are dealt with pictures, handouts, models, role-play and practice.

In a nutrition class the thrust is on the building blocks of nutrition as women come from diverse backgrounds. The nutritional needs of the mother and the baby are explained which helps the woman to find her own meal plan to meet her nutrition plan. Certain traditional recipes and their benefits are discussed.

Traditionally women have supported women in childbirth. In community living , younger women have turned to older women in the family, an aunt, sister, sister in law, and even the wise old woman of the community for help and support.... and that's all what childbirth education is really about…



Classes are held in Delhi and Noida.
Contact
Divya Deswal.

Email: divya_deswal@hotmail.com
(0120) 2576797, 9811718141
Address: H - 27, Sector 39, Nioda - 201303


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