Saint Peters University Hospital offers childbirth classes in two formats. Either you can take the class one day a week for a month or spend a whole day one weekend learning about childbirth and specifically Lamaze. We decided that spending 7 hours (9am—4pm) was the better option. So, off we went with 2 pillows (for the breathing practice on the floor).
The class was interesting and we did find out a number of things we didn’t know about labor and delivery. But as they say, knowledge can be a dangerous thing. My idea of taking this class was to find out about childbirth and get Amber to be more comfortable about it since she has been a little scared of the whole process. That, however, backfired since Amber seemed to grow more frightened as she found out about all the pain and the length of labor. Ignorance, in this case, might have turned out to be bliss.
The breathing techniques did not impress me much. I am not sure how effective they are. However, present labor and delivery practice is much better than it was for our parents’ generation when science and medicine was quite misused and misguided. Our instructor, who had been a nurse longer than I have been in this world, did tell us about all the narcotics and other strange practices from 30 years ago when childbirth was considered a surgical procedure. In my opinion, some people are going too far in the other direction nowadays with natural births in bath tubs etc., but at least it is considered a natural process now.
One reason we took this class at our hospital was that we wanted to get a look at the maternity facilities we’ll be using. A tour was included in our schedule. The LDR (labor, delivery, recovery) room looked nice and comfortable (I am sure it won’t be when we get there during labor), but the postpartum room could be better. Only half of their postpartum rooms are private, the others are “semi-private”. I guess that means 2 patients per room. The rooms also seemed too small with a not-so-good chair for me. The hospital is otherwise pretty good in terms of their medical expertise and facilities.