When Should I Start?
Plan to complete a childbirth course about two or three weeks before your due date, suggests Marsha Rehns, editor of CBE Reporter, a quarterly newsletter for childbirth educators. "Later than that is cutting it close, but if you take it too early, you may forget the material," she says. If your instructor is just okay, but not great, hang in there; you may pick up tips from the other couples or at least learn from the tour and video.
For Ann Douglas, author of The Unofficial Guide to Having a Baby (Macmillan), and mother of four, childbirth classes were definitely worthwhile. "In every class there is the moment when they show the birth video for the first time," she says. "You're sort of horrified -- but totally fascinated -- when you realize you're soon going to be doing what the woman in the video is doing."
Julie Weingarden is a freelance writer in Royal Oak, Michigan.
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.