This guest post is part of my blog break festival. The festival continues through December, so please check it out and consider submitting a post! Also, don’t forget to enter my birth jewelry giveaway.
I’ve been an independent childbirth educator since 2005. For many years, I’ve taught one-on-one classes to local couples and it has been wonderful to connect on a personal level with such individualized classes. Now, I’m teaching Birth Skills Workshops in collaboration with Rolla Birth Network. I’m still an independent educator—one not employed by any other organization or hospital—but now, rather than exclusively one-on-one, small groups of couples come together to practice hands-on skills for birth in a private, comfortable setting. I previously explored my own take on why choose independent birth education and here are some additional reasons!
Nine Reasons You Should Choose Independent Birth Education
by Jan Haley
Whether you still have a few months to go before the birth of your baby or the due date is right around the corner, it’s not too late to look into some independent birth education. Why are these educators an excellent decision? Read on to find out!
In a class, everyone has to work on the same components at the same time. However, with independent birth education, the program is tailored to your own needs. If you already know the answer to a particular question, you need not spend countless minutes listening to a lecture on the subject matter.
In addition to not hearing information of which you are already well aware, independent birth education allows you to ask the questions that pertain to your specific situation. Whether it’s about the birthing process or how to handle your baby immediately after birth, the concern will be addressed.
Let’s face it: when it comes to giving birth, you need to be comfortable revealing some personal information about yourself. However, that doesn’t mean it must be done in a room full of strangers. Working one on one with someone allows you to still maintain a level of privacy.
In a hospital program, the educators might have to answer questions in a very diplomatic way, because that is what their work policy requirements. When it comes to independent education though, no such requirements exist, unless the person is attached to a hospital or other type of program.
A Customized Plan
Many mothers write out a birth plan, but some of them may feel forced into certain decisions. An independent birth educator will know a lot of information and will be able to offer many details and ideas for structuring a birth plan. A good independent educator will also remind you that a birth plan is not a substitute for good communication with your health care provider!
Some women choose to give birth at home. Doing so can feel like a lot of pressure on dads, so it’s common to ask independent birth educators for referrals for doulas to be present and support the process (some independent educators are also doulas and may be available to attend births). Birth partners can also feel totally comfortable asking questions in a private setting and they will also learn many useful comfort measures to add to their own labor support “toolbox.”
For Single Moms
Speaking of going it alone, it’s important to address single mothers when it comes to independent birth education. Being pregnant alone can be a really lonely road, and these educators provide not only an instructor, but a friend to such individuals.
Some educators are certified. Therefore, they are not only providing their personal experience as mothers, but also information that was garnered from a reputable course or program, so you’re really gaining the best of both worlds.