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Before my first, I'd never really been around babies- I'd never even changed a diaper! I decided to opt out of birthing classes and just wing it. I read everything I could get my hands on with both pregnancies, so I'd know what to expect and understand it, but the whole process can be broken down for you in a book or on this website. The nurses I had talked me through everything- it's just part of their job and I'm sure I wasn't the first person who'd never taken a class before. My husband taught me how to change a diaper and swaddle a baby, the nurses and hospital lactation consultants taught me how to breast feed. Given my smooth experiences, I don't think classes are necessary, but it's ultimately up to you if you're curious about them.
Birthing classes were very helpful to me during my labor period especially the breathing exercises. Make sure your husband or partner attends the class too because it will train him to be your coach during the tough time and deal with all sorts of confusion.
I guess it would depend. If this is your first child then yes take the classes. But with me I began to take a class and decided it wasn't for me. I have since had 3 babies without the birthing classes and everything came out fine and I never needed any special breathing techniques or anything. But it just depends on the person. The classes could teach you a lot that you don't know. So whichever you decide at least you have two different opinions on the issue. I hope I helped and didn't hinder you.
I agree with the previous. I educated myself at home with books and the internet (though make sure it is a reliable source, don't believe everything just because it is on the net). I am opting to breastfeed this time and I have been watching videos online to learn how. (it is really helpfull seeing someone else do it!) I think the classes are a little over rated, but what ever floats ur boat! lol