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Childbirth Ed Classes: Help, Please?

Photo Courtesy of CozyColeman on

30w4d - Veterans of the baby-producing process, I once again ask for your assistance. Our latest quandary: how best to get learned, as a couple, about labor and delivery.

To review, despite 10 years of writing about other people's pregnancies, I have been a complete dolt thus far with respect to my own. The Mister, a man with unparalleled propensity for facts and an innate sense for Doing the Right Thing At the Appropriate Time, has never been at a delivery before, let alone watched his partner transform into some birth beauty-beast.

Also, we are book-smarted out. The stack next to our bed have the L+D chapters dog-eared, but likely, they're going to stay that way: Consuming even more written words at the end of these bloated days is a non-option, much as it might be the easiest and most logical one.

The question? Should we opt for…

  1. the intimate (but pricey), 5-week/15 hour childbirth class at a boutique parenting center with a teacher whom I've actually considered using as our doula, and which will likely be filled with families we'll run into at future family classes in town? Or…

  2. the cheap-o, full-Saturday marathon course held at a birthing center we're not delivering at? (Because yes, I forgot to sign up in time for the class with our midwives at our hospital. Tack it on my guilt list.) Or…

  3. (and this may be either the best or worst idea I've had in the last 30 weeks) might we skip a formal class altogether, round up all the childbirth ed DVDs we can get our hands on using inter-library loan, and hold nightly viewing/grimacing/guffawing sessions at home? (With popcorn! Seltzer! Sweatpants! In bed!) This option would give us the info we'd need, but without the sounding board instructor or community of people we've both been craving.

I'd love to hear how you and/or your partner got prepped for d-day—and what advice you'd offer on the get-birth-smart front. 

Thanks in advance, oh ye sharp procreators.