How childbirth education classes can help moms prepare for labor
Feb 1, 2024, 5:20 PM | Updated: Feb 2, 2024, 7:24 am
ST. GEORGE — Jayde St. Clair just had her first baby.
“I just want to hold her all day,” she said. “It’s so hard to have to do other things like chores!”
When she was pregnant, St. Clair had wanted a home birth.
“For me, that kind of stemmed from a fear of hospitals and getting interventions pushed on me that I didn’t want,” she said. “I just really wanted to be in control of my body and be able to trust the process of my body to be able to birth naturally.”
Her husband, on the other hand, wanted their baby to be delivered at a hospital. So, the couple compromised and decided to do a low-intervention birth in a home-like hospital setting.
“It was kind of a home environment and there was a labor tub, and it just was really relaxing,” St. Clair said.
A low-intervention birth typically means little to no medication, allowing moms to move around more freely during labor.
“The nurse was really great,” St. Clair said. “I gave her my birthing plan right there and she was immediately implementing those things that I wanted.”
One of the things St. Clair asked of the nurses was that rather than using the word “pain,” they instead ask about her “comfort level.”
“You’re not thinking about why you’re in pain, you’re just thinking more of ‘these things that I’m feeling are just going to bring me closer to my baby,'” she said. “And they have a purpose – it’s not just unnecessary pain.”
Christina Lynch, a registered nurse and childbirth educator at St. George Regional Hospital, said they help moms with different breathing techniques and positions on exercise balls – all things she teaches in her childbirth education class.
“Pregnancy and labor is a scary unknown,” Lynch said. “The education covers every type of birth possible: vaginal, unmedicated, fully medicated, C-section, whatever type of childbirth you’re having, you’re not going to be left out. We’ll cover every intervention possible.”
St. Clair said that by taking the class, she felt emotionally and physically prepared for the life-changing event that was about to take place.
“They talked about things that maybe we didn’t think of,” she said. “Things like how to advocate for yourself if you need. We talked about splitting the sleep schedule up and taking shifts to care of the baby and just working through different problems like that.”
Intermountain Health offers a variety of childbirth education classes online or in person. For more information, you can visit intermountainhealth.org.