By Peg Johnston • December 04, 2007•Myths & Truths
Okay, as promised here is Truth #2: Lamaze classes are not required training.
I know, I know.... I am really going to hear it from OB docs, lamaze trainers, doolas, natural birth advocates, etc. So, I will repeat what I said in my first post in this series and that is that this advice is my own. It is meant to share some things that I learned the hard way during my first pregnancy and attempts to balance new motherhood with working in a demanding profession. I am not an expert.
Here's the thing. I was busy while I was pregnant. I was working. I was trying to stay healthy. I was trying desperately to NOT gain 100 pounds. I was getting a nursery room ready. I was training my termporary replacement at work so my maternity leave absence was seamless. I was reading a million books on pregnancy, birth, and caring for a baby. Who has time to add breathing classes into an already busy schedule? Not to mention the fact that our first was born early and really caught us off guard.
So here's how it went:
Dr. Nice Guy Stranger (I was out of town so my regular doctor didn't deliver the baby): "So let's run over what you learned in your birthing classes."
Me (all alone because my husband was at home 1/2 way across the country): "We didn't take birthing classes."
Dr: "Why not? Didn't you plan for this event?"
Me: (Thinking to myself that all I have been doing for 9 months is planning for this "event"!) "Well, I didn't really have the time. But, I've read a lot of books and I am pretty sure that I can figure it out. Additionally, I am cool under pressure and have a high tolerance for pain." (Thinking to myself, women have been doing this for thousands of years without birthing classes what's the big deal.)
Dr. "That was really poor planning. You really should have taken a class, we recommend that all mothers take a class. I'll just have to run through it really quick with you so you are ready when its time to push." Then -- proceeds to tell me everything I need to know.
Me: Thinking to myself, that this has worked out perfectly. I really only need the cliff-notes version of the class anyway and here I am multitasking: in labor and taking a "breathing" class at the same time -- Mission Accomplished!
As it turned out, I did figure it out. I really wasn't rocket science.
What's the point of this story: Be the master of your own juggle. Don't let all the unsolicited advisors eat up your time or your patience. Trust your own judgment and prepare for childbirth in a way that makes sense to you. I would imagine that every working mother has developed some unique ways to handle the almost impossible task of making her life work.