My husband and I officially started our birthing class last month. We are required to take what is called a Bradley class by our birthing center. Bradley classes promote non-medicated births/natural child birth and also advocate fewer hospital interventions. I know at least half a dozen people who've had babies in the last six months or so, and out of all of them, only one couple actually attended a birthing class. Now that I've been to a few of them, I don't understand why more people don't do it. They are great.
On the surface, it seemed like an expensive investment -- almost $200. It's probably not that much in the big picture of how much babies cost, but I'm sure we could have happily spent that money on something else. However, our tuition included a $100 gift certificate to Gymboree. I know for a fact we'd never spend that much money at a place like Gymboree (do we really need someone to teach us how to play with our kid? does anyone?), but at least it feels like we are getting half our money back from our birthing classes.
The information we are learning is fantastic. When I talk to my other pregnant friends now, I'm the one full of weird factoids about pregnancy and child birth. I feel knowledgeable. Plus -- and maybe this is the biggest benefit -- a LOT of what we are learning is massage and comfort techniques. Let me rephrase that: my husband has to learn how to make me feel better. And we are required to practice. We are learning things like back rubs and massages. Even the labor positions we are learning feel good right now, even though I'm nowhere near going into labor. It's great.