Sample Basic Childbirth Class info #1

What is Birth Like?

Pregnancy and Birth Terminology:   Uterus, Fundus, Cervix, Cervical ripening, Placenta, Effacement, Head is engaged, Sacrum, Pubic bone, Ischial spines, Dilation, latent or 1st Stage of labor, 2nd Stage of labor, Transition, Pushing, Amniotic Fluid, Bag of Water, Rupture Membranes,


How a baby lies in the uterus –    The ideal position for birth – Baby lying head down,  with his back turned toward your left side, looking at your spine .  Know your baby’s position –


What labor accomplishes –   Mechanics of labor –   Exactly how does a baby fit out?  Questions.

Am I really in labor?

                Signs before labor

                           Positive signs: more mucus, can be blood tinged, feeling of pressure with contractions, stronger contractions that come more often (2 – 3 in an  hour), feeling achy in your cervix with contractions.

                 What is “Pre-labor” – Think of this as not “false” but exercising your uterus and revving up. 

                             The biggest challenge:   Suggestions for coping with those mild labor contractions that do not lead to being in active labor.

  • Take some liquid calcium / magnesium.  Muscle relaxant.
  • A shower or deep bath: lay on your side with a towel rolled up between your knees and thighs to relax your ligaments.
  • Change your focus. Don’t think of this as labor. Your hormones are simply revving up. It may very well quit in an hour or two.  Stay busy with other things.
  • Try and sleep.   Stay in the moment.  Don’t think too for in the future and worry about “all the pain” ahead.
  • Eat and drink normally.  Keep in your normal routine. Let your mind go so you can sleep.
  • Review what your caregiver said about when to call, but get your mind off the clock otherwise.

    Signs of active labor

             Uterus “stands up” or changes shaped with each contraction

            Feeling pressure with each contraction

            Contractions are getting stronger and lasting longer (lasting 45 sec to 1 min. coming 3- 7 minutes apart)

            Gush of fluid or trickle of fluid with contractions

Laboring at home before leaving to your chosen birth place

-          Try to get some rest and sleep. 

-          Keep normal schedule and routine

-          Find an activity that takes your mind off your contractions

-          Be sure your bags are packed and in order

-          Timing your contraction strength and frequency with how long it takes to get there.


  When to go to your chosen birthing place

                                           – Your water has broken and you feel uncomfortable

                                              – contractions are strong enough to make you concerned about getting there in time.

-          Your baby seems to be moving down and you are feeling lots of pressure

-          Contractions are every 3 minutes and getting stronger

-          self-checking, you find yourself dilating and making progress


If my water breaks….

                                       Note fluid color and amount

                                       Notify your care-giver immediately.  Even if at night. 

                                       Listen for heart tones, if you have a doppler or assess baby movement

                                              If you are concerned lie down until baby settles and you are feeling comfortable again.

                                        Normal to have the “shakes” or get an adrenaline rush as you realize that labor is coming.  Different kinds of “water breaking”   Drip (you can tell that your pad or panties are damp all the time).  Trickle – does not stop is more apparent when getting up and out of bed.  Gush – obvious, can’t stop the flow…. Must be my water breaking

                                      Waterfall – very obvious

  Phases of Labor

                What is early labor feel like?

               Active labor, what is that like?

                Pushing, when to push and what are some suggestions

                 How will I feel right after the birth?


Getting baby in a good position for birth

               Optimal Fetal Positioning

                Exercises and suggestions

                        Walking – daily walk a mile

                        Do an inversion

                        Webster Technique – to release round ligaments, done by chiropractor

                         Sacral Release –  done by chiropractor

      Know your baby and suggestions for helping baby turn or stay in the best position for ease of delivery and less work and discomfort for mom:


Staying Low Risk:

                  Keeping baby the perfect size for birth – What does it take for optimal baby size?

                        Exercising – stretching, walking, Get birth-fit!

                        Optimal baby positioning for birth

                        Educate yourself about laboring, expectations

                        Get rid of fear – learn to trust your body and the birth process

                        During labor eat and stay well- hydrated.  Your body and baby cannot work efficiently on empty!  Find easy to digest foods you will like to eat, even when possibly nauseous.

                        Sleep well.  Address pain issues and resolve them. Get comfortable with pillows and wedges.

                        Practice relaxing way before birth.

                        Movement during birth – Listen to your body


 Homework:   Belly Mapping –