I was on a forum earlier this morning and saw a woman's request for recommendations for childbirth classes. She is pregnant with her first child and having her baby at a free standing birth center. Comments were made about the different classes offered, and some even mentioned my classes. (That was nice!) But one comment stood out among the rest: "Choose a class that is geared for women birting outside the hosptial." At first, I was thinking, yes, choose a class that is offered outside the hospital, but that is not what the writer was saying. She was making the distinction that classes geared for women going to a hospital will usually "prepare" you for the hospital experience.
If, on the other hand you want a natural birth with the least amount of intervention, you need to go to a class that teaches you how to work with your body. It should cover everything from prenatal self care to labor coping techniques. It should offer advice on how to navigate the system (i.e. hospital) in case of transport and inform on alternatives to medically invasive techniques for handling a slow or stalled labor. Emphasis should be on labor support, as well, no matter if that is the woman's spouse/partner/mom/sister/friend, etc....support by an educated person is crucial.
I truly believe my Natural Childbirth Classes fulfill those essentials. With 6 babies of my own (5 natural Bradley VBAC's) and 20 + years of teaching, and over a hundred births as a doula, I feel confident that taking a Bradley Class can prepare you for your birth experience whether inside the hospital, at a birthing center or homebirth.