Yesterday I had my second birthing class with the independent midwife (see this post). This time together with two other pregnant women (for whom this was their 7th class and one of them seemed about ready to deliver!) - the first time it was together with one other woman whom I will see again at next week's class (and who should then also be at her third class). I'll have a total of eight 1-hour classes in the coming weeks.
Mostly what we do are some breathing exercises to use during contractions (like breathing out for at least 30 seconds) and labor, exercises to relieve back pain and restore balance, and others to make you more aware of the perineum, including visualizations, all in order to make it a bit more supple in preparation for labor (in the hope to avoid it from tearing). Yesterday we also learned some techniques on how to push - that was still a bit surreal to me, I must admit, but I'm sure it'll come in handy! I'm not so good with the visualizations ("pretend your perineum is a grotto, and your organs are hanging from the ceiling like chandeliers..."), but I'm doing my best. :-)
Not sure if going with the independent midwife is so much better than taking the classes at the hospital, but at least it's convenient, because it's only a 10 minute walk from my house.