Your Ultimate Guide to Childbirth Classes

Childbirth education classes can be one of the best ways to prepare yourself for having a baby. Just like many things with pregnancy and parenting, there are many options for which classes to take, and it is essential to note that not all childbirth education classes are created equal. Different classes teach different techniques, have unique styles of education, and have their areas of expertise. As you are looking into childbirth education classes, it is important to make sure that the class you sign up for includes information on the stages and phases of labor, labor support tools and techniques, different ways to cope with labor pains, your options during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. It can be nice to have a portion about nursing, even if it is short.

Look for Local Options

Because of the diverse locations of people who read this blog, I cannot recommend local childbirth education courses, but I have to put a plug-in for them anyway. Taking a local course can be a way to meet other soon-to-be parents and local birth workers. As I said above, not all childbirth education classes are the same, so even with local courses, you must investigate potential local classes in your area before signing up.

First, I want to talk about hospital childbirth education classes. These classes are designed to teach you how to give birth at the hospital. Occasionally there will be a private childbirth education class at the hospital, and is advertised by the hospital. Still, these classes are generally paid for and run by hospital staff. Hospital childbirth education classes are some of the least recommended classes because of how they educate new parents and what their areas of focus are.

HypnoBirthing or Hypnobabies

Another popular type of childbirth education class that many have heard of is HypnoBirthing or Hypnobabies. These are two of the most popular hypnosis-based childbirth education programs, but there are a few others out there to choose from. Hypnosis-based childbirth education programs focus on birthing parents into deep meditative spaces while birthing their babies. These programs significantly focus on partner support and roles they can take during the birthing time. The utilization of hypnosis for childbirth is mainly geared toward individuals wanting to go unmedicated. Still, individuals who utilize epidurals or have surgical births can also reap the benefits. Even if meditation is not your thing, hypnosis can be an excellent tool for your birthing time. 

The Bradley Method

Along similar lines to hypnotic birthing is a method called The Bradley Method. This childbirth education class is designed for athletes or individuals with an athletic mindset. Like hypnosis courses, The Bradley Method emphasizes partner involvement and treats the partner like a coach for childbirth. The idea that birth is like running a marathon is exactly what The Bradley Method leans into, and many individuals have found great success with having unmedicated births using this program.

Tinyhood is an up-and-coming program that midwives created. It offers a unique setup as the classes are affordable and membership-based, so parents can become members until they find no need for the classes any longer. This allows parents to take the classes they want and join the community meet-ups that call to them without getting educated on things they already know or that do not matter to them. A unique thing about Tinyhood is that it is designed to accompany parents from pregnancy to birth and throughout parenthood.

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Lamaze Classes

Lamaze classes are well-known worldwide and have been around for quite some time. The Lamaze system is based on the idea that clients can have the birth experience they hoped for by following six healthy birth practices. Like hypnosis and The Bradley Method, Lamaze is created for individuals wanting to go medication free but can be adapted for unique birth plans or changes.

Pampers Free Childbirth Education Class Series

Pampers has a free childbirth education class series that focuses on the basics and is precisely what many parents want and need. Not only is this course affordable, but it also is highly accessible as it is online and can be completed at one’s leisure.

Birth It Up

Birth It Up is a childbirth education class that offers three-course choices. One of the courses is geared towards medication-free birth, another towards epidurals, and the last towards cesarean birth. Having different choices for parents to explore is a great way to ensure they are ready for whatever birth throws their way. This childbirth education class is great because it is budget-friendly as well.

Mama Natural

Mama Natural also offers a well-known childbirth education course split into eight classes. It includes two bonus classes, one about nursing and the other about Vaginal Birth After Cesarean or VBAC information. Like the classes mentioned above, Mama Natural is partner-focused and provides information on offering proper support. Another perk about this class option is that they donate 10% of their profits to charity.

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Maia Midwifery and Fertility

Maia Midwifery and Fertility offers an incredible childbirth education class series created with LGTBQIA+ parents at the forefront of their minds. The class is a 60-hour program run through Zoom meetings with groups of parents close in due date with one another. 

Motherhood Reimagined

If someone is birthing without a partner, an excellent option for childbirth education courses is Motherhood Reimagined. Like Maia childbirth classes above, this program is run through online Zoom meetings to create a sense of community, even from a distance. A childbirth education class geared towards your individualized needs can be affirming and helpful as you prepare for birth.

Takeaway

The above-mentioned childbirth education classes are only the tip of the iceberg, but we hope to give you some guidance and a place to start. If you find something that speaks to you after reading about these different classes or styles of birthing, dive down that rabbit hole and see where it goes. It just might be the perfect class for you and your family. As with any information about pregnancy, take what you need and leave the rest. This decision concerns you and your needs, so even if your best friend loved The Bradley Method, Birth It Up might be your best program. Trust your intuition and enjoy whichever childbirth education series is brought your way

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