So you’re looking into birthing classes! Good for you! I literally walked into my fist birth totally clueless and unprepared. Not a good idea…. nope!
We are so blessed that there are so so many options available now! And even if you can’t find in your area, or your time schedule doesn’t work, you can find an online course that you can watch On Demand, 24/7. How awesome is that?
Remember that knowledge is POWER – especially when it comes to birth and each of these birthing classes will give you the knowledge that you need to have an awesome birth.
Question is – which one fits your personality? I truly believe that when it comes to birth – you’ve got to go with your inborn personality and what works for you – that’s going to help you have an awesome birth.
So here I’m sharing some great options with you of well-known birthing classes. Most hospitals do also have in house classes, but please, if you’re going to consider a hospital class, look into it well, get advice from other parents who have taken classes at your hospital – some hospitals teach birthing classes with the twist of teaching you to be a good patient. (Not all hospitals – but a good number of them.) But these classes don’t have any agenda other than helping you have the best possible birth!
Tell me, did your mother do a Lamaze class? Yeah? Mine too! Lamaze has been around for a while! The only thing is – the Lamaze that our mothers did is nothing like the Lamaze classes that you can take today. They have been totally redone and you’ll have a very different experience.
Lamaze was originally started with the intention of giving mothers back the power of their birth experience. When I learned a bit about what a regular birth looked like in the 1960s and 1970s I was somewhat shocked. Mothers were given meds that made them so drowsy that they mostly didn’t remember their births when they woke up!
Could you imagine missing your birth?!?! Lamaze has been at the forefront for decades making birth an empowering experience for mothers of all backgrounds, no matter which birth plan they choose.
The online birthing classes have cut up their courses into small bite size pieces so you can choose which classes you’d like to take to meet your needs.
Or you can buy a bundle such as the Birth, Labor & Breastfeeding Basics class.
This includes the following shorter mini courses:
Safe and Healthy Birth: Six Simple Steps – Learn about health during pregnancy, common health interventions, alleviating fears & more about the birth process.
Labor Pain Management: Techniques for Comfort and Coping – Learn relaxation skills for early labor. Practice a variety of comfort techniques that minimize active labor discomfort. Understand back labor and how to cope with back pain while encouraging baby to turn. Plan for transition with effective labor strategies. Learn the top positions for pushing that open the pelvis and shorten the pushing time
Breastfeeding Basics: From Birth to Back to Work – Understand how milk supply works. Learn about the mechanics of breastfeeding, latching on and positioning. Recognize good feeding and if baby is getting enough milk and manage nighttime breastfeeding.
If you are looking for some great birthing classes (at a lower cost), then this will be a great option for you.
Cost $ 89 for the Bundle. $30-$35 for each of the mini courses.
The Hypnobirthing birthing classes help women go into a form of hypnosis while they are in labor. This is not stage hypnosis like what you see at your local county fair. Hypnosis for childbirth is all about choosing what you focus on. They compare it to the zoom lens on a camera – it allows you to zoom in and focus on what you choose.
During hypnobirthing they teach you how to focus on calm, peace and relaxation. The goal is to allow your body to feel calm and relaxed so your body produces more oxytocin which aids your labor.
Biggest focus is on relaxation, breathing and things your partner can do to calm you. They also teach positive birth affirmations and visualization.
There are in person classes in neighborhoods countrywide and you can also buy the cds and book online to do a home study.
These classes are great for anyone who loves to meditate and get into ‘the zone’. You’ll have lots of practice hours to listen to your cds over the last 10 weeks or your pregnancy (or more if you like) and you can get into the hypnotic mode. If this calls out to you then go for it!
Cost: In person classes are $275 – $350 depending on location.
Home study book and cds are $75. Access the home study kit here.
Hypnobabies first and foremost teaches a full childbirth course – everything you need to know about birth and many different techniques for birth.
Secondly, they are a hypnosis program. They train your mind and body to relax and perceive the sensations of birth in a positive way.
You can find in person classes across the country and they also have a home study program. There are cds that you need to listen to and practice as well as scripts for the birth partner to practice reading to you.
You learn a new tool every week and by the last class they help you put all the classes together and practice a birth, using all the tools that you’ve learned.
There is one full class all about dads and what they can do to make the experience amazing, techniques that they can do, lots of hands on training.
There is also a class for after the baby comes. Breastfeeding, newborn care etc.
This will be a great option for you if you are looking for full birthing classes in addition to a birth hypnosis program.
Cost: $160-$210 for the home study course, depending on how many additional cds you would like.
I can’t begin to tell you how many reviews I’ve read from parents who absolutely LOVED Birth Boot Camp. They came out feeling empowered, ready for birth – whichever birth path they have chosen.
This is one really nice thing about this course. They will give you the information about different types of births and it’s up to you to choose which direction you want to go in.
They are not pushing natural, nor medicated. Simply empowering you with information to help you have the best birth possible.
They do offer a special track if you are planning a home birth – with a course specified to home births. They have another track for hospital births – which also includes everything that can help you have a fabulous natural hospital birth.
There is a section on epidurals, explaining the procedure and what you can expect.
If you’re looking for the online options, there are numerous smaller courses from which to choose. This makes it much more personalized to your needs and birth plan.
For example: If you’re expecting your second child and you don’t feel like you need one of the full birthing classes this time round, but you’d love to learn more about different positions and things your husband can do to help you – they have a mini course called Comfort Measures.This workshop is designed to help both partners build confidence for the big day. You take in lots of relaxation, comfort measures, massage, imagery for labor, as well as communication skills for labor. This workshop does not replace a full childbirth education course, but can be purchased separately ($95). The workbook that comes with this workshop is one you will want to spend time with for the duration of the pregnancy.
Of course this mini course is included in the Comprehensive Childbirth Classes.
The Comprehensive class includes everything you could wish for in a childbirth course – prepares you physically, emotionally, mentally, includes a booklet to take along for your labor. Breastfeeding, postpartum. Relaxation & Visualization Cds, comfort measures & lots more.
The Full Comprehensive Childbirth Class runs 25 hours, is generally taught over 10 weeks.
Cost for full class: $345 Varying costs for smaller classes. $95 for the Comfort Measures class.
This course is brought to you by Mama Natural, the #1 natural pregnancy blog and YouTube channel, and the course is hosted by Mama Natural herself (Genevieve) and Maura Winkler, a registered nurse and doula.
This course is going to be for you if you are super excited to have a natural birth.
Quote from Mama Natural about this course:
“You may have even been told you won’t be able to give birth without interventions like labor induction and pain medication.
But we’re here to tell you the truth about your childbirth. You can do this!
It will be one of the most challenging and powerful things you will ever do. You will grow in ways that you never knew possible. You will emerge a stronger and more confident woman — no matter how your birth unfolds.
Learn how to have an awesome birth without leaving your couch.
The Mama Natural Birth Course will equip your mind, body, and spirit to help you achieve the birth of your dreams — whether that’s a water birth in your living room, or a gentler and more natural hospital delivery. Seriously, you can do this. And we can help.”
The course is 100% online and on-demand, (no in person available) so you can take it as quickly or slowly as you like. You can repeat modules if need be, and if time is an issue, you could do the whole course in a weekend.
Genevieve has got a great energy about her and so does Maura. If you plan to go natural and you love listening to Mama Natural, then this will be a great option for you.
Pricing: $264 Hint: If you sign up for her emails, you’ll get a coupon for 25% off.
Sign up for her emails here:
This set of birthing classes was created by a fellow blogger and friend of mine, Hilary Erickson. She’s a practicing labor and delivery nurse and has been working in the hospital labor and delivery ward since 2001.
Hilary brings you through pregnancy, birth and the first months of newborn postpartum care. She goes through third trimester testing, how to know when you’re in labor, she explains the exact process of what happens during the delivery and the aftermath.
You’ll learn about pain management options, top tips for labor and delivery and she’ll also explain what happens in the event of induction, cesareans and other situations that might arise.
Hilary also helps paint a picture for you of what life will be like when you get home with your baby, including touching on breastfeeding and newborn care.
This course is super thorough and perfect for any couple planning a hospital birth, whether natural or medicated. You’ll come out of these birthing classes feeling fully informed and knowledgeable about what to expect at your labor.
And remember, Hilary is a labor and delivery nurse, she’s seen thousands of births, which means she knows any complications that could arise and has all the answers to your questions.
If you chose the full version of the course you can also ask Hilary any questions you have at any point. This is amazing as many other courses don’t have this individual attention from a trained labor & delivery nurse.
If you want to know exactly what it will be like when you get to the hospital, and you want the inside scoop, then this is a great option for you.
This course is fully online and available to watch at your convenience 24/7. Perfect for working, busy couples who find it hard to be able to commit to a 10 -12 week birthing classes on a weekly basis.
Cost: $99-$149 depending on the options that you choose.
These birthing classes were founded by a couple who wanted the father involved in birth in a time when that wasn’t allowed. They have paved the way worldwide since 1965 for dads to be active and present members of the birth process.
This set of birthing classes starts with exercise and nutrition and ends with breastfeeding – and covers everything in between. Absolute A to Z when it comes to everything you need to know about childbirth.
They promote active participation from the birth partner and give extensive training to them. They believe that a woman’s partner can never be replaced by any other person, even a trained doula or midwife. They have seen that as partners get more educated they become more eager to be an active partner in the birth.
The class promotes relaxation and breathing, mindful birthing, focusing on the moment, and focusing on being calm.
This course is only available in person, there is currently no online home study, but you can get their book: Natural Birth the Bradley Way which is very thorough. .
Classes are 12 weeks long, in person. Most parents coming out of these classes feel it was worth the time and monetary investment and felt that they benefited greatly from the classes.
This is a great option for you if your husband wants to have a super active role in the labor (and can handle it!) and you want birthing classes that will cover all the basics with a lot of practicing time. In person classes also give a great community feeling – especially when you’re going for 12 weeks!
Other Important Childbirth Resources:
One of the essentials for birth is having your baby in a good position. Good fetal positioning means shorter labor and less pain. This isn’t something that always happens on its own – but the good news is there are short exercises you can do on a daily basis starting as early as the 8th month which can promote and make room for your baby to get into the optimal position.
Spinning Babies has a short and inexpensive video that shows you the daily essentials for getting your baby into the optimal position for birth, so when it comes time birth will go that much faster and more smoothly.
The Positive Birth Book
This book was written by a mom who personally saw the difference that outlook can have on your birth. So many of us picture birth as a scary thing from when we’re young, as this is what the media feeds us. But once we learn to have positive feelings towards birth it opens an entirely different experience for us during out labor.
They currently do not have a birthing classes, but you can check out their book, The Positive Birth Book here.
Pregnancy Essentials – Looking for some guidance on pregnancy essentials? Books, nutrition, exercise videos. I know, there’s so much out there. Hard to sift through it all. Here are my top pick recommendations. I’ve tried to put them all together for you – all in one place. 😊
Labor Bag Essentials –You want to prepare your hospital bag – but don’t only pack your favorite PJs! Here are the essentials for your labor – the bag that you can fill with all the goodies to help you through labor! Pick the things that you’ll appreciate the most during your labor and bring them along!
I am soooooo excited for you! No matter which way you go, I wish you only the best birth experience for you! Hope this has been helpful in picking the best birthing classes for you! Drop a comment below if you have any experience with any of these birthing classes or have any questions.
And that’s it! Oh but it’s only the beginning! I am so excited for you and hey – I’m here for ya. Anything you want to discuss, talk about: fears, worries etc. If you need me I am here for you. Look I’ve been where you are before… 8 times. I know what that’s like.
Need someone to talk to? Someone to make your birth plan with? Let’s do it! Drop me an email here and we’ll talk!