How to Choose the Right Childbirth Class for You

choose the right childbirth class for you

There are so many different types of childbirth classes out there. How do you choose the one that’s right for you? I would first suggest you ask yourself a few questions: What does your ideal birth look like? What are your biggest concerns about labor and delivery? What do you think might be most helpful? Some people may have clear answers for these questions, but it’s totally okay if the answers are I don’t know. There are definitely classes that explore a variety of options.

The second piece of advice is to do your research. Familiarize yourself with the different methods of childbirth (Lamaze, Hypnobirthing, Bradley Method, Kitzinger Method, Birthing from Within, etc.). Once you have an idea of what type of birth plan you are interested in, that may help to narrow down your options. If you aren’t sure, or you want to “see how it goes” in the delivery room, then find a class that gives you a general education about the process and discusses multiple options and methods.

Any type of class you choose should discuss the process of labor and birth, the signs and stages of labor, when to go to the hospital/birthing center or call your provider, coping strategies and comfort techniques, pain management, the importance of labor support, movement and positioning, medical interventions, risks, and alternatives, the best way to communicate with your health care provider, and the right questions to ask before and during labor. Many classes also include a newborn care and breastfeeding class. If it doesn’t, then I would definitely look into finding a separate one that does. CPR class is another important one to round out that list.

The best ways to find a class in your area is to ask your ob/gyn or midwife, take a class in the hospital or birthing center you will be delivering in, research independent classes in your area, or ask experienced friends or neighbors in the area for recommendations.

At the end of the day, you want to make sure you ask the following important questions:

  • What are the credentials or certifications of the instructor?
  • What are the philosophies of the class and do they match mine?
  • What topics will be discussed?
  • What is the partner’s role in the process?
  • What is the cost?
  • What is the time commitment of the class?

Make sure you find an instructor who makes you feel comfortable and you will likely have a positive experience!

How did you choose your childbirth class? Did you feel that you made a good choice?