The Top 7 Birth Classes and How to Find the Right one for You
Hey, future parents! So, you’re gearing up for the big day, and let’s face it – there’s a lot to figure out. Birth classes are essential in getting you feeling prepared for birth. But which one should you take?!? There are so many birth class options out there. How will you know which style is best for you? Don’t worry – we’re here to guide you through the world of birth classes, where each style is like a different flavor of ice cream, everyone’s invited to the party and each person will have their favorite!
1. Lamaze Classes
Alright, let’s kick things off with the classics – Lamaze. This course has been around for a while, and we often think of it as the “old fashioned birth class”. We will say, gone are the days where Lamaze only taught the “hee hee hoooo” breaths to get you through labor.
Lamaze has done a revamp and focuses on promoting the idea of a more natural and low-intervention birth.
They have created a new curriculum based on the following foundations:
- Let labor begin on its own.
- Walk, move around and change positions throughout labor.
- Bring a loved one, friend or doula for continuous support
- Avoid interventions that are not medically necessary
- Avoid giving birth on your back and follow your body’s urges to push
- Keep mother and baby together; it’s best for mother, baby and breastfeeding.
These sessions involve both the expectant parent and the partner, focusing on breathing techniques, movement, and relaxation. Lamaze International is a go-to resource for those interested in this longstanding approach.
In case you’re wondering, Lamaze isn’t about rules – it’s about choices. It’s like the buffet of childbirth, and you get to pick what works for you. Whether you’re vibing with the traditional ‘hee-hee-hoo’ or inventing your own labor dance, Lamaze is all about you being the hero in your birthing story and feeling empowered throughout the process. So, no matter if you are planning an unmedicated birth or an epidural, Lamaze is about educating parents to know their options.
Who doesn’t want to be full of Zen on the day of their birth? Enter Hypnobirthing, the new cool kid on the block. I mean, if Kate Middleton did it, it’s going to be sure to catch on! Hypnobirthing is all about relaxation and mental magic tricks to handle pain and fear. Hypnobirthing is a self-hypnosis technique, using positive affirmations, and guided relaxations to keep the birthing person calm and open throughout labor.
Hypnobirthing’s claim is “You will experience birthing in an atmosphere of calm relaxation, free of the fear that prevents the muscles of your body from functioning as nature intended them to.” In this calm state, your body’s natural relaxant, endorphins, replaces the stress hormones that constrict and cause pain.
Learn more about Hypnobirthing Hub here.
So how does hypnobirthing work? The whole idea is to create a serene mental space where you stay in a mental state of focus and self-hypnosis. This focus mentally is meant to help you deal with the pain (feeling less of it) and allowing your body to birth with more ease. It’s about rewriting the script that birth is painful and recreating it to make it a feel-good movie all through self-hypnosis. To give birth successfully with Hypnobabies you need to listen to the hypnosis tracks daily in your pregnancy. These *hypnosis* audio tracks literally re-train your subconscious to produce easier and more comfortable birthing sensations, since the inner mind controls the body.
Positive affirmations are like the mantras of Hypnobirthing. You’re not just repeating words; you are listening to guided hypnosis tracks for the entirety of your labor. You’ll never use the word “contraction”, but you’ll say “surge” or “wave” instead. And guess what? Your birth partner is not just there to cheer you on; they’re the DJ of this mental party, ensuring the vibes are just right and you have the guided tapes playing throughout labour.
Hypnobirthing classes are 5 weeks long, following this curriculum to help parents have a stress free birth.
- Unit 1: Building A Positive Expectancy
- Unit 2: Falling in Love With Your Baby/Preparing Mind & Body
- Unit 3: Advanced Visualization & Deepening
- Unit 4: Overview of Childbirth, A Labour of Love
- Unit 5: Birthing: The Final Act, Bonding & Preparing for the 4th Trimester
So, if you’re all about Zen vibes, positive thinking, and rewriting the birthing script, Hypnobirthing might just be your ticket to a laid-back and empowering birthing experience.
3. The Bradley Method
This is like the Olympics of birth prep! Where the mom and dad train and get prepared for their marathon of birth TOGETHER. The Bradley Method, or what used to be referred to as “Husband-Coached Natural Childbirth,” is like a boot camp for both of parents. The goal of the Bradley Method? It’s a great fit for couples committed to an natural birth and one where they want to work together.
Learn more about the The Bradley Method.
Preparing with The Bradley Method is a team effort, with your birth partner as your birthing coach. Think of it as preparing for the marathon of childbirth.
Now, why bring your partner into the birthing ring? Well, it’s not just about having someone to pass you the birthing water (though that’s nice too!). The Bradley Method recognizes that birthing is a tag team sport. Your birth partner is not just a spectator; they’re your coach, the cheerleader, and the teammate you never knew you needed.
But let’s not forget the star of the show – relaxation. The Bradley Method teaches lots of ways for parents to relax and ward off unnecessary tension. With labor positions, movements, vocalizations, education, and an open jaw, this method teaches you how to stay relaxed and in a sleep-like state to reduce pain.
The standard Bradley Class is up to 12 weeks long, covering nutrition, exercise, labor stages, partner roles and postpartum. You and your birth partner are not just teammates; you’re the Batman and Robin of childbirth, ready to face whatever comes your way.
4. Birthing from Within
Grab your paints, because we’re diving into the artsy side of birthing – Birthing from Within. Picture this as a birth class that’s part art studio, part therapy session. Expect painting, storytelling, and meditation – a birthing event for your emotions. Birthing from Within isn’t just about the physical; it’s about the whole emotional rollercoaster that is childbirth.
Learn what Pam England created with the birth class: Birthing from Within.
Instead of just learning about childbirth, you’re diving into the emotional sea of becoming a parent. Birthing From Within is meant to be a class for anyone, no matter their birth outcome or plans for medication. The goal is to become integrated to your feelings about birth and parenting and have ceremony to guide your birth journey to accept whatever comes your way.
Birthing from Within recognizes that childbirth is not just a physical event; it’s a transformation. It’s not just about what’s happening to your body; it’s about what’s happening in your heart. So, if you’re all about embracing the emotional ride, getting artsy with your birthing story, and seeing childbirth as a work of art, Birthing from Within might just be your birthing masterpiece.
Join the hip birth class that is Hypnobabies, where the goal is are to teach parents how to stay healthy and low-risk and be filled with positive thoughts for birth. Hypnobabies teaches medical-grade, somnambulistic hypnosis techniques to parents to prepare for birth.
With Hypnobabies, parents try to overcome negative belief systems and programming, so that they can welcome birth with an open and welcoming energy. Birth Partners are brought into the preparation process and have their own hypnosis cues for becoming relaxed and calm, as well as a special role to play as they await the birth of their precious newborn.
Parents are given 16 powerful, deep hypnosis audio tracks to practice with during their Hypnobabies program, as well as two 45-minute-long Affirmations tracks. They also include 1 hypnosis track for Birth Partners so that they easily become calm and relaxed about pregnancy and childbirth.
Hypnobabies help parents to remain in control over their body’s reactions, to experience less painful birthing sensations. This is meant to bring confidence to birth instead of fear and doubt. Hypnobabies is a very strong believer in natural and unmedicated births.
Hypnobabies doesn’t get you to bark like a dog and act like a robot. It’s about tapping into your subconscious mental state to stay open and relaxed. The more hypnosis is practiced, like meditation the quicker your ability to tap into this deep relaxed state. It’s a committed birth class that parents take online or in-person and then need to practice regularly to have benefits in birth.
6. Online Classes
Now, who said learning can’t happen in your PJs? Online birth classes are like the superheroes of convenience. Platforms like Birth Dates for Couples are here to save the day, offering courses on everything baby-related. Picture this: you and your partner make mocktails, get in your comfy pants and putt out your laptop. You press start and you dive into the world of birth education for an empowering birth all while in your own home.
Online classes are not just for the times of Covid. People are time-pressed but many still want a comprehensive birth class to get them feeling very prepared. There is a new surge or parents who found a great LOVE to learn about birth in the comfort of their own home. The benefits are:
- They can schedule it when they want
- Great for busy work schedules, graveyard, medical providers, military or flight crews.
- Perfect for the shyer parents-to-be that desire more privacy
- Safety in their own home for those worried about germs or Covid while pregnant.
With our Birth Date Classes, Couples can watch as many times as they need and they truly can get them feeling 100% prepared for birth! Unlike in-person classes, Birth Dates gives a MONEY-BACK GUARENTEE, ensuring both you and your partner gain confidence in realistic, hands-on coping strategies for comfort and connection during labor.
There are some very short, talking head online birth classes (which can put many to sleep). We have created Birth Dates to be incredibly interactive and fun-centered for the couple…which is why we call it a DATE! It’s a night to spend together (with pad thai or a frozen pizza), laugh, hold each other, learn EXACTLY WHAT TO DO in labor and become closer as a couple as a result. No talking head online Birth Class here!
Video modules are not just about watching; it’s like having a virtual birth doula guiding you through the process. With Birth Dates you get access to a real-life educator and birth doula to text, email or zoom with to go over any specific questions you have!
7. Evidence-Based Birth
Here is one of the newest birth classes to be created. If you are a statistics person, someone who loves information, step into the world of evidence-based birth classes. This birth class is where learning about the miracle of life becomes an adventure filled with science, data and facts!
What sets evidence-based birth classes apart is their commitment to the latest and greatest in scientific research. Forget the old wives’ tales – here, you’ll get the real scientific scoop on everything from pregnancy cravings to postpartum care.
- Pregnancy: Understanding fetal development, common discomforts, and nutrition tips to keep both mom and baby healthy.
- Labor and Birth: Understand the stages of labor, coping mechanisms, and the array of birthing options available. From epidurals to natural childbirth, these classes equip parents with knowledge to make informed decisions.
- Pain Relief Options: Explore various pain relief methods, including medical interventions and alternative approaches. Learn about the pros and cons, empowering parents to choose what aligns with their preferences.
- Postpartum Care: Transition smoothly into the world of parenthood with insights into postpartum recovery, breastfeeding, and newborn care. Address common concerns and build confidence for the exciting journey ahead.
- Informed Decision-Making: Equip parents with the skills to critically evaluate information, enabling them to make decisions aligned with their values and preferences.
- Myths and Facts: Bust common myths surrounding pregnancy and childbirth. Distinguish between evidence-based practices and outdated beliefs.
Evidence-Based Birth Classes are passionate about creating equitable births and reducing harm. They pride themselves on boldly stating Unsafe, outdated, racist, non-inclusive care. Other topics they do not shy away from are poor outcomes, birth trauma, and preventable complications, misinformation, coercion, and pressure from providers.
So, there you have it – these are the top 7 styles of Birth Classes to get you prepared for birth. Which one is right for you? It’s about schedules of course, and also about your style of birth you are hoping for. Also good to consider your personality! Choosing the right class is like picking your favorite flavor of ice cream – it’s personal, unique, and you should pick one that feels right to you!
As you step into the world of childbirth education, remember to keep an open mind, embrace the quirks of each class, and most importantly, enjoy the ride. These birth classes aren’t just about learning; they’re about making memories, building confidence, and preparing for the grand entrance of your little one. So, grab your birth class passport and get ready for an adventure that’s as unique as your soon-to-arrive bundle of joy. Cheers to the birthing bonanza!