Which Birth Class Is Best For Me?

posted in: Healthy Baby Tips, News | 2

So, you selected your birth center and midwife.  What more can you do to get ready for baby?  Why not enroll in a birthing class so you can learn what happens to you, your baby, and your body throughout labor and birth?  Below are 3 types of classes that may be available to you.  Check with your birth center to see what types of classes are offered and when. Mothers heading into their 6th or 7th month of pregnancy should enroll.

THE BRADLEY METHOD – This method teaches families how to have a natural birth.  The Bradley Method prepares mothers to deliver without pain medication and prepares the fathers and birth partners to be the “mom’s coach.”

Topics that are covered in the classes are:

  • Importance of nutrition and exercise
  • Relaxation techniques for pain management
  • Labor rehearsals using the “birth coach” supporting the mother
  • How to avoid cesarean birth
  • Postpartum care
  • Breastfeeding
birth class

HYPNOBIRTHING – This method teaches you, along with your partner, the art and joy of birth in a more comfortable manner. You will learn to call upon your body's own natural relaxant and thus decrease pain and the need for medication.

Topics that are covered in the classes are:

  • How to release the bad things you have learned about birth
  • How to trust your body and work with it
  • How to free yourself from harmful emotions that lead to pain-causing fear and tight muscles
  • Techniques of deep relaxation to help you eliminate the Fear-Tension-Pain Syndrome (FTP also stands for "Failure to Progress")
  • How your body is naturally designed to birth your baby with ease and comfort
  • To create your body's own natural relaxant
  • Natural ways to bring your body into labor without artificial induction
  • Gentle birthing techniques that allow you to breathe your baby into the world without the stress of hard physical pushing

LAMAZE – This is the oldest and most popular method of childbirth classes that manages pain without drug intervention. Mothers learn techniques for deep breathing, massage, and concentration to maintain control during labor. Lamaze builds a woman’s confidence in order for her to make informed decisions regarding her childbirth experience. 

Topics that are covered in the classes are:

  • Normal labor, birth, and early postpartum care
  • Different positions for labor and birth
  • Massage and relaxation techniques  
  • Breathing techniques during labor
  • Coaching during labor and effective communication skills
  • Breastfeeding
  • Birth complications
  • Healthy lifestyle choices


Ask your midwife to help you select the best class to meet your individual needs. She may offer a different class to help you prepare for labor and birth. Taking a birth class will help you to be prepared for your baby’s big day!

2 Responses

  1. Betsy

    Which is the most popular? Do classes usually vary in cost?

    • Jill A

      Dear Betsy,

      The cost and types of classes available will vary by birth center. Ask your midwife or birth center about which classes are offered at the birth center, because some may have more than one type. Some birth centers include the price of classes in their fees, or offer significant discounts to their own clients. Other birth centers and childbirth educators charge a fee for classes offered there, and that will vary by location.

      Also, you can check with your health insurance to see if they cover the cost of childbirth or newborn parenting classes.
      More and more insurance companies understand the benefits of their customers going to classes before they give birth, and want to support that by helping to pay for the classes.