49 answers

Seeking Classes and Advice

My husband and I are expecting our first child. I am 23 weeks,2days pregnant.(almost 6 months!)EDD: 9/18/09...
We are interested in taking classes that would help us with labor and birth (using different methods) as well as caring for a new born: breast feeding, what to expect, what to be aware of...
We do have some books, however we both would like some hands on experience.

2 moms found this helpful

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Featured Answers

This woman is amazing. I just had my 1st baby and taking her class made me feel a lot more prepared. It's about $80 for 6 classes and they are very detailed- much more so than a lot of classes my friends have taken. Her name is Dianne and she is also a lactation consultant. Here's her email:
____@____.com
Good luck!

If you're in OC, Hoag Hospital has great classes. We took the child birth, breastfeeding and safety class...loved them all!

-M

The best book and classes that i can recommend is Birthing From Within. www.birthingfromwithin.com

This will prepare you for the reality that all births are different and expect the unexpected. Also great pain coping techniques. Good luck and congratulations.

More Answers

The hospital should have a whole series of classes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Ask your doctor's office. If you are interested in natural childbirth, take classes on the Bradley Method. Congratulations on your pregnancy.

2 moms found this helpful

ditto!

I like the choices at my delivering hospital and they were all taught by certified people with life experience. Or check with you OBGYN for referals.

Congrats!

1 mom found this helpful

Check with your hospital that you are delivering at. I know that St. Joseph hopital in orange is a great hospital for classes of any kind. I work in L&D there and we provide childbirth classes, breastfeeding support, even daddy boot camp! Good luck, K.

1 mom found this helpful

The hospital where you are going to give birth at, most always has maternity classes.
So, check with them and you can sign up... sometimes there is a cost for it.
Or, ask your OB/GYN... they will know.

All the best,
Susan

1 mom found this helpful

Hi K.,

I delivered at Hoag Hospital last June and they offered classes prior to delivery to my husband and I. Have you checked with the hospital that you will be delivering at? Have you checked with your OB?

They are very informative. Good luck and enjoy!

Contact your hospital. They usually offer classes and tours. Your OB should be able to tell you who to call. Congrats on entering the most challenging and most wonderful chapter of your life!

www.OneWithChild.com is a great resource for all your pregnancy and birth needs.

Most hospitals offer infant care classes. I'm sure you can also find some info. either through your doctor's office or even through the city.

You must read On Becoming Baby Wise by Ezzo and Bucknam. You certainly may not agree with the advice, but you really should read it so you know if it's right for you or not. It centers on feeding schedules (no on-deamind feeding) and naptime schedules and letting the baby cry itself to sleep (I did 10 minute intervals....cry...soothe...cry...soothe...sleep). It was crucial for me. It really works! Baby sleeps through the night after 2 months or less. Baby never gets hungry...(except growth spurts)....no snacking allowed.....wake up the baby if fall asleep while feeding. Again, it may not be for you, but you should read it to find out.

I know all you can think about is childbirth, but if there's only 1 childcare book you read, I think it should be this one.

Just for fun take a look at www.hypnobabies.com (it may be just what you were looking for)... This is the way I went with my first and, despite unforeseen complications resulting in an emergency c-section, I was 100% happy with the course and the level of success I achieved... 19hrs of labor, virtually painfree!

You can check with the hospital you'll deliver at. I am not sure where you are, but if your in the valley theres this place called A Mothers Haven. They have great classes, from labor and delivery, to breastfeeding etc. There are a lot of places around that have mommy and me classes and also offer birthing, cpr, breastfeeding etc

The hospital I delivered at had a birthing class and a breastfeeding class. Check with your hospital.

Dear K.,

Congratulations to you & your husband! I'm not sure where you live but I know of the best class for parents-to-be. It's called Supported Birth and it's not to late for you to sign up and take this class. My husband & I loved attending the class with Jana, we learned and grew together as a couple. It was the perfect mix of preparation, information and support in a very relaxing (non-clinical) environment. I would contact Jana Wernor at Supported Birth ###-###-####. Here's the website where you can get a rundown of the topics covered and read what other couples say about the Supported Birth class: http://www.supportedbirth.com/sb_course_outline.htm

Congratulations on this new chapter in your life! Good for you for looking for advise.
Check with your insurance company, your OB, and the hospital you will be using. Most hospitals have a tour also, so you know exactly where to go when you are in labor.
Don't worry about labor...anything that happens will all be worth it once you have your baby in your arms! Just make sure your husband or whoever will be with you knows your position on pain meds. Best wishes to you!!!!

I highly recommend the Bradley Method, especially if you are interested in natural childbirth. I had 2 successful natural births (at home!) and the Bradley Method gave my husband and I the tools to understand labor and delivery, and how to prepare myself for the best possible outcome for the baby and for me. You can find a Bradley instructor near you from the website http://www.bradleybirth.com/

The class was fairly expensive ($200-$300) and about 8 weeks long, but if was worth every penny and every minute.

I believe most hospitals also offer a childbirth class. We took one offered by the hospital we had planned to deliver at (before we decided on homebirth) but we did not find the class to be nearly as helpful or informative as the Bradley class. It was helpful, but I am convinced I would not have been able to deliver naturally with that information/training alone (I felt desperate for an epidural by the time I was 3 cm - fortunately I was at home and it wasn't an option!:). Bradley was really the way to go for us.

If you do take Bradley, be warned that your doctor may not encourage it. The OB I was seeing was not real excited about us taking the Bradley class (it seems some doctors would prefer that you go with the flow and let the hospital manage your labor and delivery, rather than being informed, having a birth plan, and a desired process).

I also found "Childbirth Without Fear" by Dr. Grantly Dick-Reed to be the best book to prepare me for childbirth (without fear!). I was terrified of the prospect of childbirth, it really is amazing that I would have chosen to have a homebirth, but that book was so informative and encouraging for me and preparing me for my first childbirth experience.

I don't have any recommendations for a newborn class, but if you can find one and complete it in time, I would highly recommend it. I did not take one and I wish I had. I was so focused on preparing for the birth, and once I had the baby I was quite overwhelmed!

Congratulations on your first baby! We also waited to find out the gender for our first. It was quite fun! He wore a lot of white, yellow, and green for his first few months, but I loved the surprise! :)

Hi.
I have not had my daughter yet. I am 8 months pregnant.
A few years back i took the Bradley method with a friend of mine. I thought at the time it was a very good class. I learned a lot!!
in the last year or so i had a few friends take a class called Hypnobabies.
I decided to check it out for my birth.
I just got done with my classes and they were amazing!
I have not had my baby yet...
however I am now filled with more knowledge, I am excited about my daughters birth, I am relaxed about it and totally confident that i will have a pain free birth!!
Its a very well rounded class...i also just got done with the breast feeding portion...and it was super informative.
check out their site
www.hypnobabies.com
my instructor was Carol Thorpe she is GREAT!!
They have open houses where you can go and ask questions and find out more about the class before you make a decision.
Congratulations and Good luck!!!

Congratulations!!
I have a 7 month old and had her back in San Diego, but we took a class at one of the Naval Hospitals there and hated it. I decided to read, research and study as much as I could on my own and with my husband and I think I was much more prepared than I ever could have been with a class.
If you like the idea of the classes go to those too, but I strongly encourage all new moms to research on their own. Just in case you are interested, I read the "Bradley Method of Childbirth" and watched "The Business of Being Born" which is a documentary on childbirth and I would also recommend any of the books in Dr Sears library, especially the Breastfeeding book. Good Luck, I hope you get everything you want out of your birth!

St. Mary's in Apple Valley offers good classes, so do most hospitals, ask your doc or the nurses in his office. Fine a local le leche league group, breastfeeding has MANY AMAZING benefits from birth through toddler years. Good luck.

K.,
I'm 29 and have an 18 month old. When I was expecting my husband and I took a birthing class at our hospital. It was a big waste of time. The books you have read are all you will need. Labor from my experience and other people I know is rarely textbook. Your water may not break and your contractions may come very quickly. The instructor told us that labor would progress slowly and to wait for a while before going to the hospital. NEVER WAIT! I was 2 days late and woke up in the middle of the night with intense back pain. Back labor which the class never mentioned. We immediately left for the hospital(1 block away) and was at 6cm by the time I was checked in. My water never broke. They broke it for me at 10cm. And the breathing techniques you won't remember with the caos. Just breath slowly and relax. That's all you need to know.

Check nearby hospitals! We did a prenatal class at the hospital I chose to deliver at and it was very informative!

They did one class on "lamaze", one on c-sections, one on breastfeeding, etc, etc. Plus we got lots of booklets to take home with us and got to keep.

I think we went something like 2 times a week (an hour and a half each time), for about 3 weeks - so total of 6 classes.

Unfortunately, I live in Hawaii so that might be a bit far for you to travel twice a week! LOL

I'm sure many hospitals have something like this though ;)

Good luck and congrats :)

hello,
congrats on the first one! i too was looking for classes for my first. she is now about 9 months. i highly recommend The Bradley Method. since you are in ontario, i recommend classes with Jamie. she is located at the birth center in chino. you can find her info at the bradley method website. she was sooooooo good. My husband and i did an all natural birth. good luch... tell her T. and frank sent you. by the way, her business is also listed on this site.

Hi K.,

I would advise you to contact a doula in your area to ask for refferals to good classes. Usually us doulas will hear about different classes, or many teach them. Go to www.dona.org, and search for a doula near you.

First of all congratulations!! I just had my first child (boy) in October. I too wanted to take classes so we took an infant care class through the hospital and we took private Bradley classes which I would HIGHLY recommend if you want to attempt natural childbirth. We were successful and I know we couldn't have done it without those classes...if you want the name of the instructor we used, and live in murrieta/temecula area, please send me a private message. As for the hospital classes...I agree with one of the earlier posts, the books you're reading are just as good, if not better. The only reason I enjoyed it was b/c my husband was able to attend and did learn a few things.

Cedars Sinai in west hollywood/beverly hills has all sorts of classes. they have a free seminar about pain medication options that gives a history of obstetric anaesthesia. I thought it was very interesting. The breastfedding and infant care classes were excellent. the birthing classes weren't my thing, but I think they do offer an overview of all techniques, focusing on visualization exercises to do during contractions. You don't need to deliver at cedars to take the classes.
hope this helps.

Hi there
I'm not sure where you live but Mission Hospital offers a great course
Good luck

Congrats!!! I had my first (and only) baby Sept. 22, 2008!

FIrst, I would rent (Netflix) "The Business of Being Born". Then, decide what kind of birth you want. Birth & Beyond in Santa Monica has several different classes. They have long and short ones, natural and more controlled births. You can also meet doulas (birth advocates) there. It's a bit overwhelming at first so I would see the movie and then sign up for a birthing class. They also have breastfeeding and infant care classes.

Second, another great resource is "The Pump Station" in Santa Monica. You can go to informational sessions there. Just google it. VERY helpful and friendly. You can get help with any breastfeeding problems/questions.

Third, the website www.kellymom.com is one of the best breastfeeding resources I ever found!!

Last thing I want to tell you - I was scared of the labor etc. b/c of what I'd seen on TV but I took the Bradley method class and was able to go 24 hours of hard labor w/out medication. The movies aren't showing you how labor really is. However, whatever route you decide to take is your decision - there are many ways to go!!

All the best to you!!!!!!!!!!
C.
PS Dr. Sears "The Baby Book" has been well-used in our house and seems to cover almost everything for the first two years. It's based on the "attachment parenting" philosophy if that's what you're interested in.

Hi K.,

You don't say where you live, but most of the local hospitals offer these classes. Also, there are places that special in breast feeding and they usually offer classes too (make sure your husband goes to this one with you also because they need to help out with it...).

Your doctor should be able to recommend a place also and places like Babies R Us usually have this type of info.

Good luck!

Szia K.!

Like everyone has stated, most hospitals have these classes available. On the outside, I have found that the YWCA and/or YMCA also offers parenting classes during certain times of the year, so you could call your local branch and see what/if they offer.

Also, if you're in Riverside, a good friend of mine Donna Linton teaches the Mongan method (hypnobirthing) and is also a doula (pre and post partum). Her website is at http://www.doulastodiapers.com/ Tell her that J. who used to work at alumni told you about her. :-)

Good luck! Oh, and we decided to wait to find out the gender of our baby too... It was a blast. And don't be "afraid" of how you'll deal. If you can get an experienced doula (I have another recommendation for the one I plan on using for my 2nd child, if you want that email me) by your side, who will work with you to conquer any fears or uncertainties and will advocate for you throughout the labor process, it will go smooth as pie. :-)

Check with the hospital in which you are going to deliver. They almost all offer a variety of birthing related classes. Good luck!

Most hospitals offer them... find out from where you will deliver.. and congratulations!

Hello K.,

First off Congratulations!!!! My husband and I didn't find out the sex of our baby either, he wanted to but I said that is what will get me through the pain of labor and delivery:) It was very exciting.

I do not like hospitals or doctors so I was very afraid, but my labor and delivery experience was wonderful, can't wait to go through it again!!!

As for classes, we have Kaiser and took the classes through our insurance. If you have insurance check with them. We also took a class through Los Alamitos Hospital, it was recommended to us and we really enjoyed it. Just go to the Los Alamitos Hospital website.

Just one last note. This is something my husband and I did, we decided that he was going to tell me if its a boy or girl when I delivered and not the doctor. So, my husband announced "Dean Glenn is here, its a boy!" and I will never forget that moment, it was just my husband and me, even though the doctor, nurses and my Mom was there, in that moment all I could hear and see was my husband and the light in his eyes telling me we had our boy. Very special. We hope to do that same with our second, which we are starting to try for.

Congratulations and Best of Luck,
M.

Call Roslyn Turner- ###-###-####. She's a Dula- has 30 yrs experience and has ongoing classes. R. Pessin, Nutrition consultant. ###-###-####

Congratulations! Most hospitals have classes that you can sign up for, and they also have support groups that meet after you have your baby. They cover the things you mentioned.

most hospitals that have labor and delivery also have classes.

I took hypnobirthing classes through an independant instructor here in Las Vegas...it was awesome. It is excellent for reducing stress and teaching relaxation techniques during labor and delivery. It is also a great way to connect with other moms and ask questions about caring for a newborn and even older children. I still keep in touch with some of the couples we met there. Let me know if you want the information and I can email it to you.

If you're in OC, Hoag Hospital has great classes. We took the child birth, breastfeeding and safety class...loved them all!

-M

Hi-

I took ALL the classes that the hospital where I delivered offered. It ended up my first child was a emergency c-section and my second was a v-bac, but I did my own breathing. I would still recommend going to the classes at the hospital, I just would keep a open mind and listen to your body. I hired a doula and kept a focal point and just breathed slowly and evenly.

Good luck and trust yourself!

The best book and classes that i can recommend is Birthing From Within. www.birthingfromwithin.com

This will prepare you for the reality that all births are different and expect the unexpected. Also great pain coping techniques. Good luck and congratulations.

This woman is amazing. I just had my 1st baby and taking her class made me feel a lot more prepared. It's about $80 for 6 classes and they are very detailed- much more so than a lot of classes my friends have taken. Her name is Dianne and she is also a lactation consultant. Here's her email:
____@____.com
Good luck!

Hi!
Definitely find a Bradley instructor in your area.
The website is www.bradleybirth.com
Good luck!

C. Tanaka, DC
www.naturallifechiro.com

As a veteran of 3 uncomplicated natural births, I highly recommend The Bradley Method. Google it and find an instructor nearby. The BEST present you can give your baby is a drug free start.

Take charge of YOUR birth !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Usually the hospital you're going to deliver at will offer classes on both child birth and caring for newborns. There are videos you can buy/rent to watch at home as well. The best book is What To Expect When You're Expecting. It's like the pregnancy bible. There is also What To Expect The First Year. I love them both. I have four children and I read both books with each one for the month-by-month guidelines and commonly asked questions.

I took classes at St. Johns Medical Center, in Santa Monica - there were great!

We took several classes at little company of mary. I really liked the one called, the happiest baby on the block.... Good luck!

We took lamaze the first time around. They were really good about what to expect and your options for pain relief if you wanted that and a little on breastfeeding. They do have breast feeding support groups or la leche league for if you have problems. Just remember, with each contraction, you are that much closer to meeting your little miracle. Stay on top of them! Breathe through them. They're like the ocean, if you don't stay on top of them, they could trash you. If you stay on top of them, the ride is a lot more smooth. You can do it! Try not to labor on your back because it makes it harder. Good luck!

I took Lamaze classes (my kids are 10 and 14), and besides breathing, we learned all sorts of other things about taking care of babies. I ended up getting an epidural for both of them, and so glad I did. It's a personal choice. Don't feel like you've failed if you need an epidural. It doesn't hurt the baby at all, and my kids are straight A students and have always been good kids. I think it's great for people to try to have the baby naturally, but if it's not to be, you're not a failure! And doctors will tell you an epidural doesn't hurt the baby. With the second baby, since I had already felt plenty of labor with the first, when they offered an epidural before I had any pain with the second, I said go for it, I don't need to feel labor again! Been there done that! Good luck with your little cutie!

UCSD has great classes. Are you in San Diego? Also, google Brooke Ray- dancing midwife. She does some fun birthd dancing classes.

How exciting... I remember it well! We, too, waited to find out the sex and am so glad we did, so kudos to you. I equated it to waiting until Christmas to open the presents! Anyway, check with your ob on classes. We delivered at St Jude in Fullerton and took pretty much everything they offered from birthing to parenting and breastfeeding. There was even a class for the soon-to-be grandparents that my MIL took. I wanted to be well educated (as much as possible anyway) and read everything I could get my hands on, too. Nothing will prepare you completely for the big day, but you'll be amazed at how well those instincts kick in. So try to relax and enjoy every minute. Best of luck and congratulations!

I really liked the "Bradley" method. I did traditional LaMaze with my firstborn, and Bradley with the second (visualizing and relaxing rather that complex breathing methods to take your mind off the pain) and the second birth was soooooooooooooooooooooo much easier. I literally did not have any pain until transition, and I said, "OK, I am ready for my epidural now." and they said "Too late, he's almost here! The reason I had so much pain with transition is he came out with his arm and elbow next to his face, and he was 9lb. 15 oz.

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