Should You Really Spend Money On Online Childbirth Classes?
PSA if you're having a baby it's time to up your childbirth education
So you’ve heard about the trendy new practice of taking online childbirth classes. But you find yourself wondering, is it worth the money? How do I find a good class? What are your options really? You have questions, I have answers!
This article is an easy and comprehensive guide to the world of online childbirth education. We will cover what online childbirth classes really are. Are they important? Are they right for you? And which, if any, classes are worth your money.
Because yes, there are some downsides.
Then I will show you my favorite classes that I recommend as a doula to my own clients. Out of hundreds of classes, I want to share the ones that I know help mothers feel prepared for birth. You don’t have to get lost in reading a billion reviews on Pinterest, wondering which is better. These are classes my clients have taken and rave about.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. I participate in the Amazon associates program as well as others.
Have you ever watched Call the Midwife on Netflix? (Highly recommend btw). In this show, you see the midwives gather with expecting moms in a group setting. The midwives teach the basics of how to prepare for birth and immediate postpartum. This ensures that all their moms know what to expect and are at least a little bit ready for birth.
Classes like these still take place all over the country! These are childbirth classes.
Online childbirth classes meet online, are typically pre-recorded and have support groups to help you connect with instructors and other parents.
The advantage is that you can go at your own pace at whatever time works best for you. The disadvantage is you miss out on that in-person element and don’t get to build relationships with other parents in your surrounding community. Although, sometimes those online friendships are just as valuable.
Childbirth classes are classes that empower moms and their partners to feel confident about their upcoming birth. Though the content can range quite a bit from a half-day class to a class that meets 10 times for 2.5 hours each session. (Yes, that’s quite a difference!)
A poor class will teach you when to go to the hospital and help you navigate parking and check-in. An okay class will teach you that plus give a very very very general overview of what labor is like. An excellent class will truly empower you for birth.
Excellent Childbirth Classes Leave You Feeling Totally Empowered – This Is What You Should Look For In A Childbirth Education Curriculum
Unlike a half-day course, excellent childbirth classes help you know exactly what to expect from labor, what contractions feel like and what the wide range of ‘normal’ looks like in birth. One of the biggest goals of childbirth education is to help you recognize and work through your fears with your instructors and peers.
An excellent childbirth class will help you figure out what your own priorities for your birth are. Of course, everyone wants a healthy baby and healthy mom, but there is so much room to make the experience a wonderful and personal one as well.
You will also learn about evidence-based care and which interventions are backed by science and which are relics of the past that are still lingering in some practices. They will also set you up with the basics of newborn care and breastfeeding so that after birth, you’re not left figuring things out on the fly.
Why Is Childbirth Education Important?
You may be wondering if childbirth classes are necessary? Promise me you won’t freak out when I share this next tidbit of information. Are you ready? The United States has some of the worst maternity care in the developed world. Our outcomes are bad and getting worse.
These are scary statistics. Now let’s try to make them less scary. Anxiety only helps if it encourages us to do something to change our situation.
On the flip side, 4 out of 5 moms don’t suffer from PTSD.
When it comes to maternal deaths, the 2018 maternal mortality rate was 17.4 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births That also means that 99,982.6 out of every 100,000 mothers survived birth.
And our day-of-birth death rate is still significantly lower than it was in the 1960s.
I hope that these numbers catch your attention without bringing you fear.
My purpose in sharing is so that you can see that there is room to advocate for yourself in your birth. Preparation matters and can affect your short and long term physical and mental health.
Take a childbirth class so that you know what to look for in your care and you can ask for the best care out there.
if you are feeling anxiety about your upcoming birth, if you don’t know what to expect during labor, if you like learning in your own home instead of going to an in-person class and you feel overwhelmed by birth speak, (what’s an episiotomy? How and when can I ask for an epidural? What questions should I ask about interventions? How do I know what’s best for me and baby?) Then online childbirth classes are a really really good idea for you.
The 3 Best Online Childbirth Classes For Every Birth Plan, Budget And Preference (Yeah, I Really Did That For You)
Best Overall: Mama Natural Birth Course
Key Selling Points: Many of my clients have taken this class and it really sets you up well for a positive birth.
The Mama Natural birth course is the course I recommend to most moms. Although it says it prepares you for a natural birth, Genevieve, the class creator, talks openly about her own choice to use an epidural in one of her births and gives a good overview of the pros and cons in a nonjudgemental way.
I personally believe that even if you are not planning on a natural birth you should prepare for it. I’ve seen women turned away from the hospital when they are ready for an epidural but haven’t progressed far enough. I have seen women have epidurals that don’t work. I’ve also seen labors that progress too fast to get an epidural. So while there is nothing wrong with choosing an epidural for pain management, you need to be prepared for the possibility that it won’t be an option.
This class is taught by a certified nurse-midwife. She knows her stuff.
Also, another huge bonus, is that each class has a section taught by dads for dads. There is an incredible Facebook community where you can connect with other moms, ask questions, and share birth stories. And as a fun little perk, Genevieve mails you beautiful pregnancy affirmation cards when you sign up for the class
What customers say: “Taking the Mama Natural Birth Course was one of the best decisions I made during my pregnancy.” -Jessica A.
Best For Evidence-Based Care: The Birth Hour Know Your Options Childbirth Course
Key Selling Points: This class goes over tons of detail about evidence based care. It is very focused on hospital birth and helping you navigate the systems that you will go through during your birth. This class will help you feel informed about every decision you will have to make. This class is not about preparing you for a natural birth or unmedicated birth but helping you have the knowledge to make choices that are right for you. It also contains information of breastfeeding, bottle feeding, and newborn care.
What customers say: “This course prepared me AND my husband for every scenario, including what to expect if we ended up with a cesarean birth and how to advocate for ourselves in any situation. I think the most valuable part of the Know Your Options approach is that it’s evidence-based which means you’ll be making decisions and preparing for birth based on the best and latest research. I’d absolutely take this course again!”
The Best Birth Class For Personal Development: Pain to Power
Key Selling Points: This class is focused on giving you a positive, pleasurable and empowering birth. Not only will it help you make evidence-based decisions, and basic newborn care, but it is the best class to challenge and change your beliefs about birth. It will help you dive deep into your fears and anxieties and help you see how you can get past those into a very powerful and positive and intimate and sacred experience. This will rewrite your birth beliefs and create a powerful blueprint that will help you create a peaceful powerful blissful life.
What Customers Say: “The course was by far the best investment we made in our preparation of the birth of our first baby, as it left us not only informed but inspired, empowered and open to all possibilities. And now that our baby daughter is here, I have my own powerful home birth story to share!”-Astra
Best Class For Home Birth: The Happy Homebirth Academy
Key Selling Points: This class is one of the most incredible online childbirth education classes I’ve ever seen. The only reason it’s not my number one recommendation is that most mothers are not planning a home birth. If you are planning a home birth, this is absolutely the course you want. It covers birth mindest, preparing your body physically, nutrition, breastfeeding, preparing our home, preparing for postnatal recovery. It also includes incredible hypnosis soundtracks that will really help you relax.
What Customers Say: “I’m so glad I took this course! As a first time mom it helped me so much. Katelyn is amazing and she covers everything you need to know for pregnancy, labor, and postpartum. She provides resources and worksheets to help you get into the right place physically and mentally to have the best homebirth possible. I highly recommend to anyone planning a homebirth!”-Amy Lutz
*All prices reflect costs at the time of this writing. They are subject to change.
What If I Can’t Afford An Online Childbirth Education Workshop?
I remember when I was preparing for my first baby that I wanted to take a class, but due to finances and lack of support from my partner, it wasn’t an option. To this day, if I could change one thing in my life it would be getting more support around my first birth. At the time, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. but I would do things differently if I could go back.
That is why I created a super affordable 1 hour workshop to help moms cope with pain during labor. Now, be aware, this is not a full childbirth class. What it will do is teach you what contractions are like at each stage of labor, and how to cope with the pain. It also has tools for your partner to prepare to support you as well. I also offer scholarships for this workshop. if you need this option email me at contact @shebirthsbravely.com
Why I Recommend The Mama Natural Birth Course As My Number One Online Childbirth Class
There are lots of options when it comes to childbirth education. The Mama Natural course hits the sweet spot, covering nutrition, childbirth, breastfeeding and it doesn’t break the bank. I know it prepares moms well to birth because I have witnessed moms who have taken this course absolutely rock their births in a variety of settings. I also know it does an amazing job of setting partners up to support their birthing person. This is a class that will greatly benefit birthing families and help you create a positive birth.
Do you have any questions about these classes? Leave a comment and let me know.
The Book That Prepares You For An Unforgettable Birth
“I never felt fear to birth at home but my thoughts were totally turning and I needed a pick me up. Each page was filled with not just comfort but inspiring words. The coloring images have so much power to them. I loved that it was something easy to refer back to. I have read the book several times the last few weeks. And am inspired by the power within it.”