Preparing for Childbirth Classes

Pregnant women in yoga class sitting on mats stretching arms

The miraculous journey of bringing a new life into the world is both exciting and challenging. As expectant parents navigate through the rollercoaster of pregnancy, it is essential to equip themselves with knowledge and confidence to make the experience as smooth and positive as possible. Childbirth classes offer the necessary tools, information, and support to help parents-to-be prepare for labor, delivery, and beyond. In this blog, we will explore various aspects of childbirth classes, including the types of courses available, their benefits, and tips for selecting and preparing for a class that best fits your needs.

Types of Childbirth Classes: Finding Your Perfect Fit

Childbirth education classes come in various formats, each with its unique approach to teaching expectant parents about labor and delivery. Some of the most popular methods include:

  • Lamaze: Lamaze classes focus on empowering expectant mothers and their partners by providing information and techniques to promote a safe, healthy, and positive birth experience. The courses emphasize natural pain management strategies, labor positions, and breathing techniques while also covering medical interventions and pain relief options.
  • Bradley Method: The Bradley Method aims to promote natural childbirth through comprehensive education, emphasizing the importance of a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy, relaxation techniques, and the role of a supportive partner during labor.
  • HypnoBirthing: HypnoBirthing classes use self-hypnosis, relaxation, and visualization techniques to help expectant mothers achieve a calm, peaceful, and comfortable birth experience. These classes teach parents-to-be how to release fears and anxieties related to childbirth and cultivate a positive mindset.
  • Hospital-based classes: Many hospitals offer childbirth education classes that cover the basics of labor, delivery, pain management options, and postpartum care. These classes often include a tour of the hospital’s labor and delivery unit, allowing expectant parents to become familiar with the facility and its policies.

The Benefits of Childbirth Classes: Empowering Parents-to-be

Participating in a childbirth class can offer several benefits for expectant parents:

  • Knowledge: Childbirth classes provide comprehensive information on the stages of labor, pain management options, and possible medical interventions. This knowledge empowers parents-to-be to make informed decisions and actively participate in their birth experience.
  • Confidence: Learning about the birth process and practicing coping strategies can help reduce anxiety and build confidence in expectant mothers and their partners. The more prepared and self-assured parents-to-be feel, the more positive their birth experience will likely be.
  • Support: Childbirth classes offer a supportive environment where expectant parents can connect with others with similar experiences, concerns, and questions. This sense of community can provide valuable emotional support and encouragement throughout the pregnancy and beyond.
  • Partner involvement: Many childbirth classes emphasize the importance of a supportive partner during labor and delivery. These courses teach partners how to provide physical and emotional support, fostering teamwork and strengthening the bond between the couple.

Selecting and Preparing for a Childbirth Class: A Step-by-Step Guide

Choosing the right childbirth class and adequately preparing for it can make all the difference in your journey to parenthood. Follow these steps to ensure a successful and empowering experience:

  • Determine your preferences: Reflect on your personal beliefs, values, and expectations regarding childbirth. Consider factors such as your preferred learning style, comfort level with medical interventions, and the desired level of partner involvement.
  • Research your options: Explore various types of childbirth classes and compare their philosophies, methods, and course content. Consider factors such as class size, location, instructor qualifications, and cost when making your decision.
  • Register early: Many classes fill up quickly, so it is essential to register early in your pregnancy to secure a spot. Aim to complete your chosen course between the 28th and 36th weeks of pregnancy, when you can effectively absorb and apply the information without feeling overwhelmed by impending labor.
  • Gather materials: Once you have registered for a class, gather any required materials, such as comfortable clothing, pillows, or a yoga mat. If the class provides a coursebook or additional resources, familiarize yourself with the content before attending the first session.
  • Engage your partner: If your chosen class emphasizes partner involvement, ensure your partner is committed to attending and actively participating in the course. Discuss your expectations and preferences as a couple, and share any concerns or questions you may have.
  • Be open-minded: Approach your childbirth class with an open mind and a willingness to learn. Be receptive to new information and techniques, even if they differ from your initial expectations or beliefs about childbirth.
  • Participate actively: Engage in class discussions, ask questions, and practice the techniques taught during the course. The more you immerse yourself in the learning process, the more confident and prepared you will feel for your upcoming birth experience.

Embracing the Power of Preparation

Childbirth classes provide expectant parents with the knowledge, skills, and support necessary to navigate the challenges and joys of labor and delivery. By selecting a class that aligns with your personal beliefs and preferences, you can cultivate confidence and empowerment throughout your journey to parenthood. Remember to approach the experience with an open mind, actively participate in the learning process, and embrace the power of preparation. With the right tools and mindset, you can create a positive and memorable birth experience for both you and your baby.


Simkin, P., & Ancheta, R. (2011). The Labor Progress Handbook: Early Interventions to Prevent and Treat Dystocia. John Wiley & Sons.

Kitzinger, S. (2012). The New Pregnancy and Childbirth: Choices and Challenges. Dorling Kindersley Ltd.

Mongan, M. (2015). HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method: A natural approach to a safe, easier, more comfortable birthing. Health Communications, Inc.

The Promise We Make to Our Patients
The Promise We Make to Our Patients

The overarching mission at May-Grant Obstetrics & Gynecology is to help women of all ages live a healthy life. From general gynecological services to helping you through navigating pregnancy and menopause, our team of certified physicians, midwives, and certified registered nurse practitioners pride themselves on being leaders in women’s healthcare throughout Lancaster, PA.

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"Having been a patient of May-Grant for over 2 years, I can proudly say that all of their providers are top-notch. They really listen and always asks the right questions. The registered nurses and midwives are so personable as well. I couldn't ask to be working alongside a better team..."
February, 2023
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Online scheduling is currently for ESTABLISHED May-Grant patients only. If you are a new patient (GYN or OB), please call the office at 717-397-8177 to schedule your appointment to ensure that your provider has enough time to address your needs.

If you schedule an appointment online as a new patient, your appointment will be canceled and you will not be able to be seen. A “New patient” includes those who have not been seen in our offices in the past three years.