Birth classes have traditionally been done in the hospital setting but any more online classes are much more engaging. High-quality birthing class videos can’t be found on Netflix. I do believe birthing classes are necessary — can they be done online?
Birth Classes Online
What are birth classes?
It is 100% true that your baby will come out even if you don’t take a class.
However, birth classes are meant to prepare you to feel more comfortable in the hospital setting as your baby is being born.
Some birth classes focus on home births, but as I an an L&D nurse I tend to focus more on hospital births. You do you, though.
Birth classes go by many names:
- Prenatal Classes
- Birthing classes
- Labor & Delivery Classes
- Hospital classes
While each of these certainly has their own angle, they do (in general) prepare you for the birth of your baby.
BTW I have a whole post sharing hospital birth class alternatives.
And, as a labor nurse since 2001, I think that is VERY important.
Anxiety in the Labor Room
I find that anxiety in the labor room has increased exponentially over my years of practicing in this field.
I’ve thought a lot about it — and I’ve come-up with a few reasons:
- People are more informed about everything, so they expect to be informed about something they have no control over — which is sometimes easier said than done.
- People are having babies older — at a time that you do more research than a 24 year old who just thinks it will “happen” (aka, me)
- Anxiety issues in the general population have increased — and many moms are on anxiety meds to start with
- People don’t “swallow” their anxiety anymore. Sometimes I wonder if people were just this anxious all along and we’re just now seeing and hearing more about it.
Either way, when I have anxious patients (everyone’s anxious, but I mean MORE anxious) I usually ask them if they’ve taken a class — and 99% of the time they say no.
They say they read up a lot on the internet (NOT the same)
They say they’ve talked to friends (NOT the same)
They say they thought I’d just handle it (and I can, but they won’t be as comfortable)
I wish moms & dads realize that a class could make things SO much easier!
Are birthing classes necessary?
I’m not sure you read this article prior to this if you think my answer is no.
YES, I think birthing classes are VERY much necessary. It just makes things so much easier. You have a basic understanding of what will go on.
You have no idea how much ease that puts you in.
Esepcially when those classes are taught by a professional.
Online Birthing Classes for Couples
I also believe that Dad needs to be involved in this process as well (or, your partner).
While being in labor certainly produces anxiety, there is a whole lifetime of raising this child together and starting out on the same page makes things a lot easier.
I 100% believe a good birthing class will involve dad in this process and make him a partner as he will be for the rest of your life.
Which, is why — when I created my own class I created one called the Online Prenatal Class for Couples. It has a whole workbook of questions for the dad so that he can feel involved as well.
Picking an Online Birthing Class
I want to make it super obvious that I do have my own class. I created it to fill a niche in the market (after I was unable to keep teaching classes for my hospital).
If you’re looking into them I’d recommend asking yourself a few questions:
What is the experience of the teacher of the Online Birth Class?
They say you’re not a trained L&D nurse until you’ve done it for 8 years, and I’d agree.
There is just SO much to know and understand.
Also, if lay people are teaching the course — what type of qualifications do they have? As nice as it is to have someone who just knows how do a natural birth, I would really want someone who could give me the medical nuts and bolts of what could happen and what to watch for.
What is the bias of the teacher of the Online Birth Class?
Back when I had my first, Bradley method was all the rage, but I had a lot of friends who took it and then felt extreme guilt after getting an epidural.
And frankly, guys — there is plenty of guilt to spread around in the gig of parenting. Epidural isn’t one of the things that should make the list.
See if that person has an agenda that they will expect you to follow.
- A natural birth class should allow for medical interventions (and if they dont, I don’t believe they are adequately preparing you)
- A “hospital” birth class should talk about natural pain management, etc. and be open to your birth plan options.
- Their agenda should be getting you prepared, instead of having you labor a “certain” way.
What is your best learning style for an online birth class?
Some people want video
Some people want reading
Some people want to learn every. tiny. thing — and that’s OK.
A good birth class should have options for all the types of ways you learn.
Personally, I like an overview on video. I like a fair amount of written content that I can devour in my bed at night (without waking up my husband).
And, I like outside resources that allow me to research things that I’m interested in a bit more.
I also like to discuss things with my partner (but not overwhelm them)
So, that is how my Online Prenatal Class for Couples has all of that. It has:
- Written material (it can also be bought as just a book if you’d prefer)
- Outside resources that I’ve vetted for you
- Discussions questions to help my partner get in the game
Online Birthing Class Reviews
The reality is that reviews are a bit tainted. I share the ones of people who loved my class. And, I will admit that about 1% of the women who buy my class ask for a refund because it wasn’t quite what they thought it was going to be.
Truly, just 1% — and I do refund them, because I have a money-back guarantee.
But, if you’re looking for reviews I have a whole page of online prenatal class reviews.
Just keep in mind — as you look at other classes — their reviews are just as biased. BUT, you might find someone you identify with.
I try to keep them as whole and as honest as possible. My class isn’t for everyone, that’s for sure. I willingly say my class isn’t for you if:
- You plan a home birth (I honestly know nothing about them)
- You are anti-medical. I’m a nurse, and I do nurse-things. That might put you off!
- I also encourage people to use hypnobirthing along with my class if they plan to go entirely natural as I don’t think my class format is enough to get you through a natural delivery.
I do offer my own class at 50% off if you purchase hypnobirthing — you can learn more about that in my unmedicated delivery post.
Cost of a Birth Class Online
I am certainly not a believer that you need the best of everything as a parent. It’s always a balance and there are SO many things to pay for with a new baby.
I think a reasonable cost is around $100. Some are higher, some are lower. Many online course creators feel like no online course should be offered at less than $250-$300 dollars.
I disagree. My own class costs $40-$150 depending on the options you choose.
I also host 2 other online classes that cost $20-$50 dollars.
I believe in value. I’d find a course offering that also believes in that.
In general, online courses will cost similar to your in-person classes. Our hospital class is around $100 — so, I felt like that was a fair estimation.
Psst, code PC10 will save you 10% on my class. 🙂
Best Birth Class Online
Obviously, I think it’s mine.
But, I also think there are a few others out there worth trying as well.
I would encourage you to look at a few and decide what works for you and your budget.
In general, the more the better. However I find that REALLY old nurses may have some intereresting ideas… although, I feel like I’m getting old, so….
I would think around the $100 mark. Possibly more if you’d like more support in the class.
In general, nothing. BUT, I do find that prenatal classes tend to take a bit more medical perspective vs birthing taking a more “mother nature” — but that is likely an over-generalization.
This one, of course. 😉
Free Birthing Class
I strongly believe in trying something before you buy it — which is why I offer a free beginning class that you might be interested in trying — I also have 100’s of other pregnancy posts that might interest you as well!