Online Childbirth Classes

Online Childbirth Classes FAQ  |  Registration

Isn't it better to attend "real" childbirth classes? 

While attending classes in person may be ideal, the sad reality is that many women simply do not have open access to quality childbirth education courses.  Private classes may not be available in your area or at $250-500, may simply be too pricey with the added cost of a child to the family. In other instances, scheduling conflicts can make it impossible for you to attend classes. 

Online childbirth classes eliminate the hassle of juggling multiple schedules and commitments while allowing you to select the best time to devote to your coursework.  By eliminating this hassle, you will be better able While hospital-based classes are often available, these classes typically are of little to no benefit to those planning a natural birth.  A 2 hour Saturday course is simply not enough time to actually education yourself on childbirth, labor and delivery options nor to properly allow you to make informed decisions about your care.  

Online childbirth classes offer access to women who would otherwise not be able to benefit from childbirth education classes. The lessons focus on fully teaching women the what, when, where, why and how of childbirth so they can face their births free from unnecessary anxiety and feel confident in their bodies and their choices for birth.

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What are the advantages of online childbirth classes?

There are numerous advantages to online childbirth classes.  Just a few of the benefits include lower cost, individualized scheduling, open enrollment and allowing your chosen birth companion(s) to participate as well.  Online childbirth classes also break the distance barrier by allowing even distant friends to prepare for birth along with you.  You can complete lessons with a friend and use email to discuss what you've learned.  

In addition, pregnancy can be a very private time, one that you want to share only with those close to you.  Group classes may not be your style due to the other members of the class.  Let's face it...sometimes personalities don't mesh.  Think of your office...there's someone there that grates on your nerves, isn't there?  Now imagine that person in your birth class as you practice techniques or talk about your get the point. 

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Who can benefit from online childbirth classes?

Anyone.  Period.  Women who complete quality childbirth education typically:

  • have shorter labors
  • require fewer interventions
  • have smoother, easier recoveries
  • experience fewer complications during birth
  • rate their birth experiences more positively

Research also tells us that women recall their birth experiences in amazing detail, even decades later.  This is true even for mothers who have experienced complications during birth: they experience lower levels of anxiety and are better equipped to deal with potential complications because they understand the necessary procedures and interventions.  

By completing childbirth classes, you can eliminate your fears and anxiety about giving birth.  Remember, anxiety is fear of the unknown.  Childbirth education relieves this anxiety by answering your questions about birth so that once the day arrives, you can meet it without reservation.

These online childbirth classes are suited for a variety of learners, from the first-time mother to the veteran midwife honing her skills.  They are written in easy-to-understand language that will encourage and empower you to assume full control of your birth experience, be it your first or your fifth.  These classes are also beneficial for any woman who's had a negative birth experience or a c-section in the past and wishes to help ensure a better birthing experience this time around.

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I want an epidural ASAP.  Why should I bother with childbirth classes?

That's even more reason to take childbirth classes!  Do you know the difference between epidural, spinal and IV medications? Do you know the three other interventions that are required if you choose an epidural?  Do you understand how the medications are administered? Do you know why you should?  Do you know what comfort measures to try if the epidural doesn't work (23% of epidurals have some complications, from a misplaced catheter to an epidural headache)?

Even when you plan to receive medications, you will still have to spend some time in labor.  This will occur for several reasons, the first of which is that taking medications too early can stop or significantly slow your labour.  For this reason, most hospitals will wait until you are in active labor, or approximately 4cm dilated before administering an epidural to make sure your labor pattern is well established.  In other cases, there may be a wait for the anesthesiologist.  Once you've submitted your request, it's not uncommon to wait more than an hour for one to become available.

This can amount to a number of hours for the majority of first-time mothers.   By completing these online childbirth classes, you can maximize your comfort during this time rather than just having to tough out the wait.  Once you've mastered the natural comfort measure techniques, you may even find that your need for further pain relief is greatly diminished or completely gone!   In addition, you will be prepared should the epidural fail to deliver the relief you expected.

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I'm a first time mom and I'm terrified to give birth! How can these online birthing classes help me?

Birthing can cause anxiety in every woman, whether it's your first child or your fifth. It's completely normal to be worried.  It's anxiety, or fear of the unknown, that arouses these feelings.

Ultimately, these fears can complicate your labor and delivery by sabotaging your body's ability to labour effectively and actually cause the complications you feared. Because anxiety can be so harmful to childbirth, Lessons I-IV describe the sources of anxiety in birth, how to confront your fears, and how to alter those perceptions thereby removing your personal barriers to birthing.

You will not only learn what to expect, but to understand how your body works to birth your baby, how your choices can hinder or help your progress, how to recognize each signpost along the way, and most critically, how to respond positively to each point in your birthing.

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I'm so worried about tearing during labor. Will I learn anything about how to prevent it?

Prevention of tearing starts in your pregnancy preparation, not during the birth itself.  Lesson VII addresses specific techniques that can be applied during your pregnancy to increase perineal elasticity and flexibility to lessen the risk of tearing during birth.

In addition, perineal tears are most often inflicted by completely preventable sources.  These include inappropriate birth positions, coached pushing, and holding your breath.  Lesson VIII covers evidence-based birth positions, pushing techniques, and breath control to help shorten your labour, lower risks of complications, and minimize the risk of tearing.

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All childbirth classes focus on breathing.  Is breathing for birth really all it's hyped up to be? 

Breathing for childbirth is but one piece of childbirth education.  It is widely stressed by programs that teach distraction as a form of pain relief.  These programs also have very low satisfaction rates by clients after birth.  

This series of online childbirth classes does not advocate that approach.  Instead, breathing is seen as but one tool in your bag of tricks.  The true focus is on eliminating the sources of pain in childbirth so that there is nothing left to distract yourself from. There's no he-he-ho-ing in these lessons.  Save the candles for the baby's birthday cake.  There'll be no need to blow them out in these classes.

In Lesson IX, you will learn how to use your breath to let your body slide your baby down through the birth path, reducing your need for active pushing and allowing tissues to slowly stretch. You will also learn how to use your breathing to work with your contractions, rather than against them.

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It is likely that I will have a c-section.  Is there any point for me to take a childbirth course?

There are truly few medical indications for a cesarean section without at least a trial of labor first.  The World Health Organization estimates that 50% of all cesarean sections currently performed are not medically necessary.  This means that half of them were completely preventable.  

Each cesarean section increases the risks to both you and your baby, including a 6-8 week recovery period from major abdominal surgery while you try to care for a newborn.  In Lesson XIV, you will learn what conditions truly indicate a scheduled c-section, as well as ways to reduce your risk  of having one.  You will also learn more about the procedure as well as what choices you may have for the actual event.

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I want a homebirth, but I'm scared. Will I learn more about birthing safely at home?

While the idea of homebirth may seem scary, or even reckless to some, over 75 years of research have shown homebirth to be as safe or safer than hospital birth for low-risk pregnancies with a skilled birth attendant.

Choosing a home birth does not mean choosing to stay home at all costs, but to understand what deviations from normal may require specialized care that can only be received in a hospital.

In Lesson X, you will learn to recognize the normal progression of labour & birth which will help you recognize warning signs that may necessitate a hospital transfer.  In addition, you will also learn how to catch your own baby should you have a very quick birth or have a birth companion do so if the need arises.

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My husband/partner is my birth companion.  Will childbirth classes help him to help me?

Lesson XI is written expressly for your birth companion(s), be they husbands, friends, partners, or anyone of your choice.  The birth companion will learn specific ways to support you both physically and emotionally with explicit tip, suggestions, and strategies for each step of the way.  

This level of education often empowers birth companions to embrace their role and feel more confident and capable at the birth because they know what to expect and more importantly, how to help. 

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If you still have questions or are unsure whether online childbirth classes are right for you, then contact us for more information.  If you're ready to take the plunge, then choose your preferred online childbirth course options and click to register.

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Page Last Modified by Catherine Beier, MS, CBE

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