Preparing for your baby’s birth starts as soon as you find out you are pregnant. From prenatal appointments, nutrition, and fitness, to prepping your home and packing your hospital bags, preparing for the big day is always at least in the back of your mind. During my pregnancy, I never even knew that online childbirth classes existed, which is why I want to talk about them today. Childbirth classes are a helpful and worthwhile way for you to feel educated, confident and even more prepared going into labor. However, finding a childbirth class that you like, can commit to going to, and be able to attend with your partner can feel impossible. That’s why I did the leg work on finding, reviewing and compiling four of the amazing online childbirth classes available to fit your lifestyle, needs, and birth wishes.Disclaimer: this post contains Affiliate Links. Read about what affiliate links are and how we use them here.
My Experience with Childbirth Classes
I know that between the prenatal group class, labor and delivery class, and newborn basics class that I signed Patrick and I up for, he often had to arrive late, wasn’t as interested as I’d hope he’d be (just being real here…) and would have enjoyed them more had we not had to sit through them at the end of an already long workday. I too had a hard time concentrating while my back and feet were aching from a day on my feet and all I could think about was dinner. I often thought of questions after the course had ended, wished I had taken more notes on particular topics, or forgot key components of the information. By enrolling in an online childbirth class, you will be able to complete it when it’s convenient to you, you can re-watch it as many times as you need, can listen on the go, and can share this important educational process of preparing with your partner on your own terms.
Are Birthing Classes Necessary?
Almost all mothers, whether it is their first birth or fifth, likely have some degree of anxiety when thinking about their labor. This is widely due to the unknown of it. If it is your first birth, every aspect of the process is unknown to you, but even in subsequent births, you never know how your labor is going to progress and what your needs are going to be. This is why birthing classes are extremely popular and helpful. By providing you with quality education and information you will be able to approach your birth feeling empowered, confident, and if you chose to complete a birthing class with your partner, you will feel at ease knowing that they are also educated and prepared to support you.
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We wrote a whole post on this question, “are birth classes necessary?” where Trina, Cole and I each share our perspective on the birth classes we took (or did not take) and how that influenced the childbirth experience.
Four Online Childbirth Classes Reviewed
Education throughout your pregnancy and in your preparations for birth is paramount, and so many expecting mamas don’t know that there is a wealth of options available online! Here I’ve compiled, watched and reviewed four online childbirth classes that all offer a unique perspective or benefit to the expectant couple interested in enrolling in an online childbirth class.
This is an online hypnobirthing class. Hypnobirthing is widely popular around the world, and is becoming more popular in the US as more mothers are empowered by the idea of a natural birth.
At a Glance:
- Supports women in having an unmedicated birth and is an online natural childbirth class
- Provides a wide variety of pain-management coping strategies
- Aims to change your entire mindset surrounding birth to be positive and confident
- Gives action items and techniques to practice regularly throughout your entire pregnancy
- Includes ways to practice with and incorporate your partner in this unique mindset towards birth
- Will help you attain your goal of a natural childbirth
- Has a variety of included extra resources including .mp3s, downloadable worksheets, checklists, and an e-book
Duration: 6+ hours of video content, plus other resources
- Thorough material and action items will help you find time in your day every day to be present with your baby and prepare yourself mentally for birth
- Extra resources to listen to or read on the go, in the waiting room, or whenever you have a moment
- May not be relevant if you are not interested in a natural childbirth, or know that you need a planned caesarean (though they do offer a hypnobirthing class specifically for C-sections that I did not review, but you can learn more about here)
Supporting Her Review
Supporting Her is an online childbirth class designed especially for dads.
At A Glance:
- Informational, accessible, and conversational presentation of material
- Provides specific advice and action items on how to support the birthing mother emotionally and physically
- Gives advice and details on all aspects of labor, delivery, and postpartum support
- Covers topics that wouldn’t even be on the radar of most dads because they have never done this before
- Helps dad bond with unborn child mentally, makes the upcoming birth seem less abstract for dad, and allows dad to share in preparations
- Will put mom at ease knowing that her husband is coming to labor full of strategies, advice, and a “tool kit” of his own
Duration: ~2 hours
- One of the only US-based online childbirth classes specifically designed for dads
- Includes thoughts and testimonials from dads who have completed the course and been through childbirth
- Is really only applicable to dads
The Online Prenatal Class for Couples Review
An online childbirth class for couples that is most similar to a class you might take at a hospital, but with the added component of thoughtfully prepared discussion questions for couples.
At a Glance:
- Geared for couples and includes detailed couple discussion questions after every lesson
- Manageable length of time and 24/7 Access makes it possible to do this as a couple when it’s most convenient for you
- An online course with a video format is going to be way more enjoyable and easier to get your partner involved in than a book
- Created and taught by a Labor and Delivery nurse and mom of three
- Will provide you with all of the information needed for preparing for labor and giving birth in a hospital or birth center
Duration: ~1 hour of video content + discussion questions
- Is most like a traditional in-person childbirth class
- Couple discussion questions after every chapter really set this apart
- There is a free course available that will help you make an informed decision on whether or not to purchase.
- Is mostly applicable to a hospital birth, which may not apply to everyone
Simply Breastfeeding Review
Simply Breastfeeding is an online breastfeeding course by Cindy and Jana, two registered nurses and lactation consultants. It is aimed at educating the expectant mother (and partner) to prepare them on breastfeeding to increase their likelihood of succeeding. While this isn’t a childbirth course, I wanted to include it here as breastfeeding is the major learning step that occurs immediately after birth.
At A Glance:
- Explains how your body produces milk and the change from colostrum to milk
- Provides foundational education on breastfeeding such as latching, breastfeeding positions and the first feed
- Talks about how and birth and delivery fit together
- Answers the most common questions, such as “How do I know when to feed?” and “Is baby getting enough?”
- Highlights the use hand expression and how to do it
- Includes extra written information, downloadable PDFs, and additional resources.
- Free course available to preview before you buy.
Duration: 1.5 hours of video content + additional resources
- Most breastfeeding help by lactation consultants only occurs after baby is born. The first few days and weeks of breastfeeding are crucial to your long term success. So educating yourself before baby arrives will increase your likelihood to succeed. Because of this lack of breastfeeding preparation, only 15% of moms in the US are able to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months, which is recommended by AAP.
- Extensively covers how to start breastfeeding off well, from the best practices for birth and delivery to those first few days after.
- Latch and breastfeeding positions, the two most fundamental first steps in any breastfeeding relationship, are covered really well. The latch especially must be correct in order baby to effectively nurse and for nursing to not be painful.
- Despite your partner not being able to breastfeed, they can definitely help you to succeed, and this course does a good job of explaining how.
- They don’t focus on troubleshooting or specific breastfeeding problems as those are best dealt with by seeing a lactation consultant in person. Instead, they aim to set you up with knowledge to hopefully prevent any issues before they occur.
Once you’ve decided on your goals and wishes for your childbirth and what will make you feel the most educated and prepared for your labor and delivery, you can decide which of these online childbirth classes will best fit your lifestyle and needs.
As you are getting more and more prepared for your labor and delivery and life with a new baby, you’ll want a planning tool to keep all of the logistics and birth choices organized. Learn about our Birth Smart Nesting Planner.
It’s full of helpful checklists and planning sheets to cover everything related to birth. The 5-part birth plan will include your partner and doesn’t leave out a single detail when it comes to deciding what your birth wishes are.
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I am a teacher of young children by trade and nature. I have years of experience with toddlers and elementary school-aged children from my days of nannying and teaching. Now as a mother to a toddler, N, I am learning every day about what it means to Mom Smart.