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The value of pregnancy classes for expecting parents

Last Modified: May 07, 2024

Women & Children


At Parkview, we’re committed to providing expecting mothers with resources to support them through their prenatal and postnatal journey. Classes are a wonderful tool for gaining insights from a trusted expert. Our patients can access in-person and online classes in seven languages, with the flexibility to meet parents’ schedules. We asked Britte Nihart, MSN, RN, nurse navigator supervisor, Parkview Women’s & Children’s Hospital, to share more about these offerings.

What classes should I take if I’m pregnant? 

You should take any classes that interest you or are important for the safety of your baby! There are many options available, including everything from online classes that you can take from the comfort of home when it’s convenient for you to free local classes. There are also more intensive, hands-on classes taught by certified instructors, such as the Lamaze technique or Bradley Method classes, which have a more structured and intensive curriculum and can cost several hundred dollars. Decide what class type most interests you and then search for options.  You can find classes on pregnancy, labor, childbirth, natural childbirth, cesarean birth, newborn care, postpartum, siblings, pets, dads, grandparents and more.

When should I start prenatal classes? 

You can take them at any time, but most find that it’s helpful to take them in the second half of pregnancy, just so the teaching feels more applicable and the information stays fresh in their minds as labor draws nearer.

Who should take prenatal classes? 

Prenatal classes are for everyone, but they are particularly helpful if you or your partner have never had a baby or if it’s just been a few years since your last delivery and you feel the need to “brush up.” Some women take a class with every pregnancy, just to refresh themselves or see if anything new has been added. 

Why are classes important? 

Anytime something is new or unknown, there is inherently some fear. Learning as much as you can about what to expect, hearing from others’ experiences who have already been through it and having someone available to answer your questions helps to alleviate that fear and increase your confidence. Having less fear of labor and birth usually equals a better overall experience. 

What are the benefits? 

As stated above, decreased fear is a major benefit. But also, increased enjoyment of pregnancy, labor and birth and gaining confidence in your ability to labor, deliver and parent your baby!  With that boost comes a greater sense of control. When you know more, you can decide what some of your preferences are for your birth and discuss those with your provider ahead of time.  It also supports greater intimacy with your partner if you take the classes together and discuss your fears and excitement. There are also some pregnancy centers that offer free classes and allow you to earn free baby supplies just for attending.  

Does it matter if I take in-person or online classes? 

It really depends on the experience you are looking for. If you want to meet others, see some hands-on demonstrations, and/or practice some natural birth relaxation techniques, you may prefer an in-person class.  If you would rather get the information you want in the format of a video you can watch after you put the kids in bed or on your lunch break, then an online class that can be paused and watched in short increments at your convenience might be a better choice. Or you can decide to do both!

How do I get started?

There are many ways to find prenatal classes. Check with your local pregnancy centers, pregnancy home visiting services, YWCA, nurse navigator, certified nurse-midwife or OB provider. You can also search online for specific topics such as natural birth, newborns and pets. 


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