Patient Education

Health Library

Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Childbirth Classes

Skip to the navigation

Topic Overview

You and your partner can learn a lot by taking a childbirth education class. This is especially true if it's your first pregnancy. A good time to start the class is in your sixth or seventh month. If a friend is going to be your labor support (labor coach), he or she can come too. These classes usually run for 6 or 8 weeks.

Most childbirth education classes:

  • Give you good information about what you can expect during pregnancy and labor and delivery. You may also learn what to expect in the hours, days, and weeks after delivery (postpartum period).
  • Teach you about proper diet and exercise.
  • Show you techniques for relaxation, muscle control, and breathing during labor and delivery. There are several methods that might be taught. The most common are Lamaze, Bradley, and Read.
  • Teach your labor coach how he or she can best help you during delivery. These classes also help your partner be more involved in the pregnancy and delivery.
  • Give you a chance to spend time with other couples who are expecting a baby.

Taking a childbirth education class can reduce your stress both before and during labor and delivery. That's because the class can prepare you to deal with what might happen. Call your doctor or midwife or your local hospital or birthing center to learn more about these classes.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

Current as ofMarch 21, 2017

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.