Preparing for birth is sooooo important. I compare the physical challenge of birth to that of a marathon. You wouldn't show up on race day without training...right?
But where do you start? Should you do the hospital birth class? Where do you find local classes? Are the online classes any good?
I got you! Since I'm a total birth nerd, I geek out on researching this stuff. And I've found some great options for you to check out. (PS - did you know you can use your HSA/FSA to pay for birth education?!)
*A quick note about the hospital birth classes. First, I think it's great to take a hospital birth class simply so you can orient yourself with their facility and policies. However, the hospital birth class will not prepare you for your unique goals for your birth. In fact, more often than not, the hospital birth class will teach you how to be a "good patient" in their system -- which is not helpful if you want to be the authority in your birth experience. (This is a post for another day - but for now just trust me on this 😘)
This is my favorite course on the internet - I love this one because Taylor touches on a huge piece of the puzzle that most courses don't - mindset. Taylor helps you prepare your body, mind, and team to best support you on birth day. She also covers the physiology of labor, an overview of all of the options/interventions you might be faced with, and how to make the best decision for you and your baby in your unique situation.
Ask any birth nerd about Spinning Babies and they're likely to talk your ear off. This organization and philosophy of birth is revolutionary. Basically, Spinning Babies teaches us how to get baby in the optimal position (using non-invasive, position-based techniques) to make pregnancy and birth more comfortable and easier. The website is definitely worth looking over - especially if you have a history (or are trying to avoid) a sunny-side-up baby!
This is what I used for my second birth, and highly recommend taking their home study course (either alone or in conjunction with another birth prep course). In a nutshell, hypnobabies will teach you how to use hypnosis to get your body into a deeply relaxed state to reduce tension and pain during labor. It also teaches you how to use visualization to prepare your mind and body for your dream birth. (I literally manifested my birth using this technique - you can read my story here)
This is a great course for anyone planning a natural birth (ie: unmedicated, low to no intervention). It's taught by a CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife) and Doula team with comprehensive but short lessons. This course will teach you how to have your most natural birth no matter if you're delivering in a hospital, birth center, or home.
This is a comprehensive birth education course that covers topics like exercise and nutrition, building your birth team, labor positions, pain management techniques, and breastfeeding.
LINCOLN, NE IN-PERSON OPTIONS
Beautiful Beginnings Birth Course with Mandi Campbell
Mandi definitely has the best birth classes in Lincoln (maybe a biased opinion). She's fun to work with, and has been doing this work for a LONG time. Her classes are comprehensive and good for all different situations. She emphasizes strengthening partnerships and feeling well-prepared, both mentally and physically, for your birth journey. (*She now has an online option available too!)
Joyce teaches workshops and classes from Evidenced Based Birth (EBB). EBB is a fantastic resource for new parents to provide you with the most current evidence and research about a variety of topics, including standard hospital policies, interventions, and more. I highly recommend checking out their website and browsing the free resources they have.
I hope this helps take some of the overwhelm out of finding a birth class. Check them all out, and go with the one that feels right for you and your unique goals.
Are we hanging out on Instagram yet? Come follow along @novitabirthstories for birth stories and birth planning tips!