Childbirth classes first came to prominence in France in the early 1950s, when Dr. Lamaze started teaching his (now famous and very popular) method known as the “Lamaze method.” While the 50s saw birthing classes rise in popularity, it wasn’t until a few decades after Lamaze introduced France to his system when birthing courses really took off.
In the United States, several different birthing class styles/teaching methods became popular throughout the years including the following:
- Lamaze method
- Alexander method
- Hypnosis-based classes
Each of these learning/teaching styles focuses on a different set of concentrations, which makes all of them unique. No matter what type of birth you’re interested in having, chances are that there is a birthing style that can meet your needs.
However, this raises the question of whether or not you should take a birthing class online or opt for an in-person (i.e. traditional) class. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, nearly all of which we cover in the sections posted below. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for an online Alexander class, want to enroll in an online hypnobirthing class, or want to explore other options – use the tips posted below to help make an informed decision for your birthing needs.
Fast Facts: Why Taking an Online Birthing Class Probably Makes Sense
- The only requirement to get started is a computer or mobile phone with an internet connection.
- You don’t need to go to a physical location and deal with the stress of travel, setting up your schedule, prioritizing tasks, etc.
- Your spouse can easily join your classes without needing to travel to an actual classroom (i.e. physical location).
- A potentially higher level of communication and understanding between you and the teacher (due to a more intimate/private environment).
What’s Usually Covered in a Typical Birthing Class
Enrolling in a childbirth class is a very important part of your journey as an expecting mother. These types of classes are essential because they provide you with loads of fact-based information that can help ease any pre-birth anxieties (and better prepare you for the actual birthing process). Below are some of the basics that the majority of birthing classes will cover:
- The various delivery methods that can be used during the labor process
- Understanding the signs of going into labor
- Exactly what you need to do if your water breaks
- Relaxation techniques that can ease stress and physical symptoms during labor
- Options for managing pain
- Breastfeeding techniques and tips
- The basics of caring for newborn babies
Another major benefit of taking a birthing class might not be so obvious to many would-be mothers – it gets your partner involved in the birthing process. There’s nothing worse for an expecting mother than an absentee partner. If both of you take a birthing class together, your partner will understand exactly how much of a challenge the process can be, and will be more inclined to provide/offer their full support.
Understanding the Different Types of Birthing Classes
Knowing which specific type of birthing class is the right choice for you ultimately is your decision. Nobody can make that choice for you (nor should they). However, in order to make a fully informed decision, you should at least understand the basics of each birthing style. Below are some basic overviews of each major birthing class style – starting with the original (Lamaze).
The Lamaze Method
As we already mentioned in the introduction to this blog, the Lamaze method is one of the oldest class styles still in existence. It got its start in the 50s in France and has since experienced a massive surge in popularity all over the world. Lamaze focuses on increasing the confidence of expecting mothers through proper education and a concentration on natural and healthy birthing processes.
The Bradley Method
This method is unique in that its primary focus is on preparing expecting mothers to undergo the birthing process without the assistance of drugs. Numerous topics are covered in this course, with the overarching theme being preparing the expectant mother for a medication-free birth.
This style is still relatively new, but it’s been becoming more popular throughout the past few decades. This teaching style utilizes broad-based hypnosis techniques to attempt to remove fear, anxiety, and pain from mothers before, during, and after the birthing process.
There are many different styles of classes, and when it comes to web-based courses you really can’t go wrong. When considering which class to choose, think about your budget, what you hope to learn, and what type of birth you want to give. Also, consider how long you want to spend taking the class (all classes have different time requirements).