Attending a childbirth class gives parents an opportunity like nothing else in pregnancy. In Seattle and around the Sound, there are a wide variety of class offerings at local hospitals, local nonprofits and independent small businesses, including classes that focus on hypnotherapy, mindfulness, father-coached birth, out-of-hospital births, yoga and birth as a rite of passage. Some childbirth classes focus on one modality, while others aim to achieve a blend of many different approaches. Class schedules vary from partial day classes to weekend immersions or weeknights series.
All childbirth classes cover the basic information about the birth process, along with the standard of care to expect during labor and delivery. Most childbirth preparation classes will cover newborn care and breastfeeding basics. More in-depth classes are available for nearly every area of concern for new parents.
Regardless of which class a family chooses, the benefits of taking a group class make it worth the investment of time and money. For financial assistance, some classes offer scholarships and DSHS covers the cost of some classes. Your childbirth class may also be considered a reimbursable/eligible expense with your Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account. Check with your plan administrators.
BENEFITS OF A CHILDBIRTH CLASS
- Opens the door to conversation and joint decision-making on birth and parenting topics.
- Provides an opportunity to form new relationships with other expectant parents who may become allies in the months and years ahead.
- Connects parents to the available resources in the city. Knowledge of resources ahead of time can help parents feel confident that help is accessible if needed in the postpartum period.
- Provides a safe space for parents to test out how it feels to speak up and ask important questions. There will be times during pregnancy and delivery when parents need to ask questions and advocate for themselves and/or their child; childbirth preparation classes offer the tools and information necessary for parents to ask those questions.