Do you need to take a birth class? Here’s what all expecting parents need to know.

Labor Nurse Mama
June 26, 2022

Hey Mama! Taking a birth course is such a vital step in preparing for labor, and in today’s world, doing it online just makes sense! Choosing your online birth class is not a decision to take lightly–you want to make sure you mesh with your instructor, their ideas, and the way they make you feel. 

Not sure what questions to ask? I’ve got ya covered, Mama! 

Why I am here and who I am:

Hey mama, I am Trish— AKA Labor Nurse Mama. I am a labor and delivery nurse with over 15 years of high-risk OB experience. I am also a mama to 7 kids and have given birth to 6. This means I am quite familiar with the postpartum period and how to navigate it. I am the online birth class educator for Calm Labor Confident Birth and The VBAC Lab birth classes and the mama expert inside our Calm Mama Society, a pregnancy & postpartum membership community! I am passionate about your birth and motherhood journey! You can find me over on IG teaching over 230k mamas daily. I am passionate about your birth and motherhood journey!

We make a small commission from some of the links (you don’t pay any more for using our links); however some of the recommendations, we do not earn anything; we love ’em and want you to know about them. Click here for our full disclosure. Thank you!

Here are a few things to consider when preparing for your online birth class…

First of all, Do I really need to take a birth course?

In short, yes! There is so much more to birth than simply delivering a baby.

A huge reason to take a birth course is to feel empowered by the knowledge that comes from knowing your body, options, and rights.

Everyone should be educated and empowered no matter where they plan to give birth; this is critical for mamas delivering at home, hospital, or at a birth center! If you plan to use pain medication, this is also something you can not afford to skip!

Birth classes and courses walk you through the stages of labor and help you gain the knowledge you need to be an active participant in your birth experience, no matter your choices.

By taking an online birth class, you can prepare yourself physically for birth while also learning game-changing tips for preparing your mental game. And you will be able to do it on your timeline!

We do so much online: pay bills, shop, and even order groceries! So when it comes to finding time to fit in a birth course, having an online option just makes sense, right?

Online birth courses are incredibly convenient because you don’t need to leave your home to get an education. Heck, you don’t even need to leave your couch–sweatpants, and snacks during class? Yes, please!

Another reason to take an online birth course is that you can go at your own pace! Whether you have plenty of time before your due date and want to go slow or you need to binge-watch classes Netflix-style in the final weeks of your pregnancy, an online course lets you be in charge of how fast you learn.

Taking your birth class online at home also means you’re able to revisit the information whenever you need it! Whether you need a quick rewind or a little refresh, the online format is perfect for making sure you master the information.

And in some cases, you have lifetime access. (Like our online birth classes, Calm Labor Confident Birth, and The VBAC Lab!

Why is it important to learn about birth?

Preparing for your birth can mean the difference between regrets and trauma and feeling accomplished. Many women regret not preparing properly for their birth story. By taking a birth class, you will understand what is happening inside and around you.

Expect parents who are prepared for their birth by taking a thorough prenatal class to feel more satisfied with their birth experience.

When in pregnancy, should you take birthing classes?

So, this is a fantastic question and one we hear a lot about. There’s no hard rule on when you should start your online prenatal class! It’s really up to you. It also depends on the class itself.

We find with our students and our mama membership that the ones who start earlier reap the most significant benefits from the weekly hangouts and the membership community. We even have mamas who join while TTC!

That said, if you choose a class with a support community, it may be a good idea to wait until you’re in the latter half of your pregnancy.

A sweet spot might be right at the beginning of your third trimester! A time where you’re still physically feeling good, mentally sharp, but close enough to see the end in sight and put your knowledge into practice.

The nice thing about an online birth course is that even if you register and start at the beginning of your pregnancy, you can always go back and refresh your memory as your “due date” approaches.

If you are late in your pregnancy and feeling like you should hop into a birth class as a crash course before the big day, an online birth class will help you cram in the information since it is self-paced! Our class can be binge-watched and finished quickly!

What is included in this birth course?

The Labor Nurse Mama Birth Course is the only comprehensive online birth course created by a birth professional, a registered nurse with 15 years of labor and delivery experience.  Inside our powerful birth, The Labor Nurse Mama Birth Course is the only comprehensive online birth course created by a birth professional, a registered nurse with 15 years of labor and delivery experience.

Inside our powerful birth classes, we focus on mindset shifts and empowering education, as well as how to navigate a vaginal birth.

The Calm Labor, Confident Birth course includes 9 modules, each containing multiple lessons, expert tips from Labor Nurse Mama aka Trish Ware, and a bonus module of other classes Trish has taught throughout the year.

You will find 6 hours of videos, articles, and downloadable information.

Here's a brief list of what you will learn inside our online childbirth classes:

    • Choosing your healthcare provider
    • Understanding the role of each member of your birth team — so you can clearly communicate your needs to the *right* person.
    • Readying your body through specific birth-enhancing exercises, like relaxation techniques, mindfulness, and breathing techniques
    • Preparing your body for a smoother delivery and postpartum recovery
    • Implement coping strategies during each stage of labor and not allow fear to creep back in (even transition)
    • Confidently know what, when, and why a mama gets admitted to labor & delivery.
    • Medical Interventions – What are they? Why are they used? What is the intervention cascade effect?
    • How to cope with the pain of labor throughout all stages. Whether your plan is a medicated birth or unmedicated birth, you and I will cover it all. You will be prepared with all the most powerful pain management techniques.
    • Be confident when scare tactics like Big babies, going past your due date, and slow labor are thrown around.
    • Know when and if you need a cervical exam during pregnancy!
    • Understanding cesareans is an integral part of your preparation – one you don't want to skip…and not all birth classes prepare you for it

In addition to the course lessons, the Labor Nurse Mama course includes access to a private community ( we used to have a private Facebook group and now have a new student community on its own app) and live weekly calls with Trish–a great way to have specific questions answered as well as bond with other Mamas-to-be!

How does an online birth course differ from an in-person course?

Of course, an online birth course allows you to avoid a commute and take your birth classes in the comfort of your own home. Plus, it’s self-paced for your convenience. This is not your typical Lamaze classes or even a Bradley method birth class.

Another thing to consider about an online course vs. an in-person course? With an online birth class, you have the ability to choose an instructor and course that is a perfect match for you instead of being limited to just a handful who are local.

Are birth classes covered by insurance? How much does it cost?

While insurance doesn’t typically cover an online birth class, there could be some exceptions.

There are some instances where you may be able to be reimbursed.

You may also be able to use a Health Savings Account to pay for your birth course.

No matter what, it’s worth chatting with your insurance company to see what your policy includes. Who knows, there may just be a way they make it work! You’ll never know unless you ask!

What about the birth class that my hospital offers?

Finally, the elephant in the room: What about the in-hospital birth course offered by most labor and delivery units? Why should someone take an online birth class out of the hospital instead?

First of all, the hospital's one-time class is simply not enough time to prepare you for labor and birth. Not only is there SO much information to cover that you simply can’t squeeze it into a single afternoon, but there’s something to be said for how spreading out the course over a matter of weeks gives you time to prepare mentally.

And Mama, there’s something else to consider as well. While the care team you work with within the hospital wants to see you have a beautiful birth, sometimes the in-hospital birth class does more to teach a Mama-to-be how to be an easy patient as opposed to an informed and empowered birther.

Final thoughts on the in-hospital birth class:

It’s great that the hospitals offer a class as a resource, however, it is not the best way to be fully prepared with the knowledge you need to have an empowered birth experience.

(This coming from a labor and delivery Rn (yours truly) who has had the opportunity to teach hospital-provided classes to patients.)

Don't forget that the hospital childbirth educator will not give you access to her when you are in labor. (We have a special labor bat signal for all our mamas after 37 weeks).

How to choose a birth class?

My recommendation is to look around and choose one that fits your needs. Consider taking a free class or workshop that the childbirth educator offers. This allows you to decide if this person is qualified, and also someone you can spend hours listening to.

Consider the following:

    • Are they experienced?
    • Are they qualified to teach this birth class?
    • Do I like their personality?
    • Is this class for all expecting parents? (or certain ones)
    • How many years of experience does she/he have?
    • Does the class include a private student community?
    • How long do I have access?
    • Is it an in-person class, or do they have online classes?
    • Will I have access to the class instructor?
    • Will I have access when I am in active labor?
    • Does it have a money-back guarantee?
    • Does it include all the essential information?
Does taking a birth course mean I don’t need a doula?  

Taking a birth course is a vital part of preparing for your birth–knowledge is power when it comes to knowing your body, your options, and your rights!

However, having a doula present can greatly benefit your birth if you choose to work with one.

Research shows that women with a doula present during labor were twice as likely to experience a birth complication involving themselves or their baby and significantly more likely to initiate breastfeeding. (PMID: 24381478)

Additionally, communication with and encouragement from a doula throughout the pregnancy may increase the mother’s self-efficacy regarding her ability to impact her own pregnancy outcomes, according to the same study.

Having a doula at your birth could be an amazing way to make sure that you are supported throughout your labor but it doesn’t replace the value of taking an online birth class beforehand!

Here at Labor Nurse Mama, we have a team doula (or very own Taylor!) available inside our private community and offer our students a virtual labor support option that is pretty darn incredible.

Pregnancy and preparing for birth during COVID-19

Preparing to bring a new baby into the world can bring up a lot of emotions, with stress being one of them. But for Mamas who are expecting during a global pandemic? It’s a whole new ball game.

COVID-19 has meant that many mamas-to-be have had to make major adjustments to their birth plan. Whether it’s changing birthing locations, having to pick just one support person, wearing a mask during labor, or navigating strict hospital policies on guests, Mamas everywhere have had to make compromises.

However, taking an online birth class is something that you won’t have to compromise on. Since there’s no travel required and no need to gather with others, an online birth class is a way for you to feel safe and comfortable in your own environment.

I could go on and on about why I’m so passionate about teaching Mamas about birth empowerment…

No really, follow me on Instagram if you don’t believe me!

But I truly believe that the difference between a birth story that you write and one that’s out of your hands!

Knowledge is power, Mama! And I am so confident that you can have a birth you feel empowered by with the right education and support.

I would love nothing more than to have the pleasure of walking this journey with you as you prepare to welcome your little one! In the Calm Labor, Confident Birth course community, we’ll cover everything you must know when having an empowered birth story.

Ready to jump in and start feeling confident about your ability to birth your baby? Hop into the Calm Labor, Confident Birth today

Psst! Want to get started on preparing before class starts? Check out these birth mantras to start getting your mind in the zone for labor!

Don't forget to check out our companion classes (which we offer as bonuses throughout the year inside our Free 5 Days to a Fearless Birth Experience), where we teach labor positions, breathing techniques, pushing positions, new mom life tips, and newborn care, and more. 

I want to make sure you have all the tools you need for baby-birthing success — 

If you are unsure whether you are ready to jump in, head over to one of my favorite birth stories and listen to Liz as she shares her empowered second birth

I want to make sure you have all the tools you need for baby-birthing success — 

I am rooting for you every step of the way, Mama!

trish's signature from habibi house

Just a little Disclaimer: As always, I am just writing my thoughts and what I’ve learned along the way. Although I am in fact a labor and delivery RN, This is not medical advice. You should always seek and follow the advice of your care provider.

This post may contain some affiliate links (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission, but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Thank you! For our full disclosure read here)


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