How to Choose a Lamaze Class

Attending childbirth classes can be helpful to any [Get Pregnant|pregnant]] woman, including those who have already given birth in the past. Most pregnant women understand that even though the birth and labor process is a joyful time, it can also be very overwhelming. Childbirth classes can help to ease your anxiety and can also help you gather important information. It is important to find the childbirth class that is best suited to you and your personal childbirth philosophy, as there are many different types of Lamaze classes. Finding the class that meets your individual needs is a critical step in easing your fears and building your confidence in yourself and your body as you are preparing for labor.


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    Find a good instructor. It is important to find an instructor who will give you a variety of coping strategies for labor and who will help you communicate effectively with your health-care team. Before choosing an instructor, speak with a few and ask them questions about their teaching methods and curriculum. You don’t want an instructor who only presents you with basic hospital rules. Your instructor should provide you with current, well-researched information. Your instructor should be working with you to build your trust in your body and your baby. You want an instructor who will respect you and share all of the important information you need to know to make informed decisions about your labor and your baby. You also want an instructor with a good attitude who will make the process not only informative, but fun as well.
    • If your instructor is certified by Lamaze International, then you know they have passed a rigorous examination and have met the standards of the NCCA (National Commission for Certifying Agencies). Lamaze International is the only certification program offered for childbirth educators.
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    Pick a good class location. There are many places that offer Lamaze classes. Classes can be held in hospitals, birth centers, health care providers’ offices, homes or in any other community location such as a YMCA. It is common for women to sign up for classes where they plan on giving birth. However, make sure if this is a hospital-based class that they are not just presenting basic hospital rules. If you are looking for a class that is good for couples or groups, an in-home class might be the right choice for you.
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    Find the class size that is good for you. Most people agree that you will get the most out of a small childbirth class. These classes tend to be more personalized, allowing you to ask more questions and get answers right away.
    • If you and your partner have a complicated schedule, a private class may work best for you. This type of instruction is more flexible because the classes are arranged around your schedule.
    • If you are nervous about being in front of a group, a private class can ease those nerves because you can ask personal questions that you may otherwise be afraid to ask in a group setting. Private classes can be a little more costly, but it can be worth the added expense for some couples.
    • If you are looking to meet other women or couples who are going through the same thing you are, a group class may be right for you. The bonds you form can last long after your baby is born because most of these classes are scheduled around your due date. You may see people from your class in the hospital after you deliver. Group classes can also help you become familiar with your hospital’s policies and procedures so you can understand what to expect during your stay.
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    Find the session length that is right for you. Even though you may be tempted to sign up for a weekend class session or an intensive day-long session, you may find that you benefit more from a class that meets a few times over the span of a few weeks. During these types of sessions, the instructor will review previous sessions, helping you retain more information by repetition. Also, in between sessions you will have the freedom to discuss things with your partner and come up with questions to ask during the next session.
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    Know what should be covered in a typical childbirth class.
    • A class should inform you of the natural process of labor and birth and the role pain plays in labor, while giving you some strategies to cope with this pain such as movement and positioning during labor and birth.
    • The class should discuss medical interventions and the risks and alternatives involved.
    • The class should inform you about the stages of labor and the importance of labor support.
    • The class should also help you communicate better with your health-care provider and help you develop the birth plan that is right for you. Your after-labor needs should also be discussed, such as breastfeeding and you newborn’s needs.
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    Understand that class participation is important. Many times, partners do not want to attend the childbirth class because they are not the ones giving birth and they do not believe that the class will be helpful to them. It is vital to let your partner know that their presence is important to you and you need them to be there, just as you need them to be there during the actual labor. Make sure you take the class seriously by turning off your cell phone and by doing any reading that is assigned to you. It is great to ask questions in class, but if you don’t feel comfortable, it is okay to speak with your instructor privately as well.


  • Gain self-confidence by discussing your fears about labor with your instructor and other couples in your class. This will help you and your partner learn more about what you need to know on the big day. It will also create a special bond between you.
  • A Lamaze class helps you learn about great pain relief options such as; massage, relaxation and breathing exercises, as well as medication.
  • Taking a tour of your birthing facility can help you see the staff that will be taking care of you in action. If you are taking your class at the hospital where you are planning to give birth, it may be helpful to you to take more than one class as classes outside of the hospital focus more on emotional aspects and childbirth options.


  • It is important to understand that each birth and each family are unique. The same instructor that is right for someone else may not be right for you.

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Categories: Pregnancy