Are Birthing Classes Necessary? The Low Down on Childbirth Classes from a Registered Nurse

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Today we are taking a look at a popular question I hear, are birthing classes necessary?

You may have noticed that I’m a total fan of a few online birthing classes. But are they really that necessary?

I mean if childbirth is so natural, then why would you need a birth class to teach you about giving birth??

Birthing classes have become a popular choice for expectant parents in recent years.

Many people feel that childbirth classes provide them with the information and tools they need to have a successful labor and delivery.

However, others believe that these birth classes are not necessary, and that the information provided can be found elsewhere.

So, are birthing classes necessary?


What are Birthing Classes?

Birthing classes are classes that are typically led by certified childbirth educators.

They aim to provide expectant parents with evidence-based information about labor, delivery, and postpartum care.

Most birthing classes will cover topics such as relaxation techniques, pain management methods, breathing exercises, and positions for labor.

These classes often include a tour of the hospital or birth center where you will be delivering your baby.

Some birthing classes also include information on breastfeeding, newborn care, and postpartum recovery.

Some even go in-depth on breastfeeding, which can be very helpful to many first time moms.

mom taking a birth course online

There are different types of birthing classes available, including:

  • In-person classes: These are typically offered at hospitals, birth centers, or in the community.
  • Online classes: Taught by various childbirth educators
  • Private classes: Some certified childbirth educators offer private birthing classes for a fee.

*Update: Since the pandemic, many in person birth classes have been canceled or discouraged. Instead the need for online childbirth classes, like the mama natural birth course and the Kopa birth course.

Benefits of Childbirth Classes

Birthing classes provide expectant parents with information about labor and delivery, and postpartum care.

They can help to prepare parents for what to expect during childbirth, and can provide them with techniques for coping with the pain of labor.

A birthing class can also offer a tour of the hospital or birth center where you will be delivering your baby.

This can be helpful in familiarizing yourself with your surroundings and making you feel more comfortable during labor.

Some birthing classes also include information on breastfeeding, newborn care, and postpartum recovery.

This can be very helpful for first-time parents who may not be sure what to expect after the baby is born.

A good childbirth education class is usually taught by a certified childbirth educator and can help ease the mind of expectant mothers.

A good childbirth class whether its in person or an online class, should teach most of the following:

  • What to except during labor and the delivery process
  • Relaxation techniques to manage pain
  • What happens during a vaginal birth
  • Labor positions to try during active labor
  • What to expect during the active birth process
  • How to develop a birth plan that feels good to you
  • Medical interventions that may be necessary at some point during labor
  • What to expect in the third trimester

The biggest factors that I think a birthing class can give you is two things that will completely change the game in your birth.

are birth courses necessary

Pain Management

The childbirth classes I recommend all have one big factor in common. They focus on decreasing fear and pain.

By decreasing fear, you are able to manage pain better.

This is done in a variety of ways, but the bottom line is that if you can go into your birth feeling confident and relaxed, you are more likely to have a shorter and easier labor.

And there are lots of different pain management options so it’s good to know everything that’s available to you.

Whether it be pain medication or ways to deal with labor pains naturally to get pain relief.


The second biggest benefit to me is the confidence a mother will get from going in prepared. The scariest thing in the world is that of the unknown.

Knowing what to expect during labor and delivery and what your plan is, makes you feel confident and ready.

Which will completely change your mindset in the delivery room or birthing center.

A birthing class can offer women the opportunity to learn extensively about the birthing process and what to expect during their labor and delivery.

This can help them to feel more prepared for the experience.

Finally, birthing classes can give women a chance to ask questions and share their concerns with other expectant mothers.

This can help them to feel more supported during their pregnancy.

All of this combined can help expectant moms to feel empowered and confident.

The Downsides to Birth Classes

Of course, with everything good, there is also some bad.

Here are some potential downsides to consider before signing up for a birthing class:

The classes may not line up with your birthing philosophy. Some expectant parents want an unmedicated birth while others are okay with whatever works.

It’s important to make sure the class you take is in line with how you want to birth your baby.

The class may be overwhelming. Pregnancy and childbirth can be overwhelming enough without adding more information to the mix.

If you are feeling stressed about taking a class, it may be best to wait until after the baby is born.

You may not have time to take a class. If your schedule is already full, you may not have time to add another class to the mix.

They can be expensive: While many classes are covered by insurance, some are not. If you are paying out of pocket, a class can cost anywhere from $50 to $200.

Childbirth classes can be a great way to learn about the birthing process and to meet other expectant parents.

However, they are not necessary for everyone. The most important thing is that you do what feels right for you and your family.

Are Birthing Classes Necessary?

The short answer? Is no. You’re body will eventually birth your baby whether or not you take a birth class.

However, I do think that a good childbirth education class can make a world of difference in the birth experience you have.

Its just like anything else in life. If you go in prepared and with the right tools, you’ll be less afraid.

You’ll have less pain. And you may even enjoy the experience.

After all, this will be one of the biggest things your body goes through in your entire life.

You get to decide if you want to feel empowered and in charge of your birth, or if you want to hand the control over to someone else to make the decisions for you.

Education is one of the most powerful gifts you can give to your self and to your baby.

And that’s why I think birthing classes are important, even if they are not technically necessary.

What are the Best Childbirth Education Classes?

This really depends on preference.

Some woman prefer to have in person classes. These can usually be found at your local hospital.

In person classes can be great, because they’ll often show you around the hospital and give you an idea of what to expect from the medical staff and delivery nurses there.

The downside to in person classes is that you have to work on their schedule.

There’s also a few really good online birth classes you can choose from.

These have the benefit of being more flexible and you can usually go at your own pace.

The downside to online classes is that you don’t get to meet other expectant parents in person.

But you may be able to find a local meetup group or something similar to connect with others who are taking the same class as you.

You can read about my favorite online birth courses and see if one sounds like a good fit for you.

Who Doesn’t Need a Childbirth Class?

If you’ve already educated your self and gone through a few birthing classes in the past, you may not need to take one again.

Having a few babies usually makes the process easier. If you’ve had good birthing experiences in the past and feel confident already, then you can probably skip taking a birth class and feel good about it.

Also, if you know you’re the type that will sign up for a class, only to ignore it and not work through the videos or guides, then your should probably opt out as well, as your money will be spent on better things.

A childbirth class is only as good as the work you put into.


A childbirth class can be an absolute game changer for how women feel during their birth and after.

Education is one of the best gifts you can give yourself, and increase your chances for your own desired outcomes.

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