The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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Once you’ve decided on a type of childbirth class, how do you pick a teacher? “Find an instructor whose agenda is yours, not her own,” advises Lisa Gould Rubin, a childbirth educator, doula and co-author of 2005’s The Birth That’s Right for You. Ask these questions before you sign up:
1. What is your certification? (Ideally, the instructor is certified by Lamaze, Bradley, the International Childbirth Education Association or another national group.)
2. How long have you been teaching these courses?
3. What do you cover in your class?
4. What is your basic philosophy about childbirth?
5. How do you feel about medication and induction?
6. How would you deal with a hospital’s protocols if they don’t match your own approach?
7. What are the outcomes of your students’ births? (Perhaps you can talk to a few of the instructor’s past clients.)
8. How many couples are in your class? (You’ll get more personal attention in a small class.)
9. What is the time commitment?
10. Are you a lactation consultant? (This is a bonus if you’re planning to breastfeed.)