Get Schooled

How to choose the right childbirth class for you.


You may be surprised to discover the variations in childbirth classes—some are months long while others last a day; some take place in a hospital and others are conducted in the educator’s home. Regardless, topics generally include labor signs, pain-relief options, stages of labor and comfort measures. Here are a few options that may be available in your area:

Lamaze classes educate women about practices that have been shown to maximize your chances of having a safer birth, such as allowing labor to start on its own, walking and moving around during labor and following your body’s urges to push.

The Bradley Method is a 12-week class for women and their partners who desire to have a medication-free birth.

HypnoBirthing is a five-week course that emphasizes natural childbirth and teaches self-hypnosis techniques to combat fear and pain during labor.

The International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) trains and certifies educators to be advocates of the natural process of childbirth. Find ICEA-certified instructors in your area at