While the pandemic has changed a lot of the plans that expectant parents had for their pregnancies and births, living in the age of technology has meant that parents are supported with a variety of virtual offerings. Childbirth classes, often taken at a hospital or birth education center are available in wide variety online and will be a special memory that many parents will have of their COVID-19 pregnancy experience. But given this large variety now available online, how can mothers choose the best online birth class for their needs?
Before you start looking around for a class, take some time to think about what type of experience you want and what you expect out of an online birth class. A few questions to answer may include:
- When will you be viewing the course material? At night when other children are asleep? When you and your partner find time together? On the weekends?
- What is your budget?
- What area of the birth experience would you like the most instruction? Pain management? Breastfeeding? Creating a birth plan?
- Is there a particular approach that you are after? Hypnobirthing? VBAC?
- How much time can you commit to or have available?
Our team has put together a list of the best online birth classes depending on specific needs that we know expectant moms have and hope it will help you select the best class to support your birthing experience. Good luck!
Best Online Birth Class Options For:
Best Free Course: Pampers
Why it’s great: Nine different classes ranging from topics including how to prepare mentally, what to expect, breastfeeding, and more. The course is taught by a registered nurse and meant to provide a similar experience to what parents would receive in a hospital setting. Roughly half of the material covers the lead up to birth and the birth experience and the other half focuses on the early postpartum period. As with all free classes, you may want to consider researching topics of concern or interest in more depth.
Best Self-study Course: KOPA Birth
Why it’s great: This class is comprehensive! KOPA is the brainchild of registered nurse, Lamaze instructor, and mother of six Katie Griffin, who has put her heart into the curriculum. The course includes eight videos, twelve hours of instruction, a downloadable course manual, meditations, membership in a Facebook group, and more. The bonus course includes valuable extras such as a baby-wearing class, meal guides, and labor guides for partners.
Best Under $100: Lamaze International
Why it’s great: While Lamaze offers a free birth prep class, they also offer a wide variety of other educational resources for expecting and new mothers that are all under $50. Some of our favorites include Bringing Baby Home, Birth Confidence, Healthy Birth Practices, and a VBAC class. They also have a “Best-Sellers Bundle” for $84.95 which includes Labor Prep, Pain Management, and Breastfeeding.
Best for live content/instruction: Erica Chidi Cohen
Why it’s great: We love Erica Chidi Cohen’s birth prep course because it includes five highly detailed modules PLUS monthly live webinars for participants to hear from Erica directly and ask any questions that come up during their study. PLUS her approach is super inclusive. It is great for expectant parents of all backgrounds and with all types of birth plans, from natural birth to c-section and everything in between.
Best for couples: The Online Prenatal Class for Couples
Taught by an experienced and passionate labor and delivery nurse, this course is taught in three sections: before labor, during labor, and after delivery. Besides the educational videos, the entire course is also available in written form to download and use as a reference. Students report that the format makes it a great course to fit in when both partners are together. Each segment ends with questions for the couple to discuss.
Best for comprehensive support and community: Phoebe Pregnancy to Postpartum
Phoebe offers a comprehensive education and mentorship program that supports you from the end of pregnancy through postpartum. It gives you access to over 1 hour of simple evidence based birth content, a one on one with a birth doula and live Q&A sessions with a birth doula. It has content like what to pack in your hospital bag. Phoebe goes beyond pregnancy and covers everything from infant care to the return to work and more.