By Jamie Hatcher, CNM and Taylor Morrison, CNM~
Why is attending a childbirth education course a good idea? You may be thinking, “I’ve done my research. I’ve hired midwives and maybe a doula, I’m planning to go to a birth center. Why do I need to take a class?” Birth is not something you can plan for, as it is unpredictable. However, it is something you can prepare for! Childbirth education classes give you the knowledge and tools for a successful birth, no matter how your biology and individual circumstances influence your labor and birth. Deciding on a childbirth education course can be daunting given the number of options! We suggest that you choose a class that speaks to your personality and learning style. We’ve broken down some of the most popular classes in the area to help you make that decision!
Hypnobirthing & Hypnobabies:
Wait…there’s Hypnobirthing and Hypnobabies? What’s up with that?
HypnoBirthing® (aka The Mongan Method) teaches you, along with your birthing companion, the art and joy of experiencing childbirth in a more comfortable manner. You will learn to connect to your own natural birthing instincts and trust the birth process. The program focuses on learning special breathing, relaxation, visualization and meditative practice.
The Soulful Birth with Nina Phelan
5 week series- $425/couple
Beautiful Births LA with Amanda Ritchie
5 week series- Contact instructor for cost
Hypnobabies teaches real, medical-grade somnambulistic hypnosis techniques, creating an automatically peaceful, relaxing and more comfortable natural birthing and a calm confident Birth Partner. The Hypnobabies program also includes a comprehensive childbirth education curriculum in addition to the teaching the hypnosis techniques.
Birth Rites Childbirth Services with Dana Nassau
6 week series- $500/couple
6 week series- $450-500/couple
Mixed Method Modalities
Two Doulas Birth
“Discussion-based series… incorporat[ing]… with the best tools from childbirth education methods like Lamaze, Bradley, HypnoBirthing, Hypnobabies, Birthing from Within, etc. Classes are tailored to the needs and interests of each participating group of parents. By educating you about your options in an unbiased way, our goal is for you to gain the confidence needed to formulate your own birth preferences and feel prepared to welcome your baby.”
Two Doulas Birth
5 week series- $395/couple
Private classes- $495/couple
Refresher class (for experienced parents)- $250/couple
“Through workshops, gatherings and related classes, Bini Birth explores the numerous ways that women and families approach giving birth and parenting… [Bini Birth] focuses on a spectrum of evidence-based options available rather than a particular “method” for childbirth or parenting… The ultimate goal is for parents to have a positive experiences, knowing that they are validated, supported and loved throughout the process.”
Weekend workshop- $475/couple
4-week series- $475/couple
Private classes- Contact instructor for cost
“[This] series is interactive, modern and upbeat, while helping you prepare for labor and early parenthood. Wherever you are choosing to birth (a hospital, at home, or a birth center), and however you are thinking about birthing (unmedicated, medicated, or cesarean), we encourage and support all of your individual preferences and make room for everyone’s process.” Includes classes on Labor Basics, Comfort Techniques, and Postpartum/parenting.
“Prepped” by LOOM
3-week series- $375/couple
Additional “Meditation Tools for Labor” class- $195/couple
Unique educational approaches by local childbirth educators
Holistic and grounded approach to childbirth education, preparing you for the transformational journey of birth in mind and body. The classes will help you tap into the internal resources you need to navigate your birth journey with wisdom and intention. “If you are looking for classes that educate and prepare you for labor while facilitating deep connection between you and your partner for birth and beyond…you have found them!” -Britta.
Embodica with Britta Bushnell
6 week series- $575/couples
Refresher class (for experienced parents)- 4 hour workshop- $300
Imagine Your Birth
This in-depth series has everything you need! Seven of the classes cover everything you need to know about staying low risk, stages of labor, comfort measures, birth and so much more. Three additional classes cover breastfeeding, postpartum, and baby care. Frequent practice sessions throughout the series will help couples build their confidence in the birth process.
Imagine Your Birth with Kathy Killebrew
10 week series- $450/couple
Empowered Birth Choices
Prenatal education that goes beyond learning how to breathe! Classes help pregnant women and their partners understand the birth process and learn techniques for coping with labor. Parents will feel empowered to take an active role in prenatal care, childbirth and lactation, as well as making informed decisions.
Natural Childbirth Preparation by The Association for Wholistic Maternal and Newborn Health
4 week series- $350/couple ($175 for Medi-Cal clients)
Updated approaches to traditional childbirth education, mediated by national organizations
Also known as “Husband-Coached Childbirth”, Bradley method focuses on training parents to be active in their own education, pregnancy, and birth to achieve “natural, unmedicated vaginal birth.” Extensive curriculum includes “information on pregnancy, labor, birth, postpartum, coaches/doula training, ways of handling pain in labor, pre-birth bonding, staying healthy and low risk, nutrition, protein counter, general assignments, birth plans, relaxation exercises, labor rehearsals.”
Large database of local instructors
12-week series- prices set by individual instructor
“Lamaze supports evidence-based pregnancy, … guides you as you navigate all of your options, … seeks to empower you as you explore how your body was designed for birth, and encourages you to work with your body’s natural abilities, … provides strategies for comfort and coping with pain during labor, reducing unnecessary medical interventions, and receiving continuous support during labor and birth.” This modality focuses on mobility, support, avoiding interventions, and bonding with baby in a hospital setting.
Large database of local instructors
Class duration and price set by individual instructor
Remember, this is not an exhaustive list! There are tons of childbirth education options in the LA-area. If you find a class that seems like a good fit for you, ask your midwife!