As if pregnancy weren't enough of a roller coaster, pregnancy during a pandemic is giving expecting moms and dads some extra twists and turns to navigate between changing birth plans, solo doctor's visits, virtual baby showers, and more. Amidst the seemingly unending chaos, one thing is certain: you'll finally be meeting your little one very soon, and birthing and parenting classes can be huge for helping ease your anxiety while you prepare for the big day.
If you can't make it to an in-person class, there are lots of great options for virtual classes for parents-to-be, whether you're looking breathing techniques for labor, breastfeeding tips, or just connecting with an educator who can answer your questions. We've collected 10 options for online childbirth and parenting classes.
The Lamaze name is practically synonymous with childbirth prep, and now parents-to-be can learn all about the technique from the comfort of home. Online classes are available on demand for a year and can be purchased as single classes ($30-$35 each) or in a bundle ($85). The 60–75-minute classes cover topics like labor pain management, breastfeeding, parenting, and more. Got questions? Some courses include access to an instructor for asking questions. Intro class is FREE.
If you're looking for trustworthy, straightforward information to prepare you for labor and delivery, Pampers has you covered. This FREE nine-part series of recorded childbirth education classes is taught by two clinical childbirth experts and feels like you're sitting in on a small-group childbirth class with other expecting parents. Learn about what to expect before, during, and after labor as well as some tips for helpful birthing positions.
Photo courtesy of Kopa Birth
Planning for a childbirth with as few medical interventions as possible? This set of eight recorded online classes ($155-195) is intended those who want to have a natural childbirth in the hospital. The course includes breathing techniques, labor positions, a mock labor experience, and even downloadable meditations and imagery for labor audio to help you through the big day. The "Plus" course includes meal ideas, fitness plans, partner guides, and more. Be sure to have plenty of time for this course, though. It takes about 12 hours to complete.
Designed by a labor and delivery nurse, this highly affordable birthing course has two options: the natural course and the epidural course. For about $40, you'll have lifetime access to 30+ bite-sized videos covering hospital tips, breathing techniques, pushing, pain control, and more. That equates to about 3 hours for the epidural and 5-6 hours for the natural course. Add on the Newborn Basics series or Let's Sleep series for an additional cost.
NYU Langone’s Center for Perinatal Education and Lactation has a bunch of great affordable parent education classes ($25-60) and support groups for getting you through pregnancy and bringing baby home. Explore classes like Babywearing, Dogs & Storks, Cesarean Birth, Infant Car Seats, Breastfeeding, Siblings, Dad Bootcamp, Starting Solids, and more. Some classes are taught as one-time webinars followed by a live Q&A session, others comprise several recorded modules, and still others are live streamed during your specific class time. Private virtual lactation support sessions are available.
Calling all partners and support persons! This one's for you. Billed as a "childbirth class for the other half," this two-hour course ($49) provides tips and skills need to be a supportive partner during labor such as how to communicate with hospital staff and how to provide physical and verbal support during labor. You'll also be able to access a bunch of cheat sheets to help with packing for the hospital and remembering support techniques for labor. Looking for a couple experience? Supporting Her also offers live interactive video classes as well as recorded courses for couples.
Created by parents and certified experts, the Baby 101 course ($49) promises to be a crash course in everything baby: breastfeeding, sleep, safety, and newborn care. The nine recorded classes can be completed at your convenience. Tinyhood has lots of other options, too, like meal planning for parents, introducing solids, toddler nutrition, newborn sleep, and more. Explore online courses, recorded talks, one-on-one consultations, and moderated communities.
Photo courtesy of Birth Boot Camp
These childbirth classes promise to be interesting, entertaining, and educational while mimicking live classes as much as possible. The popular Childbirth Education class series ($175) is pretty extensive (25 hours!) and is typically taught over a 10-week period. Other options include Home Birth, Hospital Birth, Homecoming, Food & Fitness, Comfort Measures, Breastfeeding, and more. These classes run 5-6 sessions each and are a great option for couples that need a shorter series. You can also take workshops such as Comfort Measures, Life with a New Recruit (which is all about the baby), Food & Fitness, and Breastfeeding: The Ultimate MRE. Once purchased, you will have a year of access to the content.
Interesting in a nonmedicated birth? Mama Natural is a self-paced on-demand series ($198) taught by a certified nurse midwife and includes access to private forums moderated by a doula as well as bonus practice videos, inspiration cards, audio recordings, and more. The course takes about 12 hours to complete and is split up into eight classes.
Photo courtesy of Hypnobubs
This comprehensive hypnobirthing childbirth education course is designed to help parents-to-be achieve a calmer and more comfortable birthing experience without the fear. You will learn techniques for deep relaxation, visualization, and self-hypnosis plus tools to help with the intensity of childbirth and learning ways that your partner can assist. The Basic Package ($149) provides access to 10 recorded sessions totaling six hours of instruction. You can leave comments and ask questions throughout the course, and can upgrade to a private one-on-one session with a Certified Practitioner. Some courses are designed for women who will have have Caesarian births.