pregnant women chatting in childbirth class

31. Choosing the best childbirth class for you

Taking an Independent Childbirth Class (typically one not affiliated with a hospital) is a great way to learn what normal birth is like.   It is well worth the time and money to be educated about normal birth.  The information presented in class will go a long way in helping you trust your body and baby.

There are many different choices for Childbirth Classes.  Find one that fits with your desires for birth.

Childbirth Class Options

Do you want to take a birthing class, and want to know what choices are available to you?

Well, here are the answers to your questions. To help you make a choice that’s right for you, we’ve compiled a list of birthing classes with brief descriptions and links to their websites.

The classes are listed below, in alphabetical order:

Apple Tree Family Ministries, The (Christian-based)

The Apple Tree Childbirth Education course teaches parents-to-be what to expect during pregnancy, birth, and early parenting, just as secular classes do. But the Apple Tree course offers an added dimension: spiritual insights on these important life passages, rooted in God’s Word, the Bible.

Through the ATFM Childbirth Education course, parents-to-be learn how to cooperate with God’s design for a comfortable, natural, and joyful birth that will deepen their relationship with one another, with their baby, and with God.

The Apple Tree course also addresses issues that are closely related to childbirth, including breastfeeding, early parenting, and family planning—all from a biblically-based spiritual perspective.

Relationships are an important part of the Apple Tree course—relationships with an experienced Christian childbirth educator and with other parents-to-be. Prayer support is also integral to the program.

Participants in an Apple Tree Childbirth Education course do not have to be Christians; expectant parents who are interested in biblical perspectives are welcome in most classes.


Association of Labor Assistants & Childbirth Educators (ALACE)

Only recently in the long story of humanity has the linkage of knowledge and reassurance between generations of birthing women been broken. Pregnant women today often find themselves without ties to female relatives who can reliably teach them what to expect from childbearing. Birth has often come to resemble a mechanized, medical emergency. It is no wonder that many first-time mothers’ images of birth are filled with fear and pain.

Knowledgeable childbirth educators and labor assistants/birth doulas can do a great deal to provide pregnant women with information and practical alternatives so that they may give birth with confidence, strength and joy. Laboring women who feel confident and supported are much more likely to achieve satisfying outcomes than are women without such support.


Birthing From Within

Birthing From Within mentors (teachers) believe that childbirth is a profound rite of passage, not a medical event (even when medical care is part of the birth). We teach parents the power of birthing-in-awareness, even when their birth experience is not what they had anticipated. We create a safe, nurturing class environment which will invite parents to discover their personal strength and wisdom. We balance practical, useful information with introspective, multi-sensory experiences.

We teach about birth from four perspectives: mother, father, baby and culture.

We help parents build a pain-coping mindset so they may fully participate in birth’s rite of passage.

We know that Birthing From Within classes are not the end, but the beginning of a parent’s journey.


Birth Life (Peru)

BirthLife Universal is a healing center focusing on the secret healing powers of Birth. We guide and orient future parents and pregnant women, so they will be the protagonists of their own happiness and the happiness of their children, realizing Birth within the Plenitude of Consciousness. We inspire those couples wishing to give birth to their children within freedom, in harmony with nature and the cosmic forces of the Universe without the need of science.

We help them to eradicate and overcome their fears, originated by erroneous concepts concerning Birth and Labor.


Birthlight Trust, The (Ireland, England and Scotland)

Birthlight is a friendly,informal charity, founded by Françoise Barbira Freedman, focusing on an holistic approach to pregnancy, birth and babyhood using Yoga and breathing methods to enhance your and your babies well-being.

Birth ‘light’ refers to giving birth lightly, without undue strain on the body and making full use of the breath, as well as to the light that can shine around birth.

Birthlight has excelled in aqua yoga, perinatal yoga, well-woman yoga therapy, infant aquatics and baby yoga. Birthlight has a reputation for an effective, high quality approach to birth and parenting education combined with a rigorous scientifically based approach. This reputation places Birthlight at the forefront in the development of the professional standardisation of procedures, increasingly required nationally and internationally.



Birth Works® offers childbirth classes to any woman with any birthing history i.e. new parents and parents with prior vaginal and/or cesarean births. Our classes are innovative and experiential in design. They help women gain confidence in their ability to birth, and help birth companions become aware of ways they can make labor safer and more comfortable. The classes are interactive and provide both a physical and emotional preparation for birth. Our program is suitable for parents planning a hospital, birthing center or home birth.

Birth Works® is a process, not a method. It recognizes that there is no one right way to labor and birth. Birth Works® does not teach breathing patterns, but instead encourages slow deep breathing as one of many ways to promote relaxation and facilitate labor.

Families are encouraged to take Birth Works® early in pregnancy, or even prior to pregnancy, as this is an optimal time for identifying and exploring beliefs about birth, interviewing caregivers, and choosing a birth place that feels safe.


Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth, The

Natural childbirth is an important goal since most people want to give their babies every possible advantage. Without the side effects of drugs given during labor and birth. Bradley® classes teach families how to have natural births. The techniques are simple and effective. They are based on information about how the human body works during labor.

Couples are taught how they can work with their bodies to reduce pain and make their labors more efficient. Of over 200,000 Bradley®-trained couples nationwide, over 86% of them have had spontaneous, unmedicated vaginal births. This is a method that works!



Brio Birth Childbirth classes offer the perfect mix of time-honored traditions and comprehensive curriculum that includes cutting edge research to empower 21st century moms to give birth with confidence. Brio Birth is made up of a team of top childbirth educators and birth professionals.
Brio Birth ensures that mothers and their birth partners are well educated and well prepared for labor and birth. Your classes will teach you how to stay healthy throughout your pregnancy and to prepare your body for the big day. You and your birth partner will learn how to work as a team to help you cope with the sensations of labor. You will learn about the natural process and why it is healthiest for most mothers and babies. At the same time, you will also be well educated about common medications and procedures so that you can make informed choices.
You will be led by your Brio Birth Educator through an intensive labor rehearsal so that you will develop your own strategies for labor. Because you can never know for sure how labor will go, you will be prepared for long labor, short labor, and the many variations that can occur along the way. It is the goal of the Brio Birth educator for you to be well equipped for whatever course your labor may take.


Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Assosiation (CAPPA)

CAPPA is a non-profit international organization that was founded in 1998 to offer the highest level of professional membership and training to childbirth educators, lactation educators, labor doulas, antepartum doulas and postpartum doulas. CAPPA offers the highest level of evidence based training available. The organization consists of a leadership board, regional representatives, trainers, mentors, advisors and its membership. CAPPA is the most comprehensive pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum organization available…caring for women before, during, and after birth through education and support.



Education, Support, Trust, and Excellent Hypnosis for Childbirth Tools are the key.

Encouraging women to explore what they already know; to go within to give birth and to trust in their bodies and their babies. To use the incredible power inside to guide them to a place of bliss and joy as they bring forth life, That’s what we do and it works!



HypnoBirthing® – The Mongan Method, is a unique method of relaxed, natural childbirth education, enhanced by hypnosis techniques, providing the missing link, that allows women to use their natural instincts to bring about a safer, easier, more comfortable birthing in a way that most mirrors nature. Emphasis is placed on both pregnancy and childbirth as well as on HypnoBirthing®. As a birthing method, HypnoBirthing® is as new as tomorrow and as old as ancient times. It is presented in five childbirth classes.


ICEA – International Childbirth Education Association

Certification by the International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) indicates that the person certified has achieved a certain level of knowledge and competency in areas tested by ICEA. ICEA certification does not indicate that the person certified is employed by ICEA and ICEA does not monitor nor is it responsible for the content of any classes, seminars or other presentations led or conducted by such persons or services provided by them.


Lamaze International

Lamaze Philosophy of Birth:

  • Birth is normal, natural, and healthy.
  • The experience of birth profoundly affects women and their families.
  • Women’s inner wisdom guides them through birth.
  • Women’s confidence and ability to give birth is either enhanced or diminished by the care provider and place of birth.
  • Women have the right to give birth free from routine medical interventions.
  • Birth can safely take place in birth centers and homes.
  • Childbirth education empowers women to make informed choices in health care, to assume responsibility for their health and to trust their inner wisdom.


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