Free online pregnancy classes

Track your baby's development Get expert guidance from the world's #1 pregnancy and parenting resource, delivered via email, our apps and website. Depending on where you go, classes range from a one-day intensive workshop to weekly sessions lasting a month or more. The typical class consists of lectures, discussions, and exercises, all led by a trained childbirth instructor.While approaches vary, the goal is to provide you with information to prepare for childbirth, help you make informed decisions, and minimize your fears. You'll also learn techniques to help you relax and cope with labor.Most hospitals offer classes, or you can take one through an independent instructor or organization.

You may want to research the classes available in your area so you find one that meets your needs.If you want to give birth without an epidural, for example, look for an instructor who spends a lot of time exploring the different natural methods of pain management. The curriculum emphasizes the importance of diet and exercise during pregnancy, teaches deep breathing techniques to manage pain, and involves the husband or partner as an integral participant in the birth process.ICEA classesSome childbirth instructors are certified by the International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA). ICEA provides education and training programs for prospective teachers, and helps expectant parents find classes with certified instructors.The ICEA doesn't promote particular techniques, so class content varies depending on the instructor. Many women find the breathing, stretching, and meditation taught as part of various types of yoga very helpful during pregnancy and childbirth.

If you're interested in exploring other options, ask your obstetrician or midwife for suggestions.If an in-person class doesn't work for you, try BabyCenter's online childbirth class. It's free (unlike many traditional childbirth classes), and you can watch it as many times as you'd like.

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