Does giving birth seem like equal parts exciting and mysterious? Not sure what to do once you start feeling contractions? Consider looking into a childbirth educator to prepare you for the new adventure ahead!
A childbirth educator is a certified teacher who helps educate families on the labor and birthing process as well as the transition into parenthood. According to the International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA), a childbirth educator “facilitates expectant parents’ mental and physical preparation for pregnancy, labor, birth, and parenthood.”
A childbirth educator teaches informational classes for expectant parents that are focused on specifically helping prepare them for labor. She also equips mothers to make decisions for themselves and their birth experience.
Yes! Childbirth educators are trained and certified. There are many organizations that certify and qualifications vary by state. A few highly regarded organizations are as follows:
There are a number of places to find qualified childbirth educators. They hold classes at public clinics, hospitals, community centers, and birth facilities.
No. A childbirth educator cannot provide medical advice, but they can (and will!) offer a host of resources to address your concerns.
We recommend taking classes when you’re 6-7 months pregnant, but they can be taken anytime before you give birth. Some childbirth educators offer a series of 2-3 hour classes over the course of a couple months while others offer them as weekend “power” classes, condensing all of the information into 2-3 weekend days.
The cost of classes varies. You can expect most classes to cost $60-$100 (per class per person.) This can be a great way to involve your partner in the process! Consider your class a “date night” and grab a meal afterwards; it’s a great way to connect and begin to communicate what you’ve learned, what you’re excited about, and how you want to parent together.