Online vs Live Childbirth Classes- Which is right for you?
We are excited to be able to offer both online and in-person childbirth classes to our students. We also realize that each couple has different needs and what works perfect for one may not be great for another. So how do you decide what is best for you?
Here is a guide to online vs live childbirth classes.
Online Birth Classes
Our online birth classes consist of 10 classes that last from an hour to over two hours. Classes are taught morning talk show style by your hosts, Donna Ryan and Sarah Clark. They chat with you about all the things you will need to feel prepared for your birth. Classes also focus a lot on the partner. This is a class for both of you.
Online childbirth classes also include a 160+ page workbook which is mailed to you upon payment. Not only do they include conversational learning, there are interviews with other moms, dads, birth professionals and experts. There are also downloadable relaxation tracks for the classes so you can practice relaxation at home, comfort measure moments so you can work together and the partner can learn how to support mom, a complete pregnancy exercise program, and a three hour downloadable breastfeeding video taught by an IBCLC. They are truly a complete childbirth class.
Benefits of an online childbirth class include:
- You can watch on your schedule- This is particularly important for couples who work opposite schedules and have a hard time attending a live class on a set night each week. Online birth classes mean that they can watch together when they are together, even if that is at midnight. It also means that they can watch separately if they have to, as is the case with couples who take our online childbirth classes when one of them is deployed or they work in different states.
- Self paced- Ideally, everyone plans their birth preparations fairly early and has a class set up and ready by about the halfway point through their pregnancy. But so often we don’t know that we even need a class until a little later in the game. For the couple that has an â€œah-ha!â€ moment about the need for childbirth education at the 30 or even 35 week mark, an online childbirth class enables them to get all the information in a limited amount of time. This means that you can get the knowledge you need on your schedule and in time for your birth.
- Comfort of your own home- No reason to lie about it, pregnancy can be an exhausting time. Many people are still working full time and coming home exhausted and ready to collapse. An online class means you can watch from your couch or bed while snuggled in your jammies.
- Available when you need them– While we have over 100 instructors in three countries and dozens of states, we don’t have instructors in every community (YET!). For this reason, an online class is a great option for couples who simply don’t have Birth Boot Camp available in their community at the present time. Some of us live rurally, others in communities where resources are limited regarding birth options. For these couples, online childbirth education is a great option.
- Access to support from corporate- Your online childbirth class still gives you access to your instructors. When you receive your workbook and materials, you will also receive contact information for the online instructors, Donna Ryan, and Sarah Clark. You can call or email them and have your personal questions answered. We look forward to working with you!
Live Birth Classes
Our live birth class students get the same workbook (which contains your relaxation scripts for you to practice), your birth teacher is skilled in teaching you comfort measures, and they are taught in the same 10 week format. Our birth classes across the country and world follow the same curriculum– a curriculum that works and covers what you need to have a great birth.
You will also get the breastfeeding class, the exercises AND you have access to one of our amazing childbirth educators.
Benefits of a live childbirth class include:
- Personalized- While all Birth Boot Camp classes follow the same basic 10 week curriculum and workbook, an in-person class has the advantage of an instructor who is an expert in natural birth who you can ask question of. They can answer and guide you in real time as you build a relationship with them. It is truly hard to quantify the benefits of your relationship with your childbirth instructor. They are incredible and they truly care about you having your best birth.
- Community- One thing that is very often lacking in pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care for the modern woman is a sense of community. An in-person, live childbirth class offers this. We expect our instructors to be well connected and aware of all the resources in their communities, from care providers to postpartum groups and breastfeeding support. They can plug you in, introduce you, and help you find resources for your needs in your own town.
- Friends- If you take a childbirth class with other couples, you also have the added bonus of friends. Pregnancy and birth are transitional times of life where so much is changing. Sometimes change is hard, but having friends in your same situation can make the transition from couple to family a smoother one. We have seen couples in our classes become fast friends doing everything from milk sharing to weekly playgroups. Friends that you make during this time of your life can be friends forever. Priceless.
- Accountability– There is a lot involved in our childbirth classes. They aren’t white washed or dumbed down. They are comprehensive and you will have homework! This includes so many things from talking to your care provider, to doing exercises, practicing relaxation, and working on your Kegels. For some it is easy to read the materials, mark what they eat, and get their exercise in. For others it is immeasurably helpful to have someone who is checking in, asking you if you have questions, supporting you, and cheering you along the way. Your instructor is this person!
- Practice in Public- Your birth class will very often include some hands-on practice sessions. Our instructors vary a little in how they do this, but you may very well see comfort measure practice, relaxation practice, exercise demos, labor practice, and more in your live childbirth class. There is great benefit to doing this with a trained observer and instructor and to practicing in public. You will be birthing in front of other people, so it helps prepare you to practice in front of other people.
No matter what is right for you in a childbirth class, we hope that we can help you meet your needs, prepare yourself, and have the best birth possible for you, your partner, and your baby. Whether you choose an online or a live childbirth class, you can be beautifully prepared and you CAN have an amazing birth!