If you are thinking about taking an online childbirth class, you should first talk to your doctor or midwife about your decision. In some cases, your hospital or birthing center may offer its own online classes or may require your spouse, partner, or family member to take a pre-approved course in order to be allowed into the delivery room. Other things to investigate include the qualifications of the individual who is teaching the online childbirth course, the method of childbirth education being taught, as well as the way the course has been designed. Another thing to think about is whether you have any special needs or concerns, as you may be able to find online childbirth classes that address these topics.
Many hospitals and birthing centers conduct childbirth classes, and it is likely that your doctor or midwife will inform you of these classes soon after you begin receiving prenatal care. In some cases, you will be able to take these classes online, although some facilities may offer only in-person instruction. One main advantage to taking online childbirth classes through the health care setting in which you will be giving birth is that the classes can acquaint you with the setting’s specific policies and facilities.
As with any course that you might take, it is important to find out whether an online childbirth class is taught by someone who is qualified to provide childbirth education. In some jurisdictions, professional associations for childbirth educators exist. These associations award certification credentials to those who have completed a rigorous training program and a period of student teaching and who have passed a comprehensive exam. If you are interested in learning a particular type of breathing technique or childbirth philosophy, you may also want to seek out classes taught by approved instructors. You may also want to take a course taught by a medical professional, such as an obstetrician, labor and delivery nurse, or midwife.
Find out about the instructional design of the online childbirth classes that interest you. In some cases, you may be able to complete the course on your own time and schedule. Other times, students may be asked to be online during certain times for discussion. Before enrolling in a course, ask the course provider whether the class will allow for communications between student and instructor so that you can ensure that your questions will be answered.