Choosing a Childbirth Class, with Sharon Muza

You’d think choosing a childbirth education class would be straight forward, but as with most birth-related things, the options are nearly endless. Should you take the hospital class or an independent one? Lamaze, Bradley, Birthing from Within, Hypnobabies, or something else? When should you start? What do they cover, and how can you tell if the instructor is any good? Sharon Muza has answers. Check it out.


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What we talked about:

  • Why take a childbirth education class?
  • Hospital class or independent class?
  • Series over several weeks or a one day intensive?
  • What do you know about the instructor?
  • What’s the difference between all the “brands” of childbirth education?
  • What if you are having a homebirth?
  • What if you want an epidural?
  • What if your partner does not want to go, but you do?
  • What topics are covered?
  • What if you are having a VBAC?
  • Online or face to face?
  • How do you know if it will be a good class? Things to take into account
  • When is the best time to take a CBE class?
  • What do CBE classes cost?
  • What if that is beyond someone’s budget?
  • What if you have specific concerns or needs, like having had a previous loss, having a non-normative family structure, religious or cultural requirements, or any other situation where you may be concerned you will feel out of place or singled out?
  • The many additional class options (non-gestational parent class, specialized pushing, early pregnancy classes, baby safety, Dancing for Birth, pets and baby, prenatal exercise classes, and so much more)


Mentioned links and other related articles*:

  • Informational Support vs Education: The Difference between Doulas and Childbirth Educators, by Kim James for the Lamaze blog
  • Your Comprehensive Guide to Childbirth Classes, from The Bump
  • Which Childbirth Education Class is Right for Me?, from Savor it Studios
  • Five Tips for Choosing a Childbirth Education Class, from San Diego Family
  • Some of the many CBE brand options:
    • Lamaze – Classes center around the Lamaze Six Healthy Birth Practices which are based upon the most recent, evidence-based research, to help ease the birthing process and instill confidence.
    • Birthing From Within – Considers birth and epic and heroic journey. Classes help you prepare your mind, body, and soul for the challenges, triumphs, and personal transformation brought by birth.
    • Hypnobabies– Adapted from Master Hypnotherapist Gerald Kein’s “Painless Childbirth Program” techniques, intends for laboring people to experience “eyes-open childbirth hypnosis,” for shorter and more comfortable labors.
    • Hypnobirthing – Focuses on being able to birth in an atmosphere of calm relaxation, where the body’s natural endorphins replace the stress hormones that constrict and cause pain, by using relaxation techniques, breath work and guided imagery.
    • – Classes focus on the importance of a healthy baby, healthy mother and healthy families, with participants taking the responsibility needed for preparing for a natural birth.
    • Sacred Pregnancy – Classes focused on the tradition of women sitting with one another during pregnancy and birth for empowerment, witnessing each other’s process and supporting one another in sisterhood.
    • BirthWorks – Classes support birthing families in making informed, safe choices while upholding that birth is instinctive and trusting that the laboring person has an innate knowledge within to birth successfully.


Related podcast:




About Sharon Muza

Sharon Muza, BS, LCCE, FACCE, CD/BDT(DONA), CLE has been an active perinatal professional since 2004, teaching Lamaze classes to thousands of families and doula-ing through her private practice in Seattle, WA. Sharon is also a trainer of new birth doulas and childbirth educators. She blogs professionally on perinatal topics. Sharon enjoys facilitating discussion around best practice, current research and its practical application to maternal-infant health and community standards. To learn more about Sharon, you are invited to visit her website,



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