How to know which one is right for you.
For some people, going through a birth prep class later on in their pregnancy is something they consider, research, and plan for soon after they find out they're pregnant, while others worry about it more as they get further along in their pregnancy. But by your second trimester, it's a good time to start thinking about what kind of class you'd like to take to help you prep for the birth of your baby, as most want you in their class sometime between 27 and 35 weeks.
Do you NEED to go to a class to do something that your body naturally already knows how to do? No, not necessarily. But if you're a first time parent, the classes can be especially helpful for you and your partner. Birth is such an unpredictable thing. Learning about all the different things that CAN happen during labor to you and your baby, from what your body is going through and why, to how you can be physically and emotionally comforted and supported, to how your body heals and bonds with your baby after birth, can help to better prepare you to handle all of those twists and turns throughout your experience.
There are just as many price ranges as there are types and lengths of birth classes. Most want you and a partner there, and some offer their class on-line in prerecorded classes that you can watch at your convenience, online by live Zoom, or in-person.
Every birth prep class will cover essentially the same info, just in different ways. Some of the things you may learn are:
the biology of labor
comfort and pain-relieving techniques
what the labor process can look like
how your medical team plays into your birth
breastfeeding and newborn care
support for your partner