Pregnancy and Parenting Class FAQs
1. What is the difference between Natural Childbirth, Prepared Childbirth, and Having Your Baby Your Way?
Natural Childbirth is a one-day class intended for parents who are primarily interested in laboring and giving birth without the use of narcotics or epidural anesthesia. Interventions and the use of medication are briefly covered. Prepared Childbirth is a one-day class designed to meet the needs of those who are likely to want to use medication or epidural anesthesia in labor and want more detailed information about other common interventions. Having Your Baby Your Way meets over three Wednesday evenings and works well for those who prefer having time between sessions to practice techniques and process information presented during class. The content is a mixture of both the Natural and Prepared Childbirth curricula. Because sessions spread out, group input about what material is emphasized can be more readily incorporated into the classes. Natural Childbirth, Prepared Childbirth, and Having Your Baby Your Way all include an overview of labor, what you can expect during each stage as labor progresses, the immediate newborn and postpartum periods, practices specific to Mount Auburn Hospital, and a tour.
Any of these classes can be supplemented by Tools for a Natural Childbirth: a hands-on workshop, a three-hour class that focuses on an array of specific techniques that enable women and their partners to expand their capacity to labor and give birth with little or no medication. This class does not cover general information about labor, the immediate newborn and postpartum periods, or interventions. It can serve as a refresher class for experienced parents but is not designed as a stand-alone class for first-time parents.
2. Where can I view your schedule and register for classes and tours?
Please go to our website www.mountauburnhospital.org. On the crimson bar across the top of the page, click on Classes and Events. On the next page, scroll down to click on Pregnancy and Childbirth. From there you will be taken to a list of classes. Click on the name of the class for which you wish to register and follow the instructions. There is also a calendar on that page. If you hover over a particular date, you will see which class or classes are scheduled for that date. Please note you will need a credit card to register. Meet the Midwives and Meet the Doctors are free of charge and do not require registration. Bain Birthing Center Tours and tours associated with Meet the Midwives are also free of charge but do require registration since we are able to accommodate a limited number of people on each tour.
3. Do my partner and I need to register separately for classes? How about for tours?
A woman and her labor partner are considered one registration for both classes and tours. It works best if registration is in the name of the mother-to-be and includes all the information requested for both her and her partner.
4. The class I want is full. When do you post new classes?
Classes are posted at least three months ahead on a rolling schedule. If want to register for a specific class that is full, please look for another date on which that class is offered. Sometimes there are cancellations. If your circumstances are such that you cannot find a suitable class and must attend class before the next month’s classes are posted, please email us at childbirthed.mah.harvard.edu and we will do our best to help you find a class.
5. Can I bring my newborn to the Infant CPR class? Can I bring a grandparent or caregiver?
Non-mobile are welcome at our Infant CPR class. Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate older babies. Each registration includes two adults. Additional adults need to register separately.
6. Can I bring my older child on the Bain Birthing Center Tour?
Bain Birthing Center Tours are designed for adults. They are about one hour long and space is limited. If you need to bring an older child on a tour, contact us at childbirthed.mah.harvard.ed.
7. The tour I want to take is full. Can I be added or just show up that day?
Registration is required. Tours are usually posted on a monthly basis. Additional tours may be added at any time within a given month, so check back periodically if the tour you want is closed to registration. Tours are usually completely booked and we are unable to accommodate walk-ins.
8. When is the best time to take a Childbirth Education class?
It’s best to have your Childbirth Education class completed between 34-36 weeks. Taking classes to prepare for labor and birth before 28-30 weeks is generally not advisable since, in most cases, too much time will have elapsed before your learning will be put to use. HypnoBirthing classes are the exception. That series runs for five weeks and requires ongoing practice after you’ve completed it in order to get the greatest benefit from the course. Even so, starting HypnoBirthing at around 28 weeks will leave you lots of time to practice.
9. Is it appropriate for me to bring my partner to the Breastfeeding Class?
We welcome partners at Breastfeeding Class.
10. What should I bring to class? Will food be provided? What should I wear?
You will get a detailed email the week before your class or classes are scheduled to start. In general, plan to bring two pillows to class. Most instructors will want you to have them.
Light snacks and bottled water are provided. Lunch is available for purchase in the cafeteria on the second floor. You are also welcome to bring your own food. Lunch break is usually 30-45 minutes long.
Women (and their partners) should wear loose, comfortable clothing that will allow them to move around and get down on floor mats.
11. How can I get reimbursed by my insurance company for a Childbirth Ed class?
Some insurers reimburse for all or a portion of Childbirth Education classes; others do not. Please check with your insurer to find out if reimbursement is available. If your insurer does not offer reimbursement and you have a Medical Flexible Spending Account, you should be able to claim those funds for childbirth preparation classes.
You will receive an email receipt from us for your payment. A signed Certificate of Attendance will be given to you at the end of your class. These two documents are your proof that you have paid for and attended class. Your insurer or Medical Flexible Spending Account administrator will need them to process reimbursement. Neither procedure or diagnosis code are required.