The difference between private childbirth education and hospital-based courses:
- Private childbirth education is hosted in your own home which creates a more intimate setting with more one-on-one attention.
- Hospital classes tend to be larger and are less intimate both in the setting and in the attention you receive from the instructor.
- Private childbirth education covers various types of births (hospital, birth center, and home birth) rather than focusing on hospital birth.
- Hospital classes focus on hospital birth (what to do and expect from when birthing at that particular hospital).
- Private childbirth educators come from various backgrounds: labor and delivery nurses, doulas, or midwives.
- Hospital educators are usually labor and delivery nurses or certified nursing assistants.
- Private childbirth education covers the anatomy of birth, stages of labor, natural pain management techniques, various comfort techniques, and what natural progression of labor looks like.
- Hospital classes cover the anatomy of birth, stages of labor, interventions, prevention and treatment of possible complications, and medical pain management options.
Deciding which type of class is right for you:
To decide which type of class is best for you and your family, ask yourself these questions
- Where will I be delivering my baby? – If you are delivering in a hospital, it might be beneficial to take that hospital’s childbirth education course.
- Do I enjoy being in a group or do I prefer to learn independently? – If you don’t enjoy group classes, even if you are delivering in a hospital, an independent childbirth class may be a better fit for you.
- What information do I want to get from this class? – Keeping in mind hospital classes focus more on medical pain management options and independent classes tend to focus more on natural pain management options.
- What is my instructor’s background? – Is your instructor familiar with only one type of birth or do they have a broad background of experiences?
What types of classes are offered?
There are multiple childbirth education courses available including, but not limited to:
Many hospital-based courses center around the Lamaze method of childbirth education. At Sun State Doulas, we offer GentleBirth childbirth education. This is offered as both a group or a private class.
Lisa Dowling is Florida’s only Gentlebirth instructor. She teaches classes throughout our service area.
Lisa offers a unique perspective to childbirth education that include both the medical and holistic side of birth, pain management, and comfort techniques. Her warm, caring demeanor, extensive expertise, and vast knowledge makes her a great candidate for guiding you and your family on the path of learning more about the birth of your child.
In conclusion, attending a childbirth education course offers many benefits for the birthing individual and the partner. When deciding which type of class is best for you, remember to decide based on your needs, wants, and desires. When it comes to preparing for birth, there is no right way, only what is best for you.