Childbirth Education Classes online and in-person
Birthing Class

Childbirth Education Classes

Give birth with confidence

Curious about how your body changes before labor starts?

Want to know more about what to expect physically and emotionally during labor?

Planning to go with the flow and open to an epidural? Would you feel more confident knowing when is the best time to get an epidural or how to avoid one?

Hoping for a no or low intervention, natural birth?

Want to know what you can do to help decrease your chances of having a cesarean?

You can do this. We can help.

Not knowing what is happening in our own bodies is stressful for many people and can lead to tension and fear. Knowledge, therefore is a powerful tool in helping to eliminate or reduce fear and make for an easier, more relaxed birthing experience.

Our classes are designed to help you prepare your body and mind for birth and early postpartum. We help clarify misconceptions and misinformation about the labor process. We discuss your options from an evidence-backed perspective. We practice coping techniques and give tips for partners. We encourage you to move through your birth experience feeling informed and empowered, confidently able to make choices that suit your unique physical, emotional, and philosophical needs, and to have their your best birth possible.

Our goal is that you will be able to recognize where you are in labor, understand what you are experiencing in your body, feel confident in your abilities, and be able to relax more easily into the birth process.

"Your classes helped us as a couple to feel prepared and excited for birth. We understood how to labor at home for as long as we wanted and knew when to go to the hospital. The different positions, massage, and pressure points we practiced helped labor progress and were so helpful in relieving pressure/pain during active labor. The class helped us decide what options and choices were important to us and what we wanted for our son's birth. I can't imagine doing it without you!" - Natalie & Toni
 
The Works
This 6.5 hour class is taught by certified ICEA childbirth educator, Teri Nava-Anderson, and the HDG team. It draws from some of the best childbirth modalities and relaxation strategies, from mindfulness to self-hypnosis, to help you find the strategies that will work best for your individual needs.

The group class can be taken as a one-day workshop or divided into several sessions, or offered as a private class to suite your schedule.

What you will learn:

Part 1 (2.5 hours) - 10am-12:30pm

  • How to prepare your body for birth
  • What to expect physically and emotionally from labor
  • How to identify the stages of labor without ever touching your cervix
  • Common labor pattern variations, including "back labor"
  • Body balancing exercise techniques to help make space for baby, get them lined up well, and reduce chance of pelvic floor and tissue damage

Part 2 (2 hours) - 1:30-3:30pm

  • Fostering communication with your medical care providers
  • Augmentations and medical interventions at homebirths, birth centers, and hospital
  • Strategies for reducing the chance of a cesarean
  • Strategies to optimize your postpartum physical and emotional recovery
  • Acupressure for pregnancy, labor, and delivery

Part 3 (2 hours) - 3:45-5:15pm

  • Pain management strategies
  • Comfort measures and coping skills
  • Optimizing your relaxation skills
  • Effective partner communication
  • Relaxation exercise or personalized guided meditation

When: 1st Saturday of every month
from 10am-5:15pm, with a one-hour lunch break

Where: Our Mountain House office or online

Fee: $300 in-person or $175 online

The Basics
This 3-hour class is taught by Bradley Birth-certified instructor, Susan Jessee. It is best for anyone who wants a refresher or prefers a condensed class in a group setting.

The group class is taught in-person at the Homestead Birth Center in Modesto and online.

This class covers essential information on labor and delivery, labor, medical procedures, cesarean birth, and immediate newborn and postpartum care.

You will also discuss how the pregnant person and their support person can prepare for labor by practicing many different labor skills with the partner’s support.

This class also helps you to understand what pain is, what it's telling you, and ways to help manage it during labor.

Fee: $125 per belly which includes a workbook, app, videos and additional handouts.



Bradley Method Childbirth Education Series
This 30-hour class is taught by Bradley Birth-certified instructor, Susan Jessee. It is for anyone wanting an extended, comprehensive class for the year surrounding birth (7-10 weeks, 3 hrs each session).

The group class is taught in private homes on the schedule of the host, as well as virtually online.

The Bradley Childbirth classes are designed to educate you and your partner about what is happening with your body and baby during pregnancy and delivery.

It teaches you how to work with your body through relaxation and positioning so that you can work toward your goal of natural childbirth.

During the series we will discuss exercise, nutrition, pregnancy, labor, birth, breastfeeding, postpartum, newborn care, and more.

Fee: $500.


Lamaze Education Series
This 12.5-hour class is taught by Lamaze-certified instructor, Amber Wells. It is for anyone wanting an extended, comprehensive class (5 sessions, 2.5 hours each).

The group class is taught online only.

What you will learn:
  • How to stay comfortable in late pregnancy
  • How to prepare for labor and birth
  • Ways to bond with your partner before, during, and after the birth of your baby
  • Choosing your care provider
  • Writing birth preferences (birth plan)
  • What is happening in your body during labor - physically, hormonally and emotionally - and how to use it all to your advantage
  • Best positions for labor and birth
  • How your partner can support you during labor and birth
  • Coping strategies for labor
  • How to communicate with your care provider, your partner and your birth team
  • Tools for making the best decisions for you and your baby
  • Common interventions and how to decide if they are right for you
  • How to feed your baby
  • What to expect in the first days and weeks after birth - physically, emotionally, mentally
  • Basics of newborn care

    Fee: $250



VBAC Preparation Class
This 2-hour private session is taught by trauma-informed care specialist, Teri Nava-Anderson. This session can be done in-person or online.

The VBAC Preparation Session is designed to talk through your previous birth experience, to help you feel prepared and release stress, and to strategize realistic options to help you have a safe, empowering experience this time around.

Fee: $75 per 2-hour session


 
Breastfeeding & Chestfeeding Class

Lactation Classes: Breastfeeding & Chestfeeding

Don't wait until the baby comes to figure it all out
Make making milk your superpower

What you will learn in this 2-hr class:
  • Benefits of lactation for both you and your baby
  • Anatomy and physiology of making human milk
  • The amazing composition of human milk
  • How to get your milk to let down
  • Perfecting your baby's latch for an easier, more comfortable, and more efficient feed
  • The many ways you can position your baby
  • How to hand express your milk quickly and easily
  • How to get the most out of your pump, if you plan to pump
  • How often baby's feed and all their many cues
  • The normal infant physical, neurological, and behavioral developments in the first month
  • How to troubleshoot some common lactation and latch challenges
  • How and when to get help
  • ...all sprinkled with lots of parenting tips to help you ease into new parenthood with confidence
"I loved how this was a small class, so it wasn't intimidating to ask personalized questions about my own body. We enjoyed the information provided. It helped us to really feel prepared, ready, and excited for our baby to arrive." – Christina

When: 1st Saturday of every month
from 5:30-7:30pm

Where: Our Mountain House office and virtually online

Fee: $75

 

FAQs

Click the links below to view the FAQ answers
 
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When should I start taking classes?

Because some of the relaxation techniques we teach you work best when practiced with regularity over many weeks, we suggest that you start the class between 20-24 weeks, and complete it during or before your 36th week (although late comers can still benefit!).


Is the information covered the same as a hospital class?

Our birthing classes are very comprehensive and cover all the information your need to feel prepared for labor and the early days with your baby. The benefit of our classes is that the information can be tailored to what YOU want to know.


What are the benefits of private versus group classes?

Private childbirth classes allow you to work around your schedule to make it more convenient. The focus is on providing information that is relevant to you and you situation. Private classes also allow you the comfort to ask any questions you may have without feeling embarrassed with other people around.


How do I become familiar with my hospital if I don’t take the hospital class?

We are very familiar with the standard protocols at all the area hospitals and can discuss what you need to know at your specific place of birth. Many hospitals have in-person or virtual tours that can you take as well.


Will we be watching graphic videos?

No, although there is some nudity in some of the videos we show. Many people feel uncomfortable watching birth videos because there is no emotion attached to that experience. While have made an effort to include videos that emote those feelings, it still feels quite different when you are in the moment and welcoming your baby.


How are partners involved in the class?

Partners are a very important part of our classes. We focus on getting both expectant parents on the same page by facilitating conversations between the two of you. We also love to practice the tools and techniques with you both so we can build a comfort level with these techniques.


Why take a class and not just read about the information?

There is so much information out there that it can sometimes be overwhelming as well as conflicting. Our goal is not to only give you information, but to help you discover and cultivate internal resources already within you that will help you meet the challenges birth and parenthood can bring.

No matter what type of birth you're planning - or if you don't have a plan at all - our classes are a time for you to ask questions, explore your feelings around birth and parenting, and prepare to meet your little one.

Also, being in a group class helps to create a community of people who are going through the same experience you are. You can't get that from a book.


Service Area

Community Birth Centers

  • Homestead Natural Birth Center (Modesto)
  • Pacifica Family Maternity Center (Oakland)
  • Nightingale Birth Center (San Mateo)
  • Welcome Home Community Birth Center (South Sacramento)
  • Sierra Natural Birth Center (Sonora)

We acknowledge that we live and work on the traditional lands of the Tammukan and Yokut people.

Home Births

  • San Francisco East Bay Alameda County (Oakland, Alameda, Fremont, Hayward, San Leandro, Castro Valley)
  • Tri-Valley (Livermore, Dublin, Pleasanton, San Ramon, Daville, Alamo)
  • Diablo Valley Contra Costa County (Walnut Creek, Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga, Concord)
  • Delta Valley (Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley, Bethel Island, Byron, Mountain House, Discovery Bay)
  • San Joaquin County (Tracy, Lathrop, Manteca, Ripon, French Camp, Stockton, Lodi, Linden, Farmington, Escalon)
  • Western Stanislaus County (Modesto Metro area, Salida, Oakdale, Patterson)
  • Sacramento County (Galt, Isleton, Walnut Grove, Rio Vista, Elk Grove, South Sacramento)
  • and all points inbetween!

Hospitals

  • Stanford Valley Care (Pleasanton)
  • John Muir Medical Center (Walnut Creek)
  • Kaiser Medical Center (San Leandro, Walnut Creek, Oakland, Antioch, Modesto, South Sacramento)
  • Sutter Health Memorial Medical Center (Modesto)
  • Sutter Tracy Community Hospital (Tracy)
  • Sutter Delta Medical Center (Antioch)
  • Doctors Medical Center (Manteca, Modesto)
  • Eden Medical Center (Castro Valley)
  • Highland (Oakland)
  • Alta Bates (Berkeley)
  • Mt. Rose Hospital (Hayward)
  • Washington Hospital (Fremont)
  • San Ramon Regional (San Ramon)
  • San Joaquin General (French Camp)
  • Adventist Health Lodi Memorial (Lodi)
  • Contra Costa Regional Medical Center (Martinez)
  • St. Joseph's Hospital (Stockton)