Apart from decorating the nursery and getting all of your workplace ducks in a row before going on maternity leave, many moms-to-be take a birthing class, too. But if you can't leave the house to practice your breathing in the same airspace as a bunch of other preggos, that doesn’t mean that you’re doomed to a dismal delivery. There's a free online Lamaze class on Lamaze.org that can safely prep you for childbirth from your living room (in fact, there are several).
“Taking a class is definitely something that can, and should, be done online at this time,” OB/GYN Dr. Renee Wellenstein M.D. tells Romper. “By taking the class in the comfort of your own home, it also decreases the risk of exposure to you as well as other pregnant women.”
Currently, Lamaze.org offers nine online classes and they’re all free of charge. In the "Labor Confidence with Lamaze" class, you’ll learn six separate techniques that are designed to not just offer comfort while those contractions make you cross-eyed, but also help reduce pain during your delivery, too. The class goes into detail about what you can expect during the early stages of labor, and learning how to breathe through active labor.
And if you’re curious about what’s to come during your nine months and beyond, you can always opt in for some (or all) of the other online classes. Lamaze offers instruction in "Safe and Healthy Birth: Six Simple Steps", "Labor Pain Management", and (woohoo) "Sex During Pregnancy and Beyond," among others. Once baby arrives, you might want to drop in on the "Breastfeeding Basics: From Birth to Back to Work" class, or for couples, the "Parenting Together: Starting Off Strong" class.
Classes can be accessed from any device (think smartphone, tablet, or your computer). In case you need to go back to a class for a refresher, you’ll get access to them for one year. And once you’ve completed a session, you can take quizzes to truly test your knowledge. “Knowing what is to come in the birthing process, especially for first time parents, is vital!” says Dr. Wellenstein. “Understanding the overall process and the potential complications that may occur is helpful so it isn’t a shock during the actual birthing process.”
So if you’d like to learn more about labor and delivery, Lamaze’s online classes are a great way to stay informed, learn new techniques, all while protecting your (and your baby’s) health and well-being.
Dr. Renee Wellenstein, M.D., an OB/GYN