Childbirth Education at Mount Auburn Hospital

Cambridge, Massachusetts



Childbirth Education Class Descriptions

For new parents:

Prepared Childbirth:
This comprehensive course makes learning about pregnancy, labor, birth and the postpartum experience interesting, informative and fun! Using hands on learning, 3-D animation, videos, posters and other visual aids your instructor will review physical changes in pregnancy, warning signs and preterm labor, and labor progression and positioning.  We will discuss comfort measures and natural techniques for coping with pain as well as the role of the support person.  Your instructor will explain induction, augmentation and decision-making in labor, including discussion about your pain medication and epidural options and cesarean birth. This class will also delve into post-delivery routine for mom and newborn, as well as postpartum changes and emotions. This course is taught by Certified Childbirth Educators. A guided tour of our labor and delivery unit, maternity floor and newborn nursery is included.

Having Your Baby Your Way Series (formerly Prepared Childbirth Series):
Knowledge is power.  This three-week course will give you the knowledge you want to approach labor with confidence.  It will give you the information you need to partner with your physician or midwife so that, together, you can make the choices that are right for you and your baby.  

Topics include an overview of normal labor and birth, what happens if labor doesn’t go quite as planned, available interventions, medications, anesthesia, cesarean birth, and the immediate newborn and early postpartum period.  You’ll be introduced to relaxation, breathing, positioning, and pushing techniques.  And you’ll have time to get your questions answered.  A tour of the Bain Birthing Suite and Postpartum Floor is included. 


Natural Childbirth (formerly Preparing for Childbirth with a Midwife):
This interactive course will cover a variety of methods to help you achieve a natural childbirth incorporating hands on learning, yogic-like mat work and stretching, videos and visual aids. This course is designed for expecting parents who are hoping to avoid or delay the use of pain medications in labor and delivery.  You will learn to reduce fear, tension, and pain to allow the body to work as nature intended and we will incorporate methods from Bradley® and Lamaze® particular to breathing techniques, movements and postures for natural childbirth.   We'll have time to discuss the physiology of pregnancy and labor as well yogic breathing techniques and coping mechanisms to reduce stress and help the uterus work more effectively.  We’ll cover basic labor massage, counter pressure, and positioning, and there will be a short section covering interventions available to you, should they become medically necessary. This course is taught by Certified Childbirth Educators.  A guided tour of our labor and delivery unit, maternity floor and newborn nursery is included.

For new AND experienced parents:

We offer this two hour class on the practice of breastfeeding for women who plan to breastfeed, as well as those who have not yet decided. Through discussion, video and slide presentations, you will gain a clear understanding of the joys, trials and techniques of breastfeeding. Additional topics include going back to work and pumping/storing of breast milk. Equipment necessary: Baby doll or stuffed animal for positioning and practice during class. The class is led by a Board Certified Lactation Consultant.

Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC):
The latest statistics suggest that approximately one-third of women in the United States give birth abdominally, that is, by cesarean section.  The old adage, “Once a cesarean, always a cesarean,” is no longer true.  For some women, a repeat cesarean birth is the right choice medically or personally; others prefer to avoid surgery, if possible.

Most women who have had a cesarean birth can safely have a trial of labor.  And most of the women who do can look forward to a vaginal birth.  Last year at Mount Auburn Hospital, 73% of women who had a trial of labor after a prior cesarean were able to give birth vaginally.   

Preparing for labor after a cesarean birth is a journey a woman makes with her partner and midwife or physician.  Deciding whether VBAC is right for you is just the first step.  Learning about labor after cesarean birth and preparing for it emotionally as well as physically are all part of the journey.  Our VBAC class is designed to help you on your way.


HypnoBirthing® - The Mongan Method (affiliated with the HypnoBirthing Institute):
HypnoBirthing® is both a birthing philosophy and a technique for achieving a safer, gentler and more comfortable birth. In the five - 2.5 hour sessions, you and your birth companion will learn self hypnosis and relaxation techniques of HypnoBirthing® which will help you achieve a natural childbirth. Relaxation, visualization, slow breathing and progressive deepening/self hypnosis techniques are included as well as plenty of time for individual practice. The classes are taught by a Certified HypnoBirthing® Practitioner.

Happiest Baby and Infant Care Essentials:

New babies are such a blessing but they can also bring with them sleepless nights, crying, and sometimes quite a bit of extra stress.  In our Happiest Baby class, new and expectant parents will learn step-by-step how to help their newborn sleep better and how to soothe the fussiest baby in minutes…even seconds!  Our class is based on the highly effective techniques pioneered by Dr. Harvey Karp in his best-selling book, The Happiest Baby on the Block.  Topics include the calming reflex, Dr. Karp’s “five S’s”, colic, and ways of recognizing and responding to your baby’s moods.  (Yes, we all have them, even newborns.)  When you attend this class, you will receive a DVD valued at $25.  

In addition to learning how to make sure your baby is one of the happiest ones on the block, in the Infant Care Essentials portion of the class your instructor will teach you about newborn characteristics, diapering, bathing, umbilical cord care, hygiene for girls and circumcised and uncircumcised boys, sleep safety, infant milestones, use of the suction bulb, temperature-taking, and recognizing signs of illness.  Our goal is to help you take your little one home feeling confident in your ability as a new parent.   

This class is taught by a Certified Happiest Baby instructor and childbirth educator. 


Sibling Class
The arrival of a new brother or sister can be both exciting and confusing for little children. The sibling class helps prepare your child for the many changes a baby can bring to your household. Parents will also learn ways to help their children adjust to the new arrival. Children will have the opportunity to practice baby care and to visit newborns in the nursery. Children must be accompanied by an adult and must be at least 2 1/2 years old.  This class is taught by a Certified Childbirth Educator.  A guided tour of our labor and delivery unit, maternity floor and newborn nursery is included.


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