Childbirth education classes help expectant parents learn what happens during labor and birth and how to prepare for it. These classes often meet over the course of a few weeks or months. Some practices may have childbirth education classes specific to their practice. Others may suggest that you attend classes offered by the hospital where you plan to deliver your baby.
Some childbirth education classes help women create a birth plan. This is a written document in which you express your preferences about labor and delivery. Topics covered include where you want to deliver, who your support people will be, and the pain medications or anesthesia you may desire. If you do create a birth plan, be sure to share and discuss it with your doctor in advance of your delivery.