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What is Childbirth Education?

Posted on February 28th, 2013 by | 15 views

What is a Childbirth Educator?

Childbirth educators teach expectant parents how to prepare for labor,birth, and thepostpartum period. They teach techniques to help with relaxation and pain in labor, methods to use throughout the childbirth process, as well as information on late pregnancy, labor, breastfeeding, postpartum, and newborn care. 

There are many different types of Childbirth Educators and class options. Below are just a few.


One of the unique factors of this method of childbirth is its focus on both the emotional as well as physical aspects of the birthing woman. Birth Works takes into account that a woman’s emotions and beliefs around birth have a huge effect on birth’s outcome, and that any issues must be addressed prior to the birthing time. The method incorporates preparation of body, mind, and spirit in a way that helps the mother to gain a higher trust in herself and her innate ability to give birth. Other areas of focus includenutrition,exercise,birth plans, breastfeeding, andpostpartumissues, as well as traditional topics such as components of labor, pelvic body work, labor positions, comfort measures for labor, etc..

BirthWorks International
P.O. Box 2045
Medford, NJ 08055
1-888-TO-BIRTH (888-862-4784)


The Bradley Method

Also known as Husband Coached Childbirth, the Bradley Method is based on information about how the human body works during labor, and it emphasizes the husband’s role for support of the birthing mother. Couples are taught how they can work with their bodies to reduce pain and make their labors more efficient, as well as methods to use to avoid medication, natural breathing, and guided imagery. There is a strong emphasis on pre-natalnutritionthroughout the class.

American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth 
Box 5224 
Sherman Oaks, CA 91413-5224
1-800-4-A-BIRTH | (818) 788-6662



This is one of the most well-known and widely used methods. It teaches the laboring mother to birth with confidence using several different techniques, including movement and positioning, labor support,massage, relaxation, hydrotherapy, the use of hot and cold, as well as incorporating focused breathing techniques to ease through labor.

Lamaze Administrative Office
2025 M Street, NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20036-3309
1-800-368-4404 | (202) 367-1128
Fax: 202-367-2128


Birthing from Within

This form of holistic childbirth education utilizes multi-sensory processes such as birth art, role-play, games, mindfulness practices and journaling to approach any fears, emotions or concerns surrounding labor and birth. It focuses on experiencing birth as a rite of passage, opening the body-mind connection before and during labor and birth using self-hypnosis and visualization, and on building a pain-coping mindset to prepare both the mother and her partner for the intensity and/or pain of birth. Preparing to birth in-awareness during any birthing situation or unexpected event is the hallmark of this unique approach.

Birthing from Within
PO Box 60259
Santa Barbara, CA 93160


International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA)

This group lives by the philosophy "the freedom of choice based on knowledge of alternatives in family-centered maternity and newborn care." They educate about all options in childbirth, help prepare for labor, birth, and parenthood, encourage individualized care with minimal medical intervention, and promote the development of safe, low-cost alternatives inchildbirth. They emphasize the importance of birth as an event that forms new relationships and connections within the family. Other specialists certified by ICEA include postnatal educators and perinatalfitnesseducators.

1500 Sunday Drive, Suite 102
Raleigh, NC 27607
1-800-624-4934 | (919) 863-9487 


Hypnosis for Childbirth

Hypnotherapyhas become an increasingly popular method of managing fear, anxiety, and pain in labor. This method of preparation for childbirth focuses on mental and physical relaxation during labor. It is based on the notion that increased tension leads to increased pain, and by practicing to decrease tension in the body, the sense of pain can be controlled or diminished. Hypnosis can also work with fears and emotions stemming from previous birth experiences. Some methods incorporate other areas of focus including breathing, visualization,nutrition, and perinealmassage.

Below are some of the more popular forms of hypnosis used in childbirth.

5640 E. Bell Rd. #1073
Scottsdale, AZ 85254


7108 Katella Avenue #241
Stanton, CA 90680
1-714-952-BABY (2229)


The Leclaire Method
The Mind Body Center
Attn: Michelle Leclaire O'Neill, Ph.D., R.N.
855 Via de la Paz, Suite 1
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272


Finding Childbirth Classes

To find childbirth classes near you, visit our Childbirth Educators Directory or browse through our Calendar to find a class or workshop.

Best of luck to you in your and your baby's birth!

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