Are you pregnant and looking for a way to prepare for labor and delivery? Are you interested in Lamaze classes, but don’t want to leave home or spend a lot of money? If so, online Lamaze classes may be the perfect solution for you. Online Lamaze classes offer the flexibility to learn at your own pace and from the comfort of your own home. You can also find classes that are specific to your due date or stage of pregnancy. Plus, many online Lamaze classes are offered at a fraction of the cost of traditional childbirth education classes. There may also be some alternatives to Lamaze class you haven’t considered.
But first, how do I know all of this?
Hi — I’m Hilary — The Pregnancy Nurse 👩⚕️. I have been a nurse since 1997 and I have 20 years of OB nursing experience, I am also the curly head behind Pulling Curls and The Online Prenatal Class for Couples. 🩺 I taught prenatal classes for my hospital, I have attended MANY different types of birth and Lamaze classes, as well as seeing how thousands of patients cope during their labors (some using specific tools, like Lamaze). So, I’d say I’m a good expert to share about Lamaze.
What’s in This Article (click on an area to jump ahead)
As a note, I believe Lamaze is a trademarked term (although I can’t see an R or a TM anywhere on their website). I want to make it clear that I am NOT affiliated with Lamaze, nor am I Lamaze childbirth educator. If you are looking for a Lamaze-Specific class, you will want someone who has those qualifications. Learn more about Lamaze here.
What is Lamaze
For me, Lamaze is the childbirth classes our moms took.
Women were ready to start taking back the “power” in childbirth, but chose to mostly do it through natural pain management methods.
Lamaze is a childbirth education method that focuses on natural childbirth and pain management. Lamaze classes teach techniques such as deep breathing, relaxation, massage, and positions for labor and delivery. The goal of Lamaze is to help you have a positive and empowering birth experience.
If, during prenatal classes, you envision you and your partner on a mat with some pillows, that is likely a Lamaze class.
Remember, while Lamaze has become a “popular term” (like Kleenex®) — people who use the actual name Lamaze would be paying in to be a part of that brand. That means these classes follow a particular method of teaching/learning. Also, the instructor has likely been to specific training.
When was Lamaze popular?
The Lamaze method was developed in the 1940s and 1950s by French OB/GYN Dr. Ferdinand Lamaze. It became popular in the United States in the 1960s as more women began to seek alternatives to traditional hospital births.
Historically, they seemed to be most popular and very mainstream in the 80’s into the 90’s. Lamaze also came out with a series of baby toys around that time period and became a “brand” in the baby industry.
During the 90’s, Lamaze and Bradley were the two main childbirth education “brands”. There were also some hospital classes that often used parts of both to make their own classes.
Bradley has seemed to fall out of fashion. I had a lot of friends who ended up feeling very guilty for the choices they made in labor after a Bradley class, which is a shame.
The Online Prenatal Class for Couples represents an alternative to Lamaze that provides both education about your hospital experience as well as pain management methods.
What Lamaze is Not
While every class is different, Lamaze itself is mostly about breathing, movement, and relaxation and some basic education about what happens to your body during delivery.
There isn’t a whole lot about what to expect at the hospital, hospital interventions, or how your partner can be involved to help you beyond just helping you breathe and supporting you in positions.
What are the benefits of taking Lamaze classes?
There are many benefits to taking Lamaze classes, including:
– Learning techniques to manage pain during labor and delivery
– Gaining confidence in your ability to give birth
– Connecting with other expectant parents
– Reducing the need for medical interventions, such as epidurals
– Shortening the length of labor
– Decreasing the risk of complications during labor and delivery
Which is better Online or In Person Lamaze Classes?
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing between online and in-person Lamaze classes. It’s important to find a class that fits your schedule, budget, and learning style. If you’re looking for a more flexible option, consider an online Lamaze class. If you want the opportunity to meet other parents and learn in a hands-on environment, an in-person Lamaze class may be a better option for you.
Honestly, in person Lamaze classes have always been the “gold standard” as people really enjoyed making friendships with the teacher/coach and the other parents in the class.
However, as the rise of social media and online relationships, online Lamaze classes have many HUGE benefits including:
- Doing it on your own timeline (this is HUGE — especially for busy partners)
- Being able to re-watch anything you’d like
- Being able to compare and contrast different qualities in teachers prior to joining a class
- Making online friendships that can also be supportive
Some online Lamaze classes are taught “live” on specific nights (and may or may not be recorded), but more popular are on demand classes which allow for much more flexibility (and most platforms have a way to ask teachers questions during the classes as well.
What can I expect from online Lamaze classes?
Online Lamaze classes are typically self-paced and allow you to learn at your own pace. Many classes are offered in an audio or video format, so you can listen or watch the lessons whenever it’s convenient for you. Some online Lamaze classes also offer printable materials, such as handouts and worksheets.
Prioritize what is most important for you:
- If classes are live or on demand
- Ability to ask questions
- Facebook/support groups
- Additional materials such as reading, outside resources etc
- Printable materials or workbooks
Often, classes that have more of these are more expensive, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll use all those items that increase the cost.
What is the cost of online Lamaze classes?
The cost of online Lamaze classes varies depending on the provider. Some companies offer free Lamaze classes, while others charge a fee. Online Lamaze classes typically cost between $75 and $350.
Prices of classes vary due to:
- What is offered in the class
- How long the classes are
- If classes are “live” or on demand
- Additional offerings like support groups, printables or workbooks
- Experience of the educator
- Ease of access to online learning (good platforms tend to cost a bit more)
How do I choose the right online Lamaze class for me?
When choosing an online Lamaze class, it’s important to consider your learning style and schedule. Some classes are self-paced, while others follow a set schedule. If you’re a busy parent, look for a class that offers more flexibility. It’s also important to make sure the class is offered by a reputable source. Read reviews from other parents.
Many classes offer a free “taste-test” where you can see if that teacher offers something that is of interest to you (as each teacher has their own teaching style). I strongly recommend you look into those before you pick a class. Some classes also offer a guarantee in case you get into the class and realize it’s not right for you (but checking out any free offerings they have first can save you some time and money).
If you are looking for specifically a Lamaze class (it is it’s own brand) — look for classes that are accredited by the Lamaze International Organization. The teacher should also state that she is a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator.
Alternatives to Lamaze Classes
While Lamaze is great, I think we have taken a turn from what our moms expected from their birth, vs what we expect from our own today in the 21st century.
As childbirth education grew, the types of classes grew.
Most people think that prenatal classes are more hospital-based, and likely cover more possible interventions (including cesarean birth) and possible hospital pain mangement.
These types of classes become more popular as hospitals started offering them, with their nurses teaching them. The nurses were extremely knowledgeable about what would happen at birth, because they had seen it many times in the hospital, and knew how to assist all types and varieties of patients.
If you have any interest at all to know about…
- What will happen in the hospital
- Possible complications & interventions
- Medical pain mangement options
- Respectful communication among your healthcare team
This is the type of class for you.
The Online Prenatal Class for Couples covers all of these, and is sought after as one of the most engaging classes for couples to prepare them for their confident birth.
I love what Jeff + Christie had to say:
“This class was absolutely perfect! We wanted something that kept things lighthearted, while preparing us as much as possible for the birth of our daughter! The content was succinct and extremely helpful and the couples questions were great!”
The Online Prenatal Class for Couples also has a bonus video that goes over breathing and relaxation techniques very similar to Lamaze’s to help you cope with the pain. And many moms have found this to be enough to get through labor, and even an induction.
If you are only looking for pain management, I actually recommend…
While Lamaze uses breathing, hypnobirthing uses more of focused self-hypnosis to help you cope with the pain.
I recommend actual Hypnobabies, and have had a LOT of patients who had success with this method.
I actually have a deal when you purchase Hypnobabies and The Online Prenatal Class for Couples together (as Hypnobabies doesn’t talk much about the actual labor, I think they’re a great compliment to each other). You can learn more about it here.
The main caveat is that it can take a few weeks to get trained in this method, so if you are due soon (and haven’t done this type of thing before) it may not be the best option for you.
Non-Branded “Natural Labor Class”
Note: I don’t like the term “natural labor” while everything about labor is natural, it doesn’t always seem natural and term has a lot of connotations about one way being better than another. Which isn’t true at all.
But, it’s the term most educators use — so I’ll go with the flow….
Because of the more restrictive nature of Lamaze classes, many other types of “natural birth” classes have cropped up:
A few that I have heard good things about are:
- Mama Natural Birth — this one is geared more torwards home or birth center birth
- Kopa Birth — this one is for “natural hospital birth”
So, if you’re looking for something a little more updated than Lamaze, those might be a good option.
While Lamaze is not my favorite class platform, I am grateful for the empowerment that they have been giving women for all these years. Please do get a prenatal class, or a birth class — or whatever you want to call it.
Personally, I think mine is the best one out there, but I know there are a LOT of good classes, and I hope you find the right one for you.
But, if The Online Prenatal Class seems to be a good fit. Use coupon code PREGNUSRE to save 10%
And, if you’re not quite sure you’re ready for that full thing, check out my free prenatal class. It’s your first step toward becoming your own birth boss.
- About the Author
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A nurse since 1997, she has worked in various fields including pediatrics, geriatrics & hospice.
She has 20 years of labor and delivery experience in the San Jose, CA and Phoenix, AZ areas.