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Childbirth & Parenting Classes

Virginia Mason Franciscan Health is committed to building healthier communities, which includes supporting your growing family. We offer a variety of classes to help you learn what to expect before, during and after childbirth. You get answers to common questions and start building parenting skills before your little one’s arrival.  

The more informed you are, the better prepared you’ll be. And being prepared increases the chances of having the birth experience you’ve hoped for. It also makes the newborn period a little less stressful.

Childbirth and parenting classes: Why choose us?

Expecting parents have been relying on our prenatal classes for decades. They provide helpful insights and encouragement that make welcoming your baby a more enjoyable experience.

Highlights of our childbirth and parenting classes include:

  • Experienced educators: Experienced childbirth educators and doulas teach our classes. They create friendly learning environments where all participants feel welcome. Our inclusive approach involves answering all your questions. No topic is off-limits.
  • Convenience: We offer childbirth classes in various formats, making it easier to learn on your terms. Many options are available both in-person and online. You can also pay for private classes.
  • Additional resources: Prenatal classes are one of the many ways we support the families we care for. We offer additional resources, including pregnancy support groups and supplemental nutrition programs. Explore childbirth family education and resources.

More information about our childbirth and parenting classes

Registration is required to attend classes. Some courses are available at no charge. There is a modest fee for others. Depending on your insurance, family education may be included in your maternity coverage. This means you pay little or no out-of-pocket costs.

Register now

You can register for classes:

Classes we offer

Course topics are subject to change but typically include: 

  • Breastfeeding preparation: We teach you how to prepare for breastfeeding. Learn about feeding cues, achieving a deep latch, maintaining milk supply and more.
  • C-section birth preparation: Find out the details of medically necessary C-sections. Topics include why a C-section may be appropriate, preparing for surgery and more.
  • Childbirth preparation: You and your partner learn about stages of labor, medication options, pain relief techniques, newborn care and more.
  • Infant and child safety: We explain how to keep your baby safe at home, in your car and out in public. The class also covers what to do in case of an emergency.
  • Midwifery Birth Center orientation: This class is for women delivering at the Midwifery Birth Center at St. Joseph Medical Center. It includes information about labor, pain management options, postpartum care and a virtual tour.
  • Newborn preparation: Learn how to comfort and care for your newborn. Topics include skin-to-skin contact, sleeping, diapering, bathing and safety.
  • Water birth basics: Learn about the risks and benefits of delivering your baby in our specially designed tub. Water births are available to patients whose providers determine it is safe and appropriate.

Schedule an appointment

Find out more about our pregnancy and childbirth services or make an appointment.