This series is great for first-time parents planning to deliver at Yale-New Haven Hospital (though couples delivering elsewhere are also welcome). This series is highly recommended by many local midwives and obstetricians for its empowering approach to childbirth in the hospital setting. Birth is a natural, manageable, family-centered event that progresses best with love, support, and knowledge. Our goal is to help each family become wise healthcare consumers and to partner with their OB providers for a safe birth using as few interventions as possible. Although the class strives to educate patients and their partners toward natural childbirth (i.e., unmedicated, intervention-free), classes are for prepared childbirth, not just natural childbirth. The classes use a multidisciplinary approach, pulling information from resources such as Dr. Robert Bradley (of the Bradley method), the Lamaze Institute for Normal Birth, educator/doula Penny Simkin, and midwife Ina May Gaskin (Louise recommends books by the last two women if you're searching for any supplemental education).
We suggest you sign up for a course that will start sometime after your 26th week and ends before your 37th week of pregnancy. Classes meet in person and are limited to 10 couples each. In-person tours are not permitted at YNHH at this time. However, you can sign up for an online tour with the hospital here: ynhh.org/events.
Physiology and changes in pregnancy
Normal progression of labor and birth
Relaxation and breathing techniques
Coping methods for labor and birth such as hydrotherapy, music, mental focus, and comforting positions
Analgesia and anesthesia options such as nitrous oxide and epidurals
Benefits and risks of medical interventions
The partner's role during labor and birth
Newborn care at the hospital (please note, this only covers what happens to your baby after delivery during your hospital stay; check out our Early Parenting class for broader infant care).
Instructors: Louise Ward (primary); Asha Evans, or Ashley Minihan (back-up)
Upcoming Dates: Classes are in person and limited to 10 couples each. Thursdays from 6:30 pm to ~9:15 pm-
March 17 - April 7, 2022
April 21 - May 12, 2022
May 26 - June 16, 2022
June 30 - July 21, 2022
August 11 - September 1, 2022
Cost: $200 (per couple) Price may be modified if it causes a hardship. Cash, check, or credit card accepted.
Full payment at the time of registration is appreciated but not required. Effective June 1, 2022, there will be a $10 non-refundable registration fee due in advance for this course. This amount will be deducted from the final class fee when the balance is due.
Please note, this series is not included as part of the doula package with Empowered Beginnings. Please refer to the 2-day Childbirth class with Ashley.