What information do you need from me to sign up? Please fill out a Class Registration form to sign up for a class. This is a registration request only, and we will confirm your spot by email within 48 hours.
When and how do I pay for the class? Payment is appreciated at the time of registration, but is not due in full until the start of class. We accept cash, check, or credit card. Beginning June 1, 2022, a $10 non-refundable deposit per class will be required at the time of registration. This amount will be deducted from the price of the class when the full payment is due. For example, if you sign up for a 2-day childbirth class ($120) and a breastfeeding class ($50), $20 will be due at the time of registration, and a balance of $110 will be due for the childbirth class and $40 will be due for the breastfeeding class.
Do you take insurance or HSA as payment? We are unable to receive payment directly from insurance companies or your HSA. However, you may be able to submit the cost of this class to your insurance company for reimbursement. Please check to see if your employer or health insurance policy covers childbirth education. If they do, we will gladly provide you with a receipt, certificate of completion, or any other documentation to submit to them.
May I bring an extra support person with me to class? In most cases, yes. Additional support persons other than partners (e.g. family members that will be assisting you with the baby) are welcome in the classroom at no additional charge if there is space. If you and your partner would like to bring an extra person with you to class, there must be less than 10 couples registered. Please contact us the night before class so that we can let you know if someone can join you. If it is important that additional family members join you in class, they are welcome to register and pay separately to guarantee their spot. My partner is unable to attend the class with me. Can I pay half the fee since it will only be me? The same class fee applies regardless of party size. In other words, it is the same price whether it's just you, you and your partner, or you, your partner, and an extra support person. If you find the classes cost prohibitive, please contact us and we may be able to make other arrangements.
Do I have to take the Childbirth class before taking other classes? Not at all, do what works for your schedule. For example, it is okay to take the Breastfeeding or Parenting class before the Childbirth series.
What is your cancellation policy? If something comes up and you are unable to come to a class or series, just let us know as soon as you can so that we may open the spot for someone else. There is no cancellation fee. If you have prepaid for the class, it will be reimbursed in full minus the PayPal fees (typically less than $5). Effective June 1, 2022, your full amount will be returned to you minus the $10 non-refundable deposit per class.
Can I switch class dates after I've signed up? You are welcome to switch to a different class date at any time as long as there is room. Just email us to let us know which date you'd like instead.
What should I bring to class? We provide snacks and drinks at classes to keep our expecting moms satiated at all times. All classes also provide handouts but you are welcome to bring a notebook and pen if you learn better that way. Dress comfortably, and while the classroom is air conditioned, we advise that you dress in layers any time of year so that you may stay comfortable throughout. You may also bring anything else that will help you feel comfortable, e.g. pillows for sitting or leaning on.
Does Louise Ward teach all the childbirth classes? Louise teaches the 4-week childbirth series and an occasional 1-day childbirth class, but does not teach any of our online classes. Due to her work and personal schedule, there are times when a class or series is taught by one of our other childbirth instructors. They have all been trained by Louise, so the information provided is very much the same!
I have a really busy schedule and can't make the 4-week Childbirth series. Is the 1-day class enough for a first time mom? Most of the students in our in-person 1-day Childbirth class and online 2-day Childbirth class are first time parents who cannot attend the series due to their schedules. It does not go as in-depth as the series but does cover much of the key information needed for labor & birth, including what to expect when labor starts, ways to cope with contractions, what to expect in the hospital, and the partner's role, all of which is supplemented by the same informational handouts. The 1-day class and 2-day class are more traditional, direct instructor-based learning to conserve time as opposed to the group/problem-based learning involving interactive activities in the 4-week series.
I waited too long to register and now my due date is only a couple weeks before the next available childbirth class. Is that too late or should I still sign up? Please sign up anyway. If earlier classes are full, we can put you on a wait list in case someone cancels or delivers early. But don't let full classes or a late start dissuade you from registering (though we encourage you to look for other local classes in case a spot does not open up).
I won't be delivering at Yale-New Haven Hospital's York St. campus. Can I still take your Childbirth class? Yes! The information we cover applies to both the York St. campus and St. Raphael's campus of YNHH as well as many other hospitals around CT (some hospitals may offer different interventions and pain management options based on their protocols; you can verify this with your provider). If you won't be delivering at YNHH on York St., we strongly suggest scheduling a tour of their maternity unit a least a month prior to your due date. If you are planning a home birth, we also suggest taking a tour at your back-up hospital in case your midwife recommends being seen there before or after you deliver. To sign up for a tour of St. Raphael's, please visit the YNHH website: https://www.ynhh.org/events
Should my husband/boyfriend come to the Breastfeeding class? We strongly encourage your partner to come with you to any classes you sign up for, including Breastfeeding. Pregnancy and parenting is a team effort, and there are ways your partner can assist you when breastfeeding. It will also be good for him to know what it's all about!
I see some of your classes are located in a church. Are the classes religious based? No. Old Stone Church happens to be Louise's church and they allow her to run the classes in the parlor of the education wing for a small fee. The classes are completely secular and follow evidence-based medicine. We welcome unmarried couples, single parents, same-sex couples, gender nonconforming or transgender individuals, families using a gestational carrier or adopting, and people from all faiths, ethnicities, races, and backgrounds.
I signed up for the York St. maternity tour through YNHH's website. Can I skip the tour with you? Please note: YNHH is currently not offering in-person tours. This information will apply when in-person tours are reinstated. If you are unable to join the maternity tour with your childbirth class because of a schedule conflict, you should definitely do the tour offered by the hospital. Some of the tours scheduled by the hospital are led by our instructors (Asha Evans), so those tours will be very much the same as the ones with the class. However, if you are able to join the tour with your class, we strongly suggest you do! Louise and the other instructors incorporate what you learned in class into what you see in the labor and postpartum rooms, making it a more comprehensive learning experience. There is also some information that is difficult to convey in the classroom and is best taught in the setting of the labor room.
Are children allowed on the tour of the hospital? Unfortunately, no. Per hospital policy, anyone who accompanies you on the tour must be 12 years old or older. If you have a child or stepchild that you would like to go on a tour of the maternity floors, Yale-New Haven Hospital (main campus) does offer a sibling tour. Please visit their website to sign up: https://www.ynhh.org/events
I'm expecting twins. Should I sign up for the Childbirth class? If you are expecting twins and will be trying for a vaginal delivery, any of our childbirth classes will help you learn what to expect for labor, including pain management and potential interventions. To supplement, we have a number of informational handouts and books to help you know what to expect.