What information do you need from me to sign up? Check out our Class Registration form. We ask for your basic demographic info, due date, and OB provider. If you will be taking the maternity tour at YNHH, this information will be shared with the Perinatal Education Program for security purposes. Otherwise, we do not share or sell your information with anyone else.
When and how do I pay for the class? Payment is due at the start of class. For the 5-week Childbirth series, payment is due at the first class. We accept cash or check made out to "Childbirth & Parenting Education of GNH." If you are signed up for more than one class, you may pay for them all together or at each individual class.
Do you take insurance as payment? We are unable to receive payment directly from insurance companies. However, you may be able to submit the cost of this class to your insurance company for reimbursement. Please check to see if your company and policy cover childbirth education. If they do, we will gladly provide you with a receipt, certificate of completion, or any other documention to submit to them. My partner is unable to attend the class with me. Can I pay half the fee since it will only be me? Class fees apply 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.
Is there a 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 are registered for the Childbirth series and you miss one of the classes, we will reimburse you for the cost of that 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 5-week childbirth series and an occasional 1-day childbirth class. 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 series. Is the 1-day class enough for a first time mom? Most of the students in our 1-day Childbirth classes 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 handouts provided. It's more traditional, instructor-based learning to conserve time as opposed to the group/problem-based learning involving interactive activities in the series.
I waited too long to register and now my due date falls 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/series 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 signing up. If you register for the Childbirth series and deliver before the series has finished, we will reimburse you for any classes missed. This is also why we don't take payment until the start of class!
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/news-media/events.aspx
I signed up for the York St. maternity tour through YNHH's website. Can I skip the tour with Louise? 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 taught by our instructors (Rachel Cronin and 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.
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 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 (much less expensive than renting out room elsewhere!). The classes are completely secular and based on evidence-based medicine. We welcome single moms and couples from all faiths, ethnicities, races, and sexual orientations.
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/news-media/events.aspx
I'm expecting twins. Should I sign up for the Childbirth class? We now offer a class specifically designed for women expecting twins or triplets! However, if you are unable to attend this class and you will be trying for a vaginal delivery, the Childbirth 1-day class or 5-week series will certainly help you learn what to expect for labor, including pain management and potential interventions.