When to Take Birthing Classes

Updated: December 13, 2023 | Published:

It is critical to have childbirth education when pregnant or even before. Many parents, especially first-time parents, wonder when it is the right time to take childbirth classes.

In this article, you’ll see when it is the right time to take birthing classes for excellent results.

But first things first.

What is a Childbirth Class?

A childbirth class is an excellent way to prepare for labor and childbirth. Depending on where you sign up, they range from one-day to weekly sessions that can last a month or more.

The typical session consists of lectures, discussions, and exercises, from a trained instructor.

While approaches might vary, these are meant to prepare you for delivery by providing helpful information.

This information will help you minimize fears and make more informed decisions. You’ll also learn techniques to help cope with pain and labor.

When Should you Take Birthing Classes

Why You Should Not Take Birthing Classes During the First Trimester?

It is not advisable to take birthing classes in the first trimester. At this time of the pregnancy, the belly is yet to expand and the birth experience might seem extremely hypothetical.

The motivation to cope with pain is not as great as when the child is a month or two away.

When you take birthing sessions this early, you will rarely remember vital information when the time to give birth comes.

What’s more, the chances of miscarriage are higher during the first trimester. It, therefore, makes sense to wait until when the pregnancy is viable to take childbirth classes.

If you’ve attended one, it would much difficult to process through a miscarriage than it would have been.

But there are times when taking delivery classes early can be the best option. For instance, it could be the only time you can do it together as a couple.

Maybe the husband will be deployed to another place and so you would not get another chance to take them together. In such a case, taking an early one can make sense.

First Trimester Childbirth Education

While a birthing class might not make sense during the first trimester, a woman should still think about childbirth education.

In fact, some midwifery services such as Hearth and Home midwifery, have a list of first-trimester reading that contains resources that can help formulate future birth options and childbirth education.

Why You Should Not Take a Birthing Class in the Last Month of Pregnancy?

Before looking at the right time to take delivery classes, we would like to let you know another time not to take birthing sessions.

There are many reasons that can make a woman contact a midwife for a childbirth session during their third trimester.

Sometimes a woman can assume that the best time to start looking for a birthing session is midway through the third trimester (33-35 weeks). In most cases, such women didn’t know they wanted a birthing session until it was too late.

In such a case, the midwife can squeeze them in a class that has a spot but they’ll barely finish before their due date.

This is why you should research information and options early in pregnancy or even before conception. During the third trimester, you’ll rarely find a spot in a quality delivery education program.

How Long Are Birthing Classes?

You should consider how long a particular childbirth class method will take when determining when to start a birthing class. Some classes are longer than others and thus require more commitment.

Bradley Method

Bradley method birthing class takes 12 weeks. If you’re planning to take this education program, keep in mind that you have to finish a month before the estimated due date.

Ideally, you’ll begin a Bradley class when you’re 24 weeks pregnant and finish when you’re 36 months into pregnancy. Share your knowledge through guest posting here.

Hospital Childbirth Class

If you’re planning to take a hospital session, you’ll probably not get into scheduling conflicts and so you could begin a class in the third trimester.

When to Sign Up for Birthing Classes

Since hospital childbirth classes are quite popular, don’t wait until the third trimester to sign up. Be sure to sign up for them in your second trimester.

When around 20 weeks pregnant, you’re able to research all the options available to determine which one is best for you. At this time, you can take your pick of any class you desire since they will not be full.

When you sign up for a childbirth session during the second trimester, you’ll be able to take a class scheduled at the right time of your pregnancy.


About Amy T. Smith

Amy is a mother, writer, and your go-to expert for real-life insights into parenting, health, and lifestyle. Amy holds a Master's degree in Journalism from Columbia University and prides herself on finding actionable tips and relatable tales.

Through her blog, AmyandRose, she supports you from pregnancy to the teenage years, offering assurance that your experiences are shared.

This site is for educational and informational purposes and by no means designed with the objective of offering substitution recommendations for professional medical advice and services.
If you need personal medical advice, definitely consult a licensed medical professional.