It can be a big help for the birth and after if the mother and father are familiar with the stages of labour, the birth process, procedures, typical medical interventions and caring for a newborn. Childbirth classes are helpful for busy people who have little time to do research or learn about the birth process. Various studies show that knowing what is coming, what procedures are possible and what effects they have are a great stress reliever,[1] and any stress that can be eliminated from the birthing process is better for the mother and the baby. Prenatal (antenatal) classes can be very good for taking one through all stages together, bring up discussions about preferences and allow one to ask questions. It's good, however, to find out who is hosting them and what their background and philosophy is. And, of course, there's the internet and the good ol' library that are also wonderful resources.


[1] Why Take Childbirth Classes?, from database: MEDLINE, 1997-1998, researched July 2009 <>

Three nudes and an anmeone by Picasso