Pregnancy & Parenting Classes

Prepare for the arrival of your little one

About Our Pregnancy and Parenting Classes

Count on the experienced nurses, midwives and physicians at Mount Auburn Hospital to provide the support and knowledge you need throughout pregnancy and early parenthood. We offer a variety of pregnancy and parenting classes to help you and your loved ones prepare to expand your family.

To get the most benefit from prenatal classes, register during your fourth or fifth month of pregnancy for classes scheduled during your seventh or eighth month.

Birthing Center Virtual Tour

Our Class Cancellation Policy

We accept cancellations up to one day prior to the first class for a refund, minus a $35 processing charge.

Our Pregnancy & Parenting Class Offerings

Learn about which classes may be right for you and your family.

View our classes and events to find the Childbirth Education Class that fits your needs.

Having Your Baby Your Way Series

Knowledge is power. This three-week course will give you the knowledge you want to approach labor with confidence. You get the information you need to partner with your physician or midwife so that, together, you can make the choices that are right for you and your baby.  The series covers a variety of topics, including:

  • Anesthesia options
  • Overview of normal labor and birth
  • Immediate newborn and early postpartum period
  • Relaxation, breathing, positioning and pushing techniques
  • What happens if labor doesn’t go as planned, such as:
    • Available interventions and medications
    • Cesarean birth

You’ll also have time to get your questions answered by our experts.

This series meets weekly for three weeks; each class lasts three hours. This class includes a tour of the Bain Birthing Center.

Cost: $180 per couple

HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method

Learn mind-body relaxation techniques to help you achieve a calm, safe and gentle birth free of unnecessary interventions. You’ll learn:

  • Breathing techniques
  • Early family bonding practices
  • How your body is built for birth
  • How your partner can offer support during labor
  • Light touch labor massage
  • Positions for labor and birth
  • Self-hypnosis, for relaxation and visualization

This series meets weekly for five weeks; each class lasts two-and-half hours. This class includes a tour of the Bain Birthing Center.

Cost: $235 per couple

Infant CPR for Family and Friends

This two-hour class will provide parents and caregivers of infants with the tools to be prepared for emergency situations, including those that may require the use of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). A certified CPR instructor teaches this class in accordance with American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines.

You’ll discuss a variety of safety topics:

  • How to clear an obstructed airway
  • General infant safety
  • Techniques for administering infant CPR

Cost: $50 per couple (includes the AHA publication Family & Friends CPR - Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation)

Natural Childbirth

We’ve designed this one-day course for expectant parents who want to learn coping skills for labor that will help you avoid or minimize the use of medication. You’ll discover ways to break the fear-tension-pain cycle in order to allow the body to work as nature intended.

In this interactive class, you’ll learn about and practice:

  • Breathing techniques drawn from yogic, Bradley and Lamaze practice
  • Coping mechanisms such as visualization, aromatherapy and hydrotherapy to reduce stress and help the uterus work more efficiently
  • Positioning and movement that increase comfort for mother and encourage baby to pass more easily through her pelvis
  • Using labor massage and pressure techniques

You also learn about the stages of labor, postpartum changes and what to expect from your newborn in the first hours and days of life. Your instructor will also review interventions available to you — should they become medically necessary — such as cesarean birth (C-section), induction of labor and medication options.

This class meets on a Saturday or Sunday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. This class includes a tour of the Bain Birthing Center.

Cost: $180 per couple

Tools for a Natural Childbirth: A Hands-On Workshop

If you're looking forward to a natural childbirth, you'll want a "labor kit" full of tools and techniques that can help you achieve that goal. You'll also want to know how to use those techniques in the situations that might arise in labor. And you'll want to practice them in a relaxed, stress-free setting.

Experienced educators teach this three-hour workshop. Our experts have coached countless women through successful labors and births without the use of medication.

This workshop is complementary to — but does not replace — a full-length childbirth class. We recommend that first-time parents take Prepared Childbirth, Natural Childbirth or Having Your Baby Your Way before taking Tools for a Natural Childbirth. This hands-on mini-course will not cover the same material. This class is, however, appropriate for experienced parents who would like a refresher in natural childbirth techniques.

Tools for a Natural Childbirth covers a variety of topics, including:

  • Breath work and mindfulness practices
  • Counter-pressure and acupressure
  • Encouraging optimal fetal positioning for labor and birth
  • Essential oils and homeopathic remedies
  • Nourishment during labor
  • Support techniques for the labor partner
  • Use of props such as the birthing ball and the peanut
  • Use of the rebozo (a large traditional scarf) in labor
  • The benefits of vocalization

This class typically meets on a Saturday or Sunday at the Center for Women on the first floor of the hospital.

Cost: $90 per couple

Prepared Childbirth

Approach labor and delivery with confidence by learning what to expect during childbirth in this one-day class at Mount Auburn Hospital. Our experts guide you through the information you and your partner need to make the choices that are right for your family.

The class covers a variety of topics:

  • Available interventions, such as labor induction
  • Breathing techniques
  • Cesarean birth
  • Effective labor positioning and pushing
  • Pain relief options
  • Physical changes during pregnancy
  • Postpartum changes and emotions
  • Role of the support person
  • Signs and stages of labor

This class meets on a Saturday or Sunday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. This class includes a tour of the Bain Birthing Center.

Cost: $180 per couple

Sibling Class

The arrival of a new brother or sister can be both exciting and confusing for young children. Help your child (age 2 years, 9 months or older) prepare for their new role as an older sibling. In this parent-child class, you learn ways to help your child to adjust to the new arrival, and your child will have the opportunity to practice baby care. The class includes a guided tour of our maternity unit.

Cost: $35 for up to two children accompanied by up to two adults

Boot Camp for New Dads (aka Daddy Boot Camp)

Boot Camp for New Dads (aka Daddy Boot Camp) – Real Men, Real Babies, Real World Advice is a unique father-to-father, community-based workshop that inspires and equips men to:

  • Become confidently engaged with their infants
  • Personally navigate their transformation into dads
  • Support their partners

The class provides a space for men to explore both the challenges of fatherhood and the special gifts they bring to parenting.

We strongly encourage dads-to-be to attend Boot Camp as “rookies” before the birth of their babies. After your baby arrives and before he or she is six months old, you’re invited to return as a “veteran” dad with your baby. Veterans may choose to return to Boot Camp more than once.

Sharing your real-world experience as a veteran father with a group of rookie dads is at the heart of Boot Camp for New Dads. Your one-time registration fee covers your attendance at Boot Camp as a rookie and a veteran as well as the book Crash Course for Dads-To-Be by Greg Bishop, founder of Boot Camp for New Dads.

This group meets for three hours on either a Saturday or Sunday morning, one or more times per month.

Cost: $90 per dad

Postpartum Support Group

The drop-in group meets Tuesdays from 1:15 pm to 2:45 pm in the first-floor classroom at Beth Israel Lahey Health Primary Care – Waverly Oaks Road (formerly Mount Auburn Healthcare at Waltham). All new parents and their non-crawling babies regardless of place of birth or care provider are welcome. No registration is needed.

Pregnancy and Parenting Class FAQs

Get answers to commonly asked questions about our parenting classes.
What is the difference between Prepared Childbirth and Having Your Baby Your Way?

Prepared Childbirth is a one-day class designed to meet the needs of those who want to use medication or epidural anesthesia in labor. During the class, we provide more detailed information about other common interventions.

Having Your Baby Your Way covers both the unmedicated and medicated labor and birth experience, but meets over three evenings (each session lasting 2.5 hours to 3 hours) and works well for those who prefer having time between sessions to practice techniques and process information presented during class. Because sessions are spread out, group input about what material is emphasized can be more readily incorporated into the classes.

Both Prepared Childbirth and Having Your Baby Your Way include:

  • A tour of the Bain Birthing Center
  • An overview of what to expect during labor
  • What you can expect during each stage as labor progresses
  • What you can expect during the newborn and postpartum periods
  • Practices specific to Mount Auburn Hospital

You can choose to supplement either of these classes with Tools for a Natural Childbirth: A Hands-On Workshop. This three-hour class focuses on specific techniques that prepare you to give birth with little or no medication. This class does not cover general information about labor, the immediate newborn and postpartum periods or interventions. It can serve as a refresher class for experienced parents but it is not a stand-alone class for first-time parents.

Where can I view your schedule and register for classes and tours?

Please visit the Classes and Events section of our website.

All Classes

Please note you will need a credit card to register. Meet the Midwives, Meet the Doctors and Bain Birthing Center Tours are free of charge but do require registration since we are only able to accommodate a limited number at each event or tour.

Do my partner and I need to register separately for classes? How about for tours?

We consider you and your labor partner to be one registration for both classes and tours. It works best if you register in your name and include information for both you and your partner. There are limited exceptions to this rule; for example, for our Boot Camp for New Dads class a registration is for a single participant.

The class I want is full. When do you post new classes?

We post classes at least three months ahead on a rolling schedule. If want to register for a specific class that is full, please look for another date on which that class is offered. Sometimes there are cancellations.

If you can’t find a class that works for your schedule, please email us and we will do our best to help you find an option that works for you.

Can I bring my newborn to the Infant CPR class? Can I bring a grandparent or caregiver?

We welcome non-mobile babies at our Infant CPR class. Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate older babies. Each registration includes two adults. Additional adults need to register separately.

Can I bring my older child on the Bain Birthing Center Tour?

We’ve designed the Bain Birthing Center tours for adults. Each tour is about one hour long and space is limited. If you need to bring an older child on a tour, please email us.

The tour I want to take is full. Can I be added or just show up that day?

Registration is required. We usually post tours on a monthly basis. We may add additional tours at any time within a given month, so check back periodically if the tour you want is closed to registration. Tours are usually fully booked and we cannot accommodate walk-ins.

When is the best time to take a Childbirth Education class?

It’s best to take your Childbirth Education class when you’re between 34-36 weeks pregnant. We generally don’t advise that you take a class to prepare for labor and birth before 28-30 weeks.

HypnoBirthing and Mindfulness-Based Childbirth classes are the exception. These series run for five or ten weeks and require ongoing practice after you’ve completed them in order to gain the greatest benefit from the courses. Starting HypnoBirthing classes at around 28 weeks and Mindfulness Based Childbirth at around 24 weeks will leave you lots of time to practice.

Will you ever have breastfeeding classes again via Zoom or in-person?

We hope so. During the pandemic many classes were paused. We are in the process of revitalizing our program and hope to add a Zoom or in-person breastfeeding class very soon. In the meantime, we have an online Breastfeeding class which is available as a module-based self-learning series that you complete in your own time.

Is it appropriate for me to bring my partner to the Breastfeeding Class?

Yes, we welcome and encourage partners to attend our Breastfeeding Class.

What should I bring to class? Will food be provided? What should I wear? What about parking?

Our team will send you a detailed email the week before your class begins. In general, plan to bring two pillows to class. Most instructors will want you to have them.

Lunch is available for purchase in the cafeteria on the second floor. You are also welcome to bring your own food. Lunch break is usually 30-45 minutes long.

You and your partner should wear loose, comfortable clothing that will allow you to move around and get down on floor mats.

Parking validation is available for weekend classes at a reduced rate.

How can I get reimbursed by my insurance company for a Childbirth Education class?

Some insurers reimburse for all or a portion of Childbirth Education classes; others do not. Please check with your insurer to find out if they offer reimbursement.

If your insurer does not offer reimbursement and you have a Medical Flexible Spending Account, you should be able to use those funds for childbirth preparation classes.

You will receive an email receipt from us for your payment. At the end of your class, you receive a signed Certificate of Attendance. These two documents are your proof that you have paid for and attended class. Your insurer or Medical Flexible Spending Account administrator will need them to process reimbursement. Procedure and diagnosis code are not required.

Services We Offer

Our experienced team provides the full range of services during your pregnancy, during delivery and after the birth of your baby, including the following:
  • Breastfeeding education and support
  • Doula support
  • High-risk pregnancy care
  • Intervention options during childbirth
  • Midwife care
  • Parent education classes and programs

Featured Location

Make an Appointment

To speak with a member of our team, please call 617-499-5121.