You need to find out as much as you can about what to expect during labor and birth.  A good childbirth educator is an invaluable resource during your pregnancy.

The author reading “Thank you, Dr Lamaze” while waiting for the birth of my son Patrick in 1974.

Although many midwives prefer to do their own childbirth preparation classes, time constraints have made it necessary for many of us to refer our parents to others. There are many excellent childbirth educators. The first two approaches mentioned below both emphasize teaching women to recognize and develop their personal strengths in preparation for labor and birth.

Pam England, CNM, is teaching a new form of childbirth preparation that emphasizes empowerment of women through the birth process. Her website is Her book, Birthing from Within, is worthwhile reading for midwives whether they do childbirth education or not. You can order it from her website.

BirthWorks® embodies the philosophy of developing a woman’s self-confidence, trust and faith in her ability to give birth. It is the goal of their childbirth classes and doula services to promote safe and loving birth experiences through education, introspection and confident action. Birth Works classes are taught by certified childbirth educators whoare committed to a wholistic approach in helping birthing women/couples prepare emotionally, physically, and spiritually for their births. To find an Birth Works certified instructor and/or doula in your area go to

HypnobabiesTM is a complete childbirth education course that is centered on birth empowerment and education of the natural process of childbirth. It also teaches Gerald Kein’s famous Painless Childbirth techniques to Hypnobabies mothers so that they can enter
hypnosis, deepen it themselves and remain mobile during labor, completely comfortable at all times. Hypno-babies have no drugs in their systems when they are born, and are able to nurse, breathe well and interact with their happy parents immediately. Hypnobabies is available as a local childbirth class or a home study course. To find out more, go to the HypnoBabies website at

Three well-respected organizations that certify and support professional childbirth educators, maintain directories, and provide referrals to educators in specific geographic areas are Lamaze International at, the International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) at, and The American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®, better known as the Bradley Method after its founder, at