Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do I register for your classes?

  1. Choose the class you want from our Childbearing Prenatal Classes™ page.
  2. Once you have clicked on the page of the class you want, choose which date and time you would like.
  3. Once you have registered for your preferred class you will be emailed further instructions.

Q. Where do you hold your classes?

A. The Childbearing Society is conveniently located in east Vancouver: 3569 Commercial Street, Vancouver, BC.

Q. What makes your classes unique?

A. Our classes stand out for several reasons:

  • Our package includes instruction and support from the earliest point in pregnancy right through labour and birth and continues into parenthood – all for a surprisingly low price
  • Our classes are rich in quality and combine hands-on techniques with evidence-based information
  • We augment our class discussions with many different media and activities to help engage every style of learner
  • Our grads tend to form lasting friendships and keep in touch with one another for many years
  • Our classes are filled with support and good humour — our clients look forward to attending each session

Q. Can I come to your classes alone?

A. Certainly! If you are single, or if your partner is unavailable to come to the classes, you are welcome to come by yourself or to bring a friend or relative.

Q. What are your teachers’ qualifications?

A. All of our prenatal instructors:

  • Hold Childbirth Education Certificates from recognized and respectable institutions
  • Have completed a demanding practicum and certify annually with The Childbearing Society
  • Regularly update credentials by attending conferences and workshops, and by reading relevant publications, books and journals
  • Attend births on an ongoing basis
  • Are mothers themselves
  • Share a passion for pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and babies!

Q. What makes your organization unique?

A. We stand out for several reasons:

  • Our teachers are all Certified Childbirth Educators and are continuously upgrading their credentials
  • We have been operating since 1974, making us the longest-established provider of prenatal classes in the Lower Mainland
  • We are the only registered non-profit childbirth education society in the Lower Mainland, and as such, we are able to provide high quality classes for a very affordable price
  • We receive referrals and high praise from midwives, family doctors and obstetricians alike.
  • We support you for the entire childbearing year, from early in pregnancy, through labour and birth, and onwards into the first several months of parenthood through our three distinct sets of classes: Healthy Pregnancy, Prenatal, and Postpartum.
  • Our instructors also make themselves available by phone and email before and after your classes and your birth, for any questions you may have.

Q. I already have a doula; do I need prenatal classes too?

A. Yes. Prenatal classes would certainly be beneficial. Through prenatal classes you will network with and learn from other people at the same stage of pregnancy as yourself, you will benefit from group activities and multi-media teaching aids, you will enjoy approximately 18 hours of instruction, and you will learn the four essentials that foster a confident and rewarding labour and birth: knowledge, relaxation/breathing techniques, comfort measures, and decision-making. It is an excellent idea to engage a doula to provide labour support. While a doula can certainly enhance your prenatal class experience, a doula does not replace it.

Q. I have already read lots of books about birth; do I need prenatal classes too?

A. Yes. It is wonderful that you are reading books and informing yourself about your pregnancy and birth. We believe that knowledge empowers. However, there is no replacement for the special kind of learning that happens through group discussion and hands-on activities. With the help of our multi-media teaching aids, skilled instructors and lively discussions, you will have the opportunity to benefit from other people’s questions and insights, and to discover much about your own expectations and inner-resources that cannot be found in books.

Q. What should I wear to class?

A. Wear comfortable clothes that you can move around in freely. It is best to avoid tight skirts or any clothing that might limit your movement.

Q. I want to take the Weekend Workshop. When should I take the Breastfeeding Night?

A. Your Breastfeeding Class will be assigned to you, but if the timing doesn’t work for, you are welcome to request a switch into one of our other Breastfeeding classes. See our schedule for options.

Q. If I am taking the Evening Series, do I also need to attend the Breastfeeding Night?

A. No. Breastfeeding is covered in classes 5 & 6 of the series.

Q. What if I cannot afford your classes?

A. Not to worry! Ask about our special Low Income Rate.

Q. If I register for the Weekend Workshop, what is included?

A. The following classes are all included with your Weekend Workshop registration:

  • Breastfeeding Night (1 evening, for mothers and partners)
  • Reunion (date to be determined during your workshop)
  • 2 Postpartum Classes (for parents and babies)
  • Note: The Healthy Pregnancy Class (1 evening, for mothers only) can be added to your Weekend Workshop registration for only $10.

You will receive an e-mail confirming your dates for all of the above classes.

Q. If I register for the Evening Series, what is included?

A. The following classes are all included with your Evening Series registration:

  • Prenatal Series (7 classes, for mothers and partners)
  • Reunion (date to be determined during your series)
  • 1 Postpartum Class (for parents and babies)
  • Note: The Healthy Pregnancy Class (1 evening, for mothers only) can be added to your Evening Series registration for only $10.

You will receive an e-mail confirming your dates for all of the above classes.

Q. What do your postpartum classes cover?

A. The classes rotate through 16 topics, such as infant feeding, sleep, crying, diapering, infant health, postpartum adjustment, and many others. For the current schedule, you can download the PDF on the Postpartum Classes Page.

1 class is included free of charge with Evening Series or Weekend
Workshop prenatal classes.

Extra classes are $5 per class.

Q. What is the ‘style’ of your classes?

A. Whether you are planning a hospital birth or a homebirth, whether your caregiver is a midwife or a doctor, The Childbearing Society’s classes are right for you. Our balanced combination of information with exploration makes our format perfect for everyone who is expecting a baby. We focus on four main points to guide you through your birth experience and into parenthood: knowledge, relaxation, comfort measures, and decision-making. Our classes transcend any particular ‘style’, and incorporate the best of Lamaze, Bradley, Birthing From Within, Birthworks and Hypnobirthing, among others; they will help you to become well informed, prepared, confident, and supported.

Q. What information do you teach in your classes?

A. We cover everything you need to know about labour and birth, at home or in the hospital.Our topics include the stages of labour, pain management techniques and comfort measures, medical interventions, breastfeeding, postpartum adjustment, and basic newborn care, to name just a few.

Q. I am pregnant with twins. Will your classes be relevant to me?

A. Absolutely! Three of our instructors are mothers of twins, and one of our instructors is a twin herself! Our collective knowledge about multiples is vast. We suggest you start with our regular prenatal classes, and then take our focused Multiples Seminar to complete your knowledge.

Q. What kinds of pain management techniques do you teach?

A. We teach a diverse range of coping methods including relaxation techniques, breath awareness, positions for labour, special types of massage, comfort measures, hydrotherapy, movement, visualization, toning and labour support. We discuss the Gate Control theory of pain relief, and the neurochemical role of pain. As we explore attitudes towards pain, preconceptions about labour pain, and individual coping strategies, we help you discover and draw upon the internal and external resources that work best for you.

Q. When should I register for prenatal classes?

A. As soon as possible! The Healthy Pregnancy classes are best taken as soon as possible in your pregnancy, although there is still information relevant to mums in their last trimester.

Q. When should I take the Evening Series or Weekend Workshop?

A. In general we recommend taking the Evening Series if your schedule allows. Both the Evening Series and Weekend Workshop provide high quality classes with excellent instructors that cover the essentials of childbirth, breastfeeding, postpartum and newborns. However, there are advantages to choosing the Evening Series:

  • It is easier to retain the information spread out over seven weeks than condensed into one weekend
  • The extra two hours of instruction allows more practice of techniques, more in-depth discussion and participant-directed focus, and slightly more content.
  • Lasting friendships are more likely to be formed in the Evening Series, since participants get to know each other over a period of time.
  • During the course of a series there is the opportunity to borrow resources such as books, DVDs and articles
  • As the instructor gets to know you over the course of a series she is better able to address your specific needs, wants, and concerns

Q. If I haven’t taken prenatal classes with Childbearing, can I still register for postpartum classes?

A. Yes; see above for pricing. To register contact us

Q. We are a same-sex couple. Are your classes right for us?

A. YES! Our classes are inclusive and welcoming. We can provide additional information on co-lactation and LGBTQ family support groups to anyone interested.

Q. What if I have more questions?

A. Please do not hesitate to contact us

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