Childbirth Education Classes
The Women's Pavilion offers a supportive and comforting atmosphere for the birthing family. Highly trained maternity nurses, lactation consultants, midwives, and physicians are all available to help make the physical and psychological adjustment to being a new mom as easy as possible.
You and your family are supported in having the kind of birth experience you want. Although safety for you and baby are our first concern, we also believe that childbirth is a profound experience for women. To that end, satisfaction and comfort are also very important.
You will be asked at around 36 weeks to fill out a birth plan. This document, along with the childbirth education classes, will help you become familiar with the different choices you have in creating the birth you want.
We offer many childbirth education classes. To register for any of our classes, please call 207.777.8280
» Download our 2019 class schedule.
Some birth experiences that require special preparation are as follows:
Postpartum and Early Parenting Class
For new families and soon-to-be new families. The information in this class is based on our new web-based booklet entitled Mother and New Baby Care which parents will get a copy of at this class. Key points we will cover in this class are: Changes that happen with your body after birth, mom’s emotions, care of the baby (bathing, diapering, and calming), simplifying the first month. This one-day course is offered on the following dates in 2019: January 31, April 4, May 30, October 3, December 12. This class is held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and is free of charge.
Prepared Childbirth Classes (4-week course)
This class gives comprehensive information and instruction about late pregnancy, labor, birth, and the immediate postpartum period. Along with several videos, time is used to discuss dealing with fears and to teach a variety of comfort measures to support a woman in labor. We also review the use of medication in labor, the birthing environment at St. Mary's, common protocols, waterbirth, newborn care, and possible interventions like Cesarean births. Healthy Families usually visits to discuss community support programs for new parents and we do a tour of the Birthing Center. This four-week course is offered on the following dates in 2019: January 3, 10, 17, 24; March 7, 14, 21, 28; May 2, 9, 16, 23;
September 5, 12, 19, 26; November 7, 14, 21 and December 5. This class is held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and has a fee of $90.
Prepared Childbirth Class (1-day class)
This class is a condensed, intense program based on our fourweek series for expectant parents in the seventh month of pregnancy. This one-day class is designed to prepare you for one of the most important events of your life. This one-day course is offered on the following dates in 2019: February 9, April 13, August 17, October 19, December 21. This class is held from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and has a fee of $90.
Breastfeeding Class: The Art and Science
We recommend this class before the baby is born. We'll present important information you'll need to know about breastfeeding and how to incorporate it into your life. You will learn how to latch your baby to breast after birth and we'll show a video on babies' instinctual wisdom. Dads will also learn how to support the mom and baby for a successful breastfeeding experience. Community resources will also be discussed. This one-day course is offered on the following dates in 2019: January 14, February 2, March 4, April 6, May 6, June 1, July 11, August 3, September 2, October 5, November 4, December 7. This class is held from 5:30 to 7:30 pm and is free of charge.
Basic CPR Class
You will learn basic skills for cardiac and respiratory resuscitation for infants and children. Choking management will also be taught. This is not a CPR certification class. It can be taken early in pregnancy or after the baby is born. You will need to be able to get onto the floor to practice with the mannequins. This one-day course is offered on the following dates in 2019: January 8, March 12, May 14, July 9, September 10, November 2. This class is held from 6:30 to 8:30 pm and has a $10 fee.
This class is for 11- to 14- year-old girls and boys to learn how to become safe babysitters. This is a national curriculum with the motto of "Better sitters today, better parents tomorrow." Many skills are taught, including safety, choking prevention and treatment, first aid, and behavior management. This one-day course is offered on the following dates in 2019: February 18, April 13, July 6, December 30. This class is held from 8:30 a.m to 3:30 p.m. and has a $40 fee.
Sibling at Birth Class
This class will be individually arranged with you when you call in. We will meet with you and your child to teach and discuss what happens during birth. We will also spend time listening to the child's ideas, thoughts, and feelings about being at the birth to help you put a family birth plan together. A video of birth will be shown and a tour of the Birthing Center provided.
At the Women's Pavilion we believe that waterbirth is a safe birthing alternative. We have a special tub for planned waterbirth. Although there are tubs in each room, this large tub is more conducive to a waterbirth. We encourage women to use the smaller tubs for comfort during labor. If you think waterbirth is a style of birthing that you are interested in, please talk to your midwife or physician. You will be asked to watch a video, discuss the pros and cons of this choice at length, and sign a special consent form prior to the start of your labor.