Class fees — The Bump
December 2014 Moms

Class fees

Has anyone looked into classes at their local hospital?  The hospital where I am delivering offers a bunch of great classes!  There is a breastfeeding one that looks great and a prepared childbirth series.  Both look excellent for FTM like myself.  When I looked into registering - ugh.  It's $45 for the BF class and $110 for the childbirth!! I had no idea they would cost so much!! Just curious if this is typical or if I should try looking into them elsewhere.
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Re: Class fees

  • That seems to be about what I paid for mine. FWIW I didn't really learn a whole lot. I would suggest doing the breast feeding class and doing a lot of reading.

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  • LeviJeansLeviJeans member
    edited April 2014
    The classes offered at my hospital cost similar. But if you have insurance, ask them if they will reimburse for part/all of the cost. Some insurance may cover the cost of these classes since they are health education classes. Never hurts to ask

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  • They are usually pretty spendy but I believe that most classes are tax deductible. Check with insurance and what not but I know my tax guy just told me how much was tax deductible during pregnancy (including a breast pump) and I'm ecstatic! It might be something for you to check into.
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  • Yeah mine was really expensive, but
    my insurance covered most of it, and I used my FSA for the rest. It was fun to take the class but I agree with @Manateearmz‌ that it's not super necessary--nothing you can't learn from books!


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  • Those prices seems about right, sometimes health insureance will pay for them though.


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    MAMAxB
  • At my local hospital they're actually a little bit more expensive... ugh.  I'm glad insurance might cover some and then tax deductions :)
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  • I think we spent $150 on our childbirth/breastfeeding classes at the hospital for pregnancy #1. The breastfeeding class was okay but I learned way more by joining the local La Leche League and reading The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding - I highly recommend BOTH for both preparation and continued support while nursing!

    For childbirth classes - it really depends on what you hope to achieve. I wanted a natural hospital birth but really felt like the hospital just "prepared me to be a patient"... they didn't teach me about the Stages of Labor or how my husband can support me or how to avoid interventions, etc. If you are planning to just have a medicated hospital birth, they would be fine. But if you do hope to delivery natural I would consider taking a class OUTside of the hospital with someone who has no agenda on how you delivery. That's what we did with our second and it was SO much better.

    As far as price -- many insurance plans cover classes. I know for the natural childbirth classes I teach now (which are 10-12 weeks long) some students can at least have the fee applied towards their deductible. 
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    evelyn 4.2010 | will 1.2012 | baby BOY due 12.2014
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  • My hospital offers them for free, but I think it is typical to charge. Also, check other resources like LLL. Do searches in your area for classes and compare. I have also found local mom groups on FB to valuable. Typically, there is someone that has already BTDT.
  • ZAP12ZAP12 member
    I don't remember what I paid, but I remember neither class being that great. I would recommend the hospital tour just so you know what will happen once you go in and you can see what a room looks like, etc. The breastfeeding classes were the same as any book you could read or what I learned on The Bump last time. So were the childbirth class. My husband went to a dad class where the men learned to change diapers, swaddle, etc. He said that was useful for him (the class happened while I was in the breastfeeding class). Hopefully insurance covers it, but there are other resources if it doesn't.
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  • The price sounds typical. I'm glad dh and I went to the class. Most of the info I knew from the various books I read, but I know DH learned a lot and ended up enjoying it. It gave him an idea of what to expect.
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  • It's been 4 years since we did the class at our hospital but I think it was around that much.  It was one Saturday and included lunch and a tour of L&D.  Overall parts of it were cheesy, some informative and overall we don't regret doing it.  For FTMs I think it's beneficial but yes, you will already know a lot of the info if you hang around here enough.

    I particularly liked the tour, it helped prepare me for exactly where I would go and what to expect, we also toured the PP rooms.

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  • I didn't attend any classes and don't feel like I missed anything.  With all the reading I did, and the ability to borrow/watch birthing videos and such from the library/online, are classes really all that relevant anymore?

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  • DH and I took a 8 week natural birth course at a doula/birth collective and it was about $250/couple. 

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  • This is a good thread.  I planned to take classes offered by the hospital, but may look for outside classes.  As a FTM, I definitely think I'll feel better taking them.  I also want a natural, in-hospital child birth, so it's good to know that they may not cover that part that well at the hospital-offered class.

    At what stage in the pregnancy do you second (or third - or more!) time moms recommend taking these classes?
    BFP on 4.3.2014
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  • @rayray007 - did you find the classes to be helpful?

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  • We wanted an unmedicated hospital birth with DD, so we took a class at a local birth center. I felt like that class was definitely worth the $180 we spent. We also spent quite a bit ($1200) on a birth doula which was worth every single penny- you can usually find much less expensive ones as well.

    My friend had a very uncomplicated medicated hospital birth and didn't think that the class was really very necessary. So I guess it would depend on what you are looking for as far as whether a class would be helpful/ worth the money.

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    MAMAxB
  • This is a good thread.  I planned to take classes offered by the hospital, but may look for outside classes.  As a FTM, I definitely think I'll feel better taking them.  I also want a natural, in-hospital child birth, so it's good to know that they may not cover that part that well at the hospital-offered class.

    At what stage in the pregnancy do you second (or third - or more!) time moms recommend taking these classes?

    You can ask your ob what they recommend but most moms (from what I remember) were between 32-36 weeks.  They did go over breathing techniques and ways to cope with pain... so they touched on "natural" birthing as well as what to expect from an epidural.
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  • Our classes were $15 each.  We only did the childbirth class because the breastfeeding class was going on while I was in the hospital having our son three weeks early.  lol.

    We didn't really learn much, and what we did learn wasn't needed since we ended up having a c-section.  Actually, my husband and I were nearly kicked out of our class because we found everything really funny.  We still make fun of the way the teacher described her "happy place" with the seagulls and the waves crashing on the shore.  

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  • Drgn30 said:
    @rayray007 - did you find the classes to be helpful?
    Yes I did. I didn't take the "class" at the hospital but I have heard it is focused on telling you about the interventions available. It doesn't really teach you about the process of birth. This class explained the physical/biological/biochemical processes involved in birth and really gave you a good understanding of what is going on with your body, which would be helpful when you think your uterus is going to explode from pain and you are begging for a epidural ;). It also taught DH how to support me physically and emotionally. It taught us the signposts of the stages of labour and to try to make sure we're only heading to the hospital when we're in active labour and nearing transition. We learned about different positions and which positions are good for what, how movement can help, etc. and what our rights are in the hospital. The doula that taught our class knew the hospital and doctors well (there is only one hospital that has L&D and maternity) and was able to answer our questions about what to expect at the hospital. 

    Turns out we didn't need any of that because DD was an emergency c/s as a result of a routine NST but oh well. It's been a while since we had DD so we'll likely either take the same class or a shortened "refresher" class this time. 

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  • At what stage in the pregnancy do you second (or third - or more!) time moms recommend taking these classes?
    My last class of a 8 week course actually fell on my due date. DD was late so no worries. There were two women in my class who were overdue at the last class. 

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    MAMAxB
  • This is a good thread.  I planned to take classes offered by the hospital, but may look for outside classes.  As a FTM, I definitely think I'll feel better taking them.  I also want a natural, in-hospital child birth, so it's good to know that they may not cover that part that well at the hospital-offered class.

    At what stage in the pregnancy do you second (or third - or more!) time moms recommend taking these classes?
    It depends how long the class is - my students typically start the 12 week series between 18 and 24 weeks. Ideally closer to 24  so that when class ends they at 28 week and everything is fresh in their mind!
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    evelyn 4.2010 | will 1.2012 | baby BOY due 12.2014
    pregnant and/or breastfeeding since 2009.

  • Daneicy80 said:
    This is a good thread.  I planned to take classes offered by the hospital, but may look for outside classes.  As a FTM, I definitely think I'll feel better taking them.  I also want a natural, in-hospital child birth, so it's good to know that they may not cover that part that well at the hospital-offered class.

    At what stage in the pregnancy do you second (or third - or more!) time moms recommend taking these classes?

    You can ask your ob what they recommend but most moms (from what I remember) were between 32-36 weeks.  They did go over breathing techniques and ways to cope with pain... so they touched on "natural" birthing as well as what to expect from an epidural.

    ---
    Yes. They briefly went over "natural techniques" too. But then I realized after the fact that I can't learn how to give birth in 1 hour of instruction on a 5 hour Saturday class :) 

    Having a natural birth really is like "running a marathon"... it takes a LOT of time and training and preparation. Not say you have to pay big bucks to take a class but you do have do be disciplined and research research research and build a good community if you hope to have one. I liked the class because it got me in a group of like-minded women/couples though.
    image
    evelyn 4.2010 | will 1.2012 | baby BOY due 12.2014
    pregnant and/or breastfeeding since 2009.

  • Thank you for all the responses!! This is really helpful! I'll check in my local board to see if anyone can speak to my exact classes. I'll also look into other classes in the area. I think I will definitely do the breast feeding one. I was resistant to the idea at first and just feel so lost on the subject, so I'll take whatever help I can get.
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  • Totally normal. Our hospital offers a couple free classes, but the ones worth while all have fee s. We paid for two classes with DD: a breastfeeding and new parents class. Loved the breastfeeding one. The other was really for DH and I think he got a lot more out of it than I did.

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  • Breastfeeding and breast pump should be free. United gives the medela pump in style. The free breastfeeding class was 2 sessions of 3 hrs each. It was very helpful and informative. You left felt like you were going to be fine with breastfeeding, and if it didn't work out, formula is ok too. I really liked that they weren't condescending about bottle feeding.
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