Frequently Asked Questions

Is this the class for you?

Basically if you’re having a baby and don’t know as much as we do - this class is for you. We’ve identified our target audience as those who are curious but also a little skeptical and generally feeling overwhelmed by the amount of conflicting and confusing information out there.

You can be planning to deliver in the hospital, at a birthing center, or at home. To be real - we most often teach people planning to deliver in the hospital. Just because that’s most of you. Among the team, we’ve had our own home births and hospital births – vaginal births and cesareans. More than that, we have loads of doula experience and have seen most everything. We guarantee an unbiased and well-rounded perspective.

I’m planning on getting an epidural, is this class still for me?

Yup. In fact we’re certain this is the BEST class you can take if you’re getting an epidural. Unlike other childbirth education classes, that say “and then you’ll get an epidural,” we focus a great deal on how to work with an epidural to minimize the negative side effects, have labor progress steadily, and have partners actively involved!

I’m planning on a homebirth, is this STILL the class for me?

Still yes! We’re reaching for the stars thinking we can teach everyone, but the truth is this sh*t is unpredictable. If you’re planning to deliver at home, we’re going to teach you how babies come out and how you can work with your brain, body, and birth team to make that happen. We’ll also address medical interventions because #youneverknow. All of our teachers are more than prepared to answer specific questions about homebirth. We just don’t focus on it. We will give you a list of questions to bring to your midwife to complement our teaching!

When should I take Childbirth Education?

Ideally, you would take childbirth preparation classes between week 28 and 34. Some people want the information as soon as possible and too many people squeeze it in between week 36 and week 40 (it’s never too late)! Live classes are not recorded, but if you purchase a bundle of classes you will receive access to our On-Demand class so that you can go back and refresh your knowledge closer to your due date.

When should I take Push Prep?

We recommend you take Push Prep between week 20 and week 36. The earlier you take this class, the better as you’ll learn and have time to practice the breathing, posture, and alignment suggestions to prepare your body for pushing. You can always access the recording for a refresher on positions down the road.

When should I take Comfort + Coping?

We recommend you take Comfort + Coping between 32-37 weeks. Ideally you’ll have time to practice, but we want these positions to be relatively fresh in your mind.

When should I take Lactation + Newborn Care?

We recommend you take Lactation + Newborn Care between 32-36 weeks. Practicing these pre-baby isn’t easy, and it will be helpful for the information to be fresh in your mind!

When should I take Postpartum Planning?

We recommend you take Postpartum Planning between 24-36 weeks. Some people want to take this earlier because getting a realistic understanding of the postpartum period can help you curate your registry items and make a plan with work and family for life after baby.

Do you offer refresher classes?

Just because you’ve given birth before does not mean you’re done learning. We teach parents who have given birth before all the time! Most commonly, we recommend our On-Demand Childbirth Class, Comfort and Coping, and Push Prep but depending on your prior experiences and what you’re hoping to get out of classes we can steer you in the right direction. Get in touch with us to talk it through.

Do you offer VBAC classes?

First, congratulations! Preparing for a VBAC is one of the most empowering experiences a person can have. We love teaching folks who have given birth before and know that our unique curriculum can help simplify the VBAC experience. We do not have a VBAC specific class but, like anyone planning on a refresher course would recommend our On-Demand Class or our One-Day Class with Comfort and Coping as well as Push Prep.

Which childbirth class should I take if I am having a scheduled C-section?

We highly recommend scheduling a private class to address the cesarean along with our Postpartum Planning and Lactation and Newborn Care classes. We occasionally offer a group Cesarean Birth and Recovery Class. Please get in touch if you’re interested in that class.

When is a private class beneficial?

A private class is beneficial between 28 and 40 weeks! A private class can also be beneficial for Queer families or those having a scheduled Cesarean Birth, multiples, or those with scheduling conflicts for group classes.

Do you teach a lamaze class?

Sort of. Lamaze is like the Kleenex of Childbirth Education. The name brand you know but not necessarily the product you want. If you’re looking for a Lamaze class because you’re looking for a birthing class that will set you up for a safe and healthy delivery. Yes! You’ve come to the right place. We have different certifications and have pulled in strategies from other approaches to childbirth that we think are critical for comprehensive preparation, but all in all are very similar.

Do you teach Hypnobirthing?

Hypnobirthing is a brand of Childbirth Education that focuses a great deal on training your mind for a positive birth experience with the use of audio meditations and visualizations. Many of our clients love hypnobirthing and use it as a complement to Birth Smarter’s Education. While we focus a great deal on comfort techniques, especially in our weekend class and Comfort + Coping class, we focus more on understanding the Anatomy and Physiology and teaching you and your team how to play an active role in making the most of your experience.

Can a partner join me for class?

The price of every class includes one pregnant person and one support person. We encourage everyone to bring your support team! Partners are welcome in all classes including Lactation and Newborn Care. Push Prep is the class where they will learn / do the least and some people choose to attend solo.

I am a single parent. Will I feel comfortable attending this class?

We think so! But know that our core classes are intended to educate the pregnant parent with a support person. We often teach single mothers who attend with a friend, doula, or relative and love it! If it is not an option for you to attend with another person, by all means we will make you feel comfortable. Just let us know!

What are class bundles?

While you can sign up for any of our classes a’la carte, we believe our classes are most effective when taken together. We’ve listed “frequently goes with” suggestions at the bottom of each class to help simplify your decision making process. Many other companies offer multiple-week series. Like, every Wednesday or Sunday for four to eight weeks. Most of our students need more flexibility than that. Our packages are not associated with dates. Once you choose your bundle you’ll let us know which class dates you would like to register for. You can take all the classes in one month or spread them out over your second and third trimester.

Do Childbirth Education classes include lactation and newborn care?

Our childbirth education classes focus on getting you to the point of meeting your baby and the immediate postpartum period. We recommend taking the Lactation + Newborn Care class for a more thorough education around these topics.

Do all Childbirth Education classes include comfort measures, positions, etc.?

We strongly believe learning comfort and coping measures is essential to preparing to give birth (with or without pain medication). Our Weekend Intensive allows time for labor positions and massage + comfort measure practice. Our One-Day class covers these topics via lecture, but we encourage you to complement with Comfort and Coping, our 2-hour stand alone practice session!

Does the Weekend Intensive include Push Prep and Comfort + Coping?

Yes! The Weekend Intensive includes the majority of information covered in Push Prep and Comfort and Coping. Given the extra time, we go into slightly more detail in the stand alone classes, but again, the bulk of the information is covered in the Weekend.

What props and/or tools are required for class?

For virtual video-based learning, you must have access to a computer, tablet, or phone that can connect to Zoom. We highly recommend having a notebook and pen. Taking notes helps you remember, whether or not you look at those notes again.

A few other props/tools can be helpful if you would like to practice the techniques you learn, particularly for our Weekend Intensive and Comfort + Coping class we suggest you have:

  • An inflated birth ball
  • A chair with no arms (a kitchen chair or folding chair)
  • A body pillow / yoga bolster / two bed pillows
  • A tennis ball or other massage tool
  • A big scarf (like a classic Pashmina)
  • A water bottle with a straw top, or a glass of water with a straw
  • A heating pad
  • Lotion or oil, perhaps with a scent you enjoy

What classes are available for BIPOC families?

All of them! As a diverse team, with diverse experiences, and a commitment to inclusivity BIPOC families are highly encouraged and will feel comfortable in all Birth Smarter classes. We also offer a special edition of our webinar, All Things Birth and Doula Q+A for Black Families, as well as a One-Day Childbirth Class for Black Families quarterly.

What classes are available for Queer / LGBTQIA Families?

All of them! As a diverse team, with diverse experiences, and a commitment to inclusivity queer families are highly encouraged and will feel comfortable in all Birth Smarter classes. We also offer a special edition of our webinar, All Things Birth and Doula Q+A for Queer Families, as well as a One-Day Childbirth Class for Queer Families quarterly.

Does Push Prep cover pushing for unmedicated and epidural options?

Push prep covers pushing for medicated and unmedicated births! We discuss how to prepare the body for pushing as well as how you might push in the moment both of which are helpful either way.

Do you offer CPR classes?

We are planning to add CPR on the calendar ASAP.

Do you have classes specific to multiples?

At the moment we do not offer group classes for those expecting multiples. All of our teachers are well equipped to incorporate specific twin information into our core classes. We often teach twin parents privately as well.

What are Community Conversations?

We host weekly Community Conversations as a way to gather, learn, and grow together. These are free, fun, and educational conversations that are open to all: birth workers, perinatal professionals, pregnant and postpartum families, curious friends.

What is All Things Birth?

All Things Birth is a light-hearted and short class intended for those anywhere from pre-conception into their third trimesters. Whether you’ve been dreaming about this pregnancy for years or it caught you by surprise, no one is quite ready for the level of anxiety or overwhelm that comes from having to make decisions while pregnant. Like sitting down with a professional wedding planner, the goal of this session is to bring clarity and calm into your journey. We will help you separate fact from fiction and walk you through what’s good when it comes to hospitals, birth centers, doctors, midwives, doulas, birth classes, body workers (and more)! All Things Birth is an interactive session!

Class Format

Where are the classes located?

Our classes are all offered virtually with live instruction on Zoom.

Pre and hopefully Post-Covid, you can also find us at The Wild (formerly Wild Was Mama) is a beautiful boutique located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn at 272 Driggs Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222.

Are you offering any in-person classes?

Right now, we have no plans to offer in-person classes. We’ll keep you all posted. Sign up for our newsletter or follow us on Instagram for updates. We’ll be back in person at The Wild in Brooklyn as soon as possible.

Will I be able to access a recording of class?

This depends on the class however all classes do come with access with Birth Smarter’s deep online resource library.

We do not record individual Childbirth Education classes. When you purchase a class bundle, however, it comes with access to our Pre-Recorded Birth Class so that you can watch individual sections as you wish.

Lactation + Newborn Care is not recorded but comes with access to our newborn care video library.

Push Prep and Comfort and Coping come with access to follow up videos, not necessarily the same class specifically.

All Community Conversations are recorded and playback is available to those who pre-registered for the event. Recording links are sent via email in the days following the conversation.

In order to preserve a safe space our All Things Birth Webinars are not recorded.

We believe childbirth education classes are most effective when taken live. If you are unable to attend a pre-scheduled class, we have created a pre-recorded self paced class (birthsmarter.podia.com). We also invite you to consider a completely customizable, private, class on Zoom or in person throughout New York City, Salt Lake City, Colorado Springs. You can learn more about private classes here.

I have a time zone conflict. Will you offer class at another time?

We are slowly expanding our offerings and are trying to work with different time zones, but if you’re reading this you’re likely looking for a class in the next few weeks. We try to plan our schedule three months in advance, so the classes that are listed are likely the only options. It’s always a good idea to contact us and let us know what you’re looking for because we might be able to accommodate you!

How do I gain access to the Zoom link for today’s class?

Zoom links are sent in a confirmation email at the time of registration as well as 1 day before class in a reminder email. Sometimes these emails are sent to Promotions or Spam - be sure to check there! If you still have issues, shoot us an email (info@birthsmarter.com) or give us a call: 917-648-1326.

Schedule

When are your next classes?

All classes are listed on our website. Check out the schedule here!

When will the new schedule be announced?

We release our core class schedule quarterly and add community conversations and speciality workshops to the schedule throughout the month. Sign up for our weekly newsletter for updates!

Support Groups

Are you still offering support groups?

Our support groups launch every few weeks. Once a group launches, we typically do not add new members, but keep an eye on our website (https://www.birthsmarter.com/groups) and social platforms for the announcement of new groups!

Are support groups only for first time parents?

Support groups are open to any pregnant person or parent (but in all honesty, they tend toward first timers) We provided a list of topics we typically cover below to empower you to decide whether the groups are right for you.

Pregnancy support groups typically cover pregnancy aches + pains, prenatal fitness, birth planning including pregnancy resources,, birth classes, and doulas, navigating appointments with doctors and midwives, choosing a pediatrician, newborn essentials, preparing for postpartum, your changing identity, and changing relationships with your partner, family, and friends.

New parent support groups typically address birth processing, the baby blues and postpartum mood disorders, infant feeding, sleep strategies for the whole family, parenting philosophies, co-parenting + new identities, postpartum rehab, fitness, and pelvic health, self-care while parenting.

What is the Partner Support Group?

The Partner Support Group is a space for dads + partners to come together, share highs and lows, ask questions, and learn from each other. These groups are drop-in only so there is no commitment, but we do offer access to a private, moderated WhatsApp group to stay in touch with others between meetings.

Payment

Do you offer discounts for classes?

It’s simple: We live in a world of incredible inequity. We believe our education should be accessible to all. The listed prices on our classes are based on the value we bring. If you can afford less, please contact us and let us know how much you can pay. We’d be honored to meet you where you are, no questions asked. Shoot us an email with what you’d like to register for and how much you can contribute and we’ll generate a custom coupon code and email it back.

What is the Pay-What-You-Can policy?

It’s simple: We live in a world of incredible inequity. We believe our education should be accessible to all. The listed prices on our classes are based on the value we bring. If you can afford less, please contact us and let us know how much you can pay. We’d be honored to meet you where you are, no questions asked. Shoot us an email with what you’d like to register for and how much you can contribute and we’ll generate a custom coupon code and email it back.

Do you accept HSA/FSA?

Yes! We accept HSA / FSA cards at checkout.

Do you take health insurance?

We are happy to provide a receipt for your purchase that you can submit to your insurance provider for possible reimbursement. In the past, the majority of our students have been able to receive reimbursement for Childbirth Education only. Please speak directly with your carrier to determine whether our classes are reimbursable under your plan!

Can I pay with multiple payment options?

Yes. Please contact us to pay with multiple payment options.

Does the Pay-What-You-Can policy apply to private classes?

No, unfortunately because of teacher salaries, the Pay-What-You-Can policy does not apply to private classes. That said, if you know a private class is the best decision for you because of scheduling or a particular history, please reach out. We would be honored to try and make it work.

Resources

Do you offer doula services?

At this time, we do not offer doula services directly through Birth Smarter. We work hard to make sure all of our students are matched with some of the best doulas through personal connections and partner agencies. If you’re in NYC, please check out Baby Caravan (https://babycaravan.com)

Are you able to recommend midwives, OBs, or other healthcare providers?

Yes! This is one of our favorite things to do. Join our next All Things Birth Workshops. We discuss topics like these live and send recommendations in our follow up email! You can register for our next session on the class schedule.

Terms & Conditions, Cancellation, Etc.

What's the cancellation policy?

Terms, conditions and policies

Our classes provide general information and discussion opportunities about preparing for pregnancy, childbirth, parenting, and related subjects. The content provided in our classes is for informational purposes only. Our instructors are not medical providers, and any information, advice, or recommendations provided in our classes may not be considered medical advice nor relied upon as such. Any and all medical concerns or questions should be directed to your physician, midwife, pediatrician, or other certified medical provider who is licensed to practice medicine and dispense medical advice.

Cancellation Policy:

Birth Smarter is committed to providing an exceptional childbirth education experience. Unfortunately, when a student cancels without giving enough notice, they prevent another expectant parent from being able to attend class. If you miss your class or have to cancel your class for any reason:

30 plus days in advance, you receive 100% refund

30-15 days in advance, you receive 75% refund

14 days or less in advance, there are no refunds

Rescheduling Policy:

If you need to reschedule a class:

30 + days in advance, no fee, as long as there’s availability

30 – 15 days in advance, $50 rescheduling fee, as long as there’s availability

14 days or less in advance, $50 rescheduling fee + up to cost of class if the seat you leave does not fill.

We highly recommend that you schedule any prenatal classes or workshops to end prior to 30 days of your expected due date. We are not responsible for providing make-ups or issuing any credit for classes missed as a result of scheduling conflicts, vacations, illness, emergencies, or other circumstances beyond our control.

Class Cancellation / Adjustment Policy:

We reserve the right to alter class times due to low enrollment. Every effort will be made to work with students’ schedules to ensure that the student receives the instruction they signed up for. If we cannot place you in another class or schedule a private session comparable to what you signed up for, a full refund will be given.