Women's Health

Childbirth Education

First-time mothers-to-be have lots of questions and even some worries: How will I know I'm in labor? Will my baby know how to breast-feed? How do I care for a newborn? And many experienced mothers have similar — and additional — concerns.

Allegheny Health Network has classes to prepare you for childbirth, breastfeeding, infant care and parenting at four locations: West Penn Hospital, Forbes Hospital, Saint Vincent Hospital and Jefferson Hospital. These classes are great confidence builders and will help lessen any anxiety you may be feeling as your baby’s birth approaches.

Our programs are designed to prepare you physically and mentally for childbirth and parenting and to acquaint you with our staff and facilities. Classes are taught by certified childbirth educators and registered nurses experienced in the field of obstetrics and infant care.

Learn more about the classes offered throughout Allegheny Health Network:

Breastfeeding

For schedule/fee/location information for any of these classes, please view the complete listing of AHN Prenatal Classes. Not all classes are offered at each location.

Breast Feeding Classes (Erie)

For couples interested in nursing their newborns or making an informed feeding choice. Information about the benefits of breastfeeding, how to start, and an introduction to the services available at the Lactation Center at Saint Vincent and other community resources. Dads are encouraged to attend!

Getting Ready For Breast Feeding (Pittsburgh)

During this three hour course, parents will receive realistic preparation for managing the early weeks as a breastfeeding family. You will discover ways to promote a good milk supply, determine how to know if your baby is getting enough milk, review the basics of a proper latch, learn how to pump and store milk, and much more! This class is taught by internationally board-certified lactation consultants. Expectant fathers/partners are encouraged to attend.

Mommy’s Milk Meeting (Erie)

Monthly support group for women who are currently breastfeeding or who plan to breastfeed their infants. Sharing of information and experiences make this a lively fun group. Mothers are encouraged to bring their babies. Grandmothers and other interested women are invited! Hosted by experts from the Lactation Center at Saint Vincent. No registration is necessary. For further information, please call the Lactation Center at 452-7732.

Child Birth

For schedule/fee/location information for any of these classes, please view the complete listing of AHN Prenatal Classes. Not all classes are offered at each location.

Child Birth Preparation and Birthing Skills (Pittsburgh)

Evening Sessions: This is a four-part class, 2 1/2 hours per week, designed to prepare couples for what to expect throughout labor, birth and beyond. Alternative hospital interventions, medication options and breastfeeding skills are included. Certified childbirth educators teach a variety of comfort strategies, such as relaxation and breathing techniques, to help you though your birth journey. A labor skills lab and hospital tour are included.

One-Day Weekend Session: For couples who face scheduling challenges in the evening, this intensive full-day (eight hours) class prepares couples for what to expect through labor, birth and beyond. Alternative hospital interventions, medication options and breastfeeding skills are included. Certified childbirth educators teach a variety of comfort strategies, such as relaxation and breathing techniques, to help you though your birth journey. A labor skills lab and hospital tour are included.

Choosing a Vaginal Birth after a Cesarean Section (Pittsburgh)

If you had a previous cesarean birth and now are thinking about giving birth through a vaginal delivery, this 2 ½ hour course will address the many factors you might consider, explain options and answer any questions or concerns you may have. There is no fee for this course.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Labor But Were Afraid to Ask! (Erie)

An informative class on pregnancy, labor, relaxation and breathing techniques, and postpartum care-for couples in the last trimester of pregnancy. The class is suitable for first-time parents and those who have already experienced childbirth but want a refresher. Dress comfortably and in season fashion; sweats are great in winter, shorts will be fine in summer. Bring two pillows, one blanket and a bag lunch (if desired.) Juice is provided. Maternity tour included.

Online eLearning Childbirth Education Class (Erie)

Check out our convenient alternative for expectant parents who cannot attend a conventional prepared childbirth class due to bed rest, scheduling conflicts or time constraints. It can also be a helpful refresher course for repeat parents. Registrants can work with class materials online and also receive a hard copy of the book for future reference.

Pregnancy/Birth Primer (Pittsburgh)

During this 2 ½ hour course, expectant parents will learn about normal physical and emotional changes during pregnancy, basic information about the birth process and what to expect in the hospital.

Prenatal Yoga (Pittsburgh)

Prenatal yoga classes are more popular than ever. When paired with a cardiovascular exercise such as walking, yoga can be an ideal way to stay in shape during your pregnancy. This age-old practice keeps you limber, tones your muscles, and improves your balance and circulation, with little, if any, impact on your joints. Yoga is also beneficial because it helps you learn to breathe deeply and relax, which primes you for labor and childbirth by training you to stay calm when you need it most.

Additionally, rigorous studies have found scientific proof that yoga helps the body deal with stress by slowing heart and breathing rates and lowering blood pressure – which can benefit new moms after the baby’s born, too. Experienced prenatal yoga instructors facilitate these 60-minute classes. Written physician permission is required to attend.

CPR - Infant/Child

For schedule/fee/location information for any of these classes, please view the complete listing of AHN Prenatal Classes. Not all classes are offered at each location.

Baby 911 – Infant/Child CPR and Safety (Pittsburgh)

Designed for parents and caregivers to develop skills in infant/child CPR, this three-hour class also focuses on valuable safety considerations, “baby proofing” your home, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and car safety.

The ABC’s of CPR (Erie)

Focuses on the prevention of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), injuries, and choking in children. Course also includes warning signs of heart attack, stroke, cardiac arrest, and choking in adults. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) techniques taught for both children and adults.

Newborn Care

For schedule/fee/location information for any of these classes, please view the complete listing of AHN Prenatal Classes. Not all classes are offered at each location.

Dads Make a Difference (Erie)

Basic how-to’s for expectant fathers. Includes information on newborn care, understanding and managing life with a baby, support for the nursing mother, and other topics of interest to a new dad.

Dogs and Storks (Pittsburgh)

An international program that helps expecting families with dogs get ready for life with baby, Dogs & Storks® offers positive, practical and fun solutions to challenges that often arise when a family with a dog adds a new baby to the household. Preparation makes all the difference when it comes to safety and harmony between a new baby and family dog. Topics covered during this two hour class include your pregnancy and your dog, concerns about jealousy and acceptance of the baby, setting up your home environment for safety, introducing your dog to your baby, the subtle body language of dogs, and fun ways to include your dog in daily activities from the start.

Dogs and Toddlers (Pittsburgh)

Dogs & Toddlers™ is the ideal program for families with dogs and babies who are soon to be crawling or walking. Often the first 3 months have gone smoothly and many families are caught off guard when their dog begins to show discomfort with the new developmental changes of their mobile baby. This two hour class offers insight and proactive options for some of the common challenges families with dogs experience as baby becomes mobile.

Newborn Basics (Pittsburgh)

During this three hour course, expectant parents are instructed in the care of a newborn, using dolls in a hands-on skills lab to practice before their baby arrives. During this confidence-building course, topics covered include bathing, swaddling/soothing, diapering, taking the baby’s temperature, and signs of illness.

So You’re Going to Be a Grandparent! (Erie)

Brush up grandparenting skills, whether they’re fledgling or already established! Babies are still babies, but things may be a little different from the days when your children were little. Learn about back-sleeping rather than tummy sleeping, later introduction of solid foods, breastfeeding, and other topics-as well as the “why’s.”

The Young and the Sleepless (Erie)

For women and/or couples five through nine months pregnant and couples with infants up to 6 weeks old. The class focuses on normal infant development, infant care, safety tips, and parenting skills.

Sibling Preparation

For schedule/fee/location information for any of these classes, please view the complete listing of AHN Sibling ClassesNot all classes are offered at each location.

I’m a Big Brother/Big Sister (Pittsburgh)

For families with an older child, bringing home a new baby can be a time filled with joy and adjustment. This 1 ½ hour class, designed for children 3-8 years old, addresses common emotions siblings may experience when a new baby arrives. With a focus on safety, siblings-to-be are provided “hands on” opportunities (with dolls) to hold and rock a baby, and even change a diaper!

A hospital tour is included during this class.

We’re a Bigger Family Now (Erie)

Class meets in the main lobby then will go into the NICU family waiting room. A one-time class to educated young children on what to expect when the new baby comes. Take home tips for parents on minimizing “sibling rivalry.” Children are encouraged to bring a favorite doll or stuffed animal to class. Parents should schedule this class close to their due dates. For children ages 3 to 10.


To register for a class at:

  • Forbes Hospital, call 412.330.4469
  • Jefferson Hospital Bethel Park Campus, call 412.469.7100
  • Saint Vincent, call 814.452.5255
  • West Penn Hospital or Wexford, call 412.578.7030

 

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