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:

View our Babysitting Basics class schedule.

View our CPR class schedule.

View our prenatal class schedule.

Note: Not all classes will be offered at each location.


Baby 911; Infant/Child CPR and Safety

Designed for parents and caregivers to develop skills in infant/child CPR, this 3-hour class also focuses on valuable safety considerations, "baby proofing" your home, SIDS and car safety.

Babysitting Basics

Babysitting Basics is an American Red Cross course taught by certified RNs for teens ages 11-13. In this interactive course, participants learn basic child care, how to handle emergencies, choking rescue techniques and business basics. One 6-hour course is offered 4 times a year. A one-hour break will be allotted for lunch (meal not included).

Birthing Classes

Taking the Special Needs of Women to Heart

Most women attend the class with the person who will provide support during labor, such as a spouse, sister or good friend. This person is sometimes called the labor coach. During class, the instructor will go over the signs of labor and review the stages of labor. She will talk about positioning for labor and birth and ways to control pain. She also will give you strategies to work through labor pains and to help you stay relaxed and in control. You will practice many of these strategies in class, so you are ready when the big day arrives. Many classes also provide a tour of the birthing facility. 

Childbirth Preparation and Birthing/Labor Skills


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. Certified childbirth educators teach a variety of comfort strategies, such as relaxation and breathing techniques, to help you through your birth journey. Hospital interventions, medication options and post-partum adjustments are included.

You will also participate in a labor skills lab and hospital tour.

Fee: $100 per couple


For couples who face scheduling challenges in the evening, this intensive full-day class (8 hours) prepares expectant couples for what to expect through labor, birth and beyond. Certified childbirth educators teach a variety of comfort strategies, such as relaxation and breathing techniques, to help you through your birth journey. Hospital interventions, medication options and post-partum adjustments are included.

You will also participate in a labor skills lab and hospital tour.

Fee: $100 per couple

Choosing a Vaginal Birth After a Cesarean Section (VBAC)

If you had a previous cesarean birth and now are thinking about giving birth through a vaginal delivery, this 2 1/2 hour course walks you through the many factors you might consider. This class will address these factors, explain options and answer any questions/concerns you may have.

Dogs and Storks

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 in the world when it comes to safety and harmony between a new baby and family dog. Topics covered during this 2-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 & Toddlers™

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 program offers insight and proactive options for some of the common challenges families with dogs experience as baby becomes mobile.

Hospital Tour

To help you feel comfortable with your upcoming birth, we recommend taking a tour of the Obstetrics Unit where you will be delivering your baby. If you are attending Childbirth Comprehensive (four-week session or one-day option) or Sibling Preparation, a tour IS included as part of the class. If you do not plan to attend any of these classes, please call 412.578.7030 to register for a tour.

I'm a Big Brother/Big Sister

For families with an older child, bringing home a new baby can be a time filled with joy and adjustment. This 1 1/2 hour class is designed to address 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.

Infant/Child CPR and Safety

There are some skills that no parent — or caregiver — should be without. Taking Infant/Child CPR and Safety will equip you with critical skills for your peace of mind and confidence as a caregiver. Emergency care of a choking infant or child, infant/child CPR techniques and infant/child safety are covered. CPR techniques are demonstrated and practiced. Car seat safety is also reviewed. One 3-hour session is offered several times monthly.

Newborn Basics

During this 3 hour course, expectant parents are instructed in the care of a newborn infant with a hands-on skills lab (using dolls) 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.

Pregnancy/Birth Primer

During this 2 1/2 hour session, attendees will learn what to expect during the labor and birth process: how to tell true labor from ‘false’ labor; when to come to the hospital; the different types of anesthesia and procedures used during the birthing process; how they work, and their risks and benefits. Attendees will also learn about the ‘equipment’ in the birthing suite, how the baby will look and routine nursery procedures. The best time to attend this class is during the second trimester of pregnancy.

View our prenatal class schedule.

Getting Ready for Breast-feeding

Breast milk is the best milk for your baby! To help you get off to the best possible start, this three-hour interactive class is offered for expectant parents. A board-certified lactation consultant will answer your questions, provide practical, evidence-based information, and dispel myths regarding breast-feeding. Topics include the benefits of breast milk, establishing a milk supply, positioning the baby, proper latch-on, preventing problems and returning to work. Expectant fathers are welcome. Bra fittings are available during this class.

This 3 hour course is $40.

Prenatal Yoga

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.
Fee: $40 per 4 class session


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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