Choosing a childbirth class


I'm expecting my first child in December and am trying to decide between Loving Arms and Then Comes Baby childbirth classes. I've been able to find more info/reviews on Loving Arms so am leaning a bit that way but it's quite a bit further away from our place so wanted to see if it was worth the extra time (the class series is also quite a bit longer). Thanks so much!

Parent Replies

New responses are no longer being accepted.

RE: Choosing a childbirth class ()

Hello!  I'm a local mom, and also the Director of Then Comes Baby.  Loving Arms is great, ran by lovely a lovely woman I regard highly and they have good instructors. In fact, one of their childbirth prep instructors is one of the core childbirth prep instructors at Then Comes Baby.  I think at both of our centers you will be well taken care of.  I know for certain that we have very happy families from our birth classes, who often then continue to come back for many of our new family offerings (like Lactation Consultations, Mom & Baby yoga, Moms Groups, Infant Massage, Baby Sign Language... that kind of thing.).  While myself and our other childbirth educators have more than a decade (and two) of teaching experience, Then Comes Baby as a brick-and-mortar center is a younger organization than Loving Arms -- we've been open for 1.5 years at the moment -- so we don't have as many people who have had birth classes with us. But I am happy to reach out to some of the recent folks and see if they are open to talk to you. 

Often when I talk to folks who are making up their mind about birth classes, there is much to consider:  logistical things like the length and time of the class (our Series is 4 weeks + a complementary breastfeeding class), theirs is 8 weeks (7 for birth prep, one for breastfeeding).  Both can be adequate to cover the core birth prep needs, but with 7 weeks of birth prep offers much more in-class time for practicing comfort techniques.  In our classes, we strongly recommend that folks practice some of the techniques out of class or take an extra Comfort Measures class (functionally, an extra 'week' of class, but it's a la carte).  We do everything we can to support families as they are figuring out their values and needs.  Sometimes they aren't even clear until you're in the classes and learning.  One thing I can say about our classes is that they are not preachy whatsoever... working in birth, we know that there are many ways to have a baby and we never really know what's going to happen on that big day (or few days).    

If you live in the Albany/ North Berkeley area, you might find it wiser to choose Loving Arms simply because a core component of birth class is about connecting with folks in your community and with the high potential of making local new friends.  That's what we're all about at Then Comes Baby -- connecting you with your community.  So, if you live in the Oakland area, I'd encourage exploring Then Comes Baby.  We have a vibrant community of families who often really get to know and support each other!

You're welcome to call us at 510-817-2229 if you like.  I'm happy to help you figure it out based on what's important to you (whether that's logistical or about the tone of the classes)... though I honestly believe that you are in great hands whichever place you choose! 


RE: Choosing a childbirth class ()

I am taking the Loving Arms class right now and I would highly recommend it! Not only does it cover more content and go more in-depth than other classes, it's a great venue for meeting other soon-to-be-parents and connecting with your partner on a deeper level.

RE: Choosing a childbirth class ()

Congratulations! My husband and I took the Loving Arms childbirth class last fall, and we were really happy with it. Our teacher was Molly Brannigan, who is also a lactation consultant, and she was really great! Our class was about half Kaiser/half Alta Bates deliveries, and half midwives/half OBs doing the deliveries, and the class covered a lot of different viewpoints and scenarios, which I really liked. We got a lot of information in the classes, but it didn't seem like too much either. Our class was eight couples, I think, which was a good size. We live by Lake Merritt, so the class wasn't super close, but the drive wasn't too bad for us.

I haven't experienced any classes at Then Comes Baby, but we're actually going to start a baby sign language class there this weekend! My husband stopped by there earlier this week to check it out, and he though it looked good as well.