Virtual Support for Moms in Pregnancy

Virtual support groups can help new moms feel less isolated. This maternal wellness app offers classes on everything from childbirth to breastfeeding.

Pregnancy and postpartum can be daunting for new parents. This resource offers expecting and new mothers access to trusted maternal care providers – including lactation consultants and mental health specialists.

Prenatal Classes

best Prenatal classes (commonly referred to as childbirth classes) are highly recommended by ob-gyns, labor and delivery nurses, midwives and doulas as an aid in helping pregnant women prepare for what’s to come during gestation. Classes may be available physically through hospitals, birth centers or women’s health groups but there are virtual options as well.

One such course is Lamaze Labor and Birthing Class in Minneapolis–an evidence-based practice which covers relaxation techniques and positions to use during labor as well as medical interventions, pain medications and postpartum healing. Live, online and recorded sessions are offered.

Mother Baby Center offers another alternative. Their database contains doulas, fitness trainers, pelvic floor therapists, mental health therapists and coaches with expertise in the perinatal period – not to mention an online course designed specifically for mothers-to-be!

This virtual, three-week course led by a certified lactation support person is tailored for expectant parents or caregivers looking for information on infant care, newborn development, and soothing fussy babies. The self-paced online modules and live webinar with an ob-gyn or registered nurse cost $30 per family.

Postpartum Classes

Pregnancy can be daunting and full of questions; finding answers may not always be straightforward. Online classes offer valuable assistance.

Tucson Medical Center provides an online class covering delivery, postpartum care and nursing after delivery. Third Coast Birth & Baby and Homegrown Families also provide private birthing company classes as well as free sessions such as this one on pregnancy care, breastfeeding and newborn care.

Some groups provide moms-to-be with more social than educational benefits, giving them an opportunity to meet other new and expectant mothers in a safe, judgment-free environment. Motherly is one such group coaching program offering virtual classes on topics ranging from potty training and toddler management techniques, positive parenting techniques and doula services, yoga instructors, pelvic floor therapists and mental health therapists – among others!

Virtual options have proved highly successful during this pandemic. KP Northern California’s Centering provides virtual meetings to small groups of pregnant women at similar stages for monthly 90-minute virtual meetings to share advice with each other and a physician or midwife, and help build confidence in decision-making. One mom from this group says having this virtual option made meetings more accessible during an outbreak.

Breastfeeding Classes

KP Northern California ob-gyn departments offer virtual meetings called Centering that bring together small groups of pregnant women at similar stages in the same trimester, known as Centering. Led by an ob-gyn or midwife, these 90-minute virtual sessions cover every maternity-related topic: relieving common pregnancy discomforts safely while pregnant; safe exercise during gestation; body changes that happen with pregnancy and more. Joanna Stark MD from PMC noted how these classes remain popular even during the COVID-19 pandemic as they offer human connection and advice from peers – “these classes remain popular even during COVID-19 pandemic; providing human connections and advice from peers”.

Tinyhood, a maternal wellness startup, provides new moms with online community by offering classes on topics like breastfeeding and childbirth, as well as matching new mothers up with postpartum doulas and providing resource videos about newborn phase challenges, CPR/tummy time tutorials.

Community Wellness, an award-winning non-profit, offers some of the most popular virtual prenatal and parenting classes. Recently, they also began providing in-person programs such as breastfeeding support groups, baby care workshops and their unique Daddy Boot Camp program for fathers.

Additionally, major breastpumps manufacturers now provide free courses on how to use their products, from the workplace and home, to feeding your baby. Medela Breastfeeding Class provides insight into how their pump operates as well as feeding techniques.

Childbirth Classes

Many expecting mothers are seeking childbirth classes that will enable them to feel prepared and confident when giving birth – whether unmedicated or through cesarean section. A popular choice among many expectant moms-to-be is Lamaze classes, which teach mothers-to-be the six healthy birth practices (such as letting labor start naturally and moving during labor, as well as avoiding interventions that aren’t medically necessary) while giving the best opportunity for successful outcomes.

Mama Natural offers an online class called “Safe and Healthy Birth,” covering topics ranging from preconception nutrition to labor preparation and choosing an ideal support team. The cost is $99 or you can upgrade for access to replays of all videos, a private Facebook group and 100-page e-book and workbook of approximately $197.

Intermountain Healthcare’s free virtual Mom and Baby Group Course is an ideal solution for expecting couples wanting to explore all aspects of pregnancy: body changes, labor and birth, postpartum care and welcoming home their newborn. Each three-part class is taught by a registered nurse or Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator and comes complete with handouts covering key topics.

Beaumont also provides an online class called Understanding Birth Independent Study that covers similar material. After you finish studying on your own time, a virtual question and answer session with one of their RNs or childbirth educators awaits.

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