Congratulations—you’re pregnant! From the moment the stick turns blue (and your doctor confirms it), you’re in for an education like no other. If this is your first pregnancy, it might seem like a steep learning curve with an intimidating final exam, but don’t panic! Childbirth is the most natural thing in the world, and your body already knows half the answers. As for the rest, there are plenty of resources out there to help you prepare for giving birth and beyond. Think of them as cheatsheets— except no one minds if you use them! Alternative resources to help you prepare for childbirth.
Traditionally, most expectant moms read one or more books on pregnancy and/or newborn care to prepare for the big day. While there are lots of great books out there, they are by no means mandatory, and there are dozens of other resources available to you if reading isn’t your thing. We recommend exploring a few just to see what works for you. Whether you’re looking for a crash course, ongoing support, or just a light refresher class, there are resources ideally suited to your needs. Here are a few we recommend.
Resources on Tap: Explore Apps, Websites, and More
What did anyone ever do before the internet? Today, you can find answers to every burning question—and a good bit of the trivial ones, too—simply by tapping a mobile application or firing up a search engine. Best of all, this library never closes—perfect for those nights when you need fast reassurance from a pesky worry that’s keeping you up.
There are hundreds of educational apps available for Android and Apple devices that can guide you through your pregnancy. Many of them are completely free! In some cases, these apps balance informative content with cute visuals (like what size of fruit the fetus has reached!) and useful tracking tools. Smartphones and tablets are ideal for glancing at whenever you have a minute to spare—while you’re eating lunch, waiting for an elevator, or even sitting on the toilet (no need to be embarrassed; we all do it).
If you want to delve deeper into any topics relating to pregnancy or parenthood, there are a wealth of reliable websites out there for you to explore. For example, WebMD is an invaluable source of trusted medical advice. And don’t forget about Newborn Course—we’re always here to provide guidance and support.
Other useful online tools include videos (including real birthing videos where you can learn from the experiences of other women) and forums that allow you to socialize with pregnant women around the world. To find out more about any of these resources, explore our ebook!
Back to School: Take a Childbirth Class
Childbirth classes are a great way to boost your confidence and banish your fears. They provide you with some hands-on experience that helps you feel more in control at every minute. And you’ll be able to meet other expectant mommies in your local area—and share information, resources, and babysitters (when the time comes)!
Your local hospital may have classes. Alternatively, many independent classes are run by trained childbirth instructors all over the country. These may teach a specific birthing method, such as Lamaze, or give more general advice about things like techniques for coping with pain. You might have to book quite far in advance for a place, so it doesn’t hurt to start exploring your options early.
You can also take a course online! We offer courses covering every step of your journey to motherhood—and since you can take them any time any time of the day or night, you can learn from the comfort of your own bed!
Friendly Advice: Building a Support Team
You’re doing a lot of work already, but you don’t have to do it alone! Your partner, friends, and family can become your support team, helping you prepare for your little one’s arrival. Maybe your mom, other relatives, or friends with kids can give you some tips from their own experiences. (Of course, take everything with your own grain of salt.) Assign some of the research to your partner as well!
You could also hire a childbirth doula to support you through the experience. In some cases, these trained professionals also provide support for you and your baby for a period after birth. Visit DONA International to find a certified doula in your area. Your support team and any pregnancy preparation you do will help you when the big day finally arrives, giving you both confidence and the knowledge you need to make informed decisions. Good luck!