Anyone expecting or planning on becoming pregnant should look in to the many childbirth preparation courses offered, not just in the hospitals but private classes as well. In hospital classes usually only cover what to expect in the hospital as far as procedures but rarely do they cover the physiological process your body is going to do and how to prepare for labor and birth.
My educator was Pat Goding and to this day I credit her words (just from the class I took with others) for helping me get through both my births without any intervention.
Hawai`i Childbirth Educators Association/Doula Network of Hawai`i is such a wonderful site to find educators as well as Doulas: http://www.hawaiichildbirthprofessionals.com/
List of childbirth classes:
Best Birth Hawai`i – Katja Bajema; http://www.bestbirthhawaii.com/
Bradley Method – http://www.bradleybirth.com/
Lamaze – http://www.lamazeinternational.org/
Birthworks – http://www.birthworks.org/site/
ICEA “International Childbirth Education Association” – http://www.icea.org/
ABCE “Academy of Certified Birth Educators” – http://www.acbe.com/
Hypnobirth “The Mongan Method” – http://www.hypnobirthing.com/
Questions to ask when choosing a childbirth preparation class:
1. What is the background/experience of the teacher?
2. Is the instructor certified, if so with whom? (ICEA, Lamaze, Bradley)
3. Is there a particular childbirth method taught?
4. Does the educator participate in continuing education in the field?
5. Is the class consumer-oriented and does it include information about options and choices for birth?
6. What is the length of the series? (in total hours)
7. What is the cost?
8. What information is covered?
9. Is the instructor available to answer questions prior to, during, and after the series?
10. What is the usual size of the class? Is there a limit?
11. How much time is spent in discussion, lecture, practicing relaxation and breathing exercises, comfort measures, etc.?