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Childbirth Education

Having a baby is a very special event. To help you prepare for the birth experience, West Penn Allegheny offers a variety of classes at convenient locations to best meet the needs of you and your family.

You can read our class offerings below. For a detailed list of classes offered throughout the system, along with detailed information about times and costs, please click here.

West Penn Hospital

West Penn Hospital offers a variety of educational programs. These 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 internationally certified childbirth educators or registered nurses who are experienced in the field of obstetrics.

Classes Offered at West Penn Hospital:

Baby Care Basics

During this class, expectant parents will receive information about newborn care and behavior, feeding, diapering, soothing techniques and more. Participants will get "hands-on" practice using baby dolls. This class will help you to feel more confident as you prepare to welcome your new baby into the world.

This class is offered as either a two-week series during which a pediatrician will visit, or one three-hour class with no pediatrician participation. It is best to attend during your second or third trimester.


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). 


Birth Basics

This class is intended for couples considering epidural anesthesia for their birth. During this 2 1/2 hour session, attendees will learn what to expect during the labor and birth process and discover answers to many important questions, including how to tell true from false labor, when to come to the hospital, what an epidural is, how it works, and its risks and benefits. Attendees will also learn about IVs, monitors, inductions, forceps, vacuums, cesarean sections, how the baby will look and routine nursery procedures. Class should be attended during the second trimester of pregnancy.

Please note: To avoid redundancy, we recommend that you select the Birth Basics OR Childbirth Comprehensive class. Basic birth and epidual information is covered in both classes.


Which classes should I take?

Should you need more information to choose which class may be best for you please contact the Childbirth Education office at 412.578.7030

OB Hospital Tour

To help you feel comfortable with your West Penn experience, we recommend the Maternity Unit Tour. 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 mentioned above please call 412.578.7030 to register for a tour.


Infant/Child CPR and Safety

As a parent you want to protect your baby and give her your best. Learning CPR and safety will provide you with that peace of mind. These are skills that no parent (or caretaker) should be without. 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.


Childbirth Comprehensive

During this interactive four-week course, internationally certified instructors work with expectant parents to help them plan for the birth of their baby. Expectant parents will learn about the normal birth process, what to expect during their hospital stay, and postpartum adjustments. The cesarean birth experience is also discussed; as are medication options and interventions. Parents will practice positioning, massage, relaxation, breathing and other pain management techniques to prepare for the birth. It is recommended that expectant parents attend these classes in the last two to three months of pregnancy. A tour of the obstetrics unit is included.

This class consists of four 2 1/2 hour session. Couples should attend this class during the third trimester.


ChildBirth Comprehensive-One Day Option

This fast paced childbirth preparation class is intended for couples with busy schedules. The same content is covered as in the 4 week series.  

This class is condensed to one eight-hour session held throughout the year.


Prenatal Breastfeeding

Breast milk is best for your baby! To help you get off to the best possible start, this 3 hour interactive class is offered for expectant parents. A board certified lactation consultant will answer your many questions, provide practical, evidence-based information and dispel myths regarding breastfeeding. 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 class is a three-hour course and is offered several times a month.


Sibling Preparation

Having a new baby can be a challenging time especially for an older brother or sister. This class will teach siblings what a newborn baby looks like, what a baby can or can’t do, and how to be the best big brother or sister possible.

This fun-filled 90 minutes class, designed for 3-8 year olds and their parents, includes a tour of the hospital.

Class size is limited so please register early.

For more information about Childbirth Education at West Penn Hospital, or to register for a class, call 412.578.7030.

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