Online prenatal classes trend in Richmond

Brenton is the first child for Lindsey Lewis and her husband.

HENRICO, Va. (WRIC) — Parents, remember those prenatal classes you sat through to prepare for your new arrival?  Now you do not necessarily have to go outside your home to learn what to expect when you are expecting.

Lindsey Lewis is so in love with 13-week-old Brenton.  He’s her first child, so she had so many questions before her labor and delivery.

“As a new mom, I learned so much and it was so overwhelming,” says Lewis.

Like more and more moms-to-be, Lewis turned to her laptop for answers.

Henrico Doctors’ Hospital started offering an online childbirth education class to meet a growing demand for expectant parents.  According to a survey from the nonprofit Childbirth Connection, only a third of pregnant women in the U.S. attended classes between 2011 and 2012.  More are turning to the internet for convenience.

“Our prenatal classes that we offer, and we offer quite a few, usually last about two hours.  So if they’ve had a long day, they’re tired or if they’ve driving a long distance they may not want to sit through a two-hour class,” explains Laura Tate, the Education Coordinator at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital.  “To be able to do it from the comfort of their home anytime they want in their pajamas works great.”

Lewis says it was the perfect fit for her and her husband who both balanced busy work schedules during the pregnancy.  “I was a little more relaxed in my own environment being able to take them and rewind or go back and re-look at things if I had questions really kinda worked out better for me.”

Lewis says it gave her peace of mind too, knowing that the information came from her hospital, not just a site she found on the internet.

The response has been so great that Henrico Doctors’ Hospital is looking at expanding online offerings to baby care and breastfeeding classes.

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