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Preparing for Parenthood Class Descriptions

Having a baby is a unique and special time and at Howard County General Hospital: A Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine, we do everything possible to make your experience safe, comfortable and happy. We know you’re excited and that you probably have some questions about how to prepare for your delivery, what to expect when you go into labor and arrive at the hospital, and how to care for your newborn when you get home. We believe education is an important component in preparing for your baby’s arrival. Our childbirth and new parent education classes encourage the active participation of family members and are designed to prepare you for having a successful experience.

Class Descriptions

Birthing Center Tours
During this free tour, parents-to-be will preview the maternity services at HCGH. The tour is available for mother-to-be and one other adult only. Because of space limitations, additional adults or children will not be allowed on the tour. For your benefit, we recommend that you take your tour six to eight weeks before your due date.
Register:  2020 Tours (Jan-June) | Video Tour

For siblings, please consider enrolling your child(ren) in the "I’m Going to be a Big Brother or Sister" class at Howard County Library System. For information, visit Howard County Library System's website or call 410-313-7750.

Childbirth Class
$95 per couple
Using online learning and classroom instruction, this class will provide the essential information expectant parents should know to prepare for the birth of their baby. The eClass, titled "Understanding Birth," includes eight chapters of detailed information, videos, activities, and more. In the 2-1/2 hour classroom section, you will learn comfort techniques such as relaxation and breathing patterns, ask questions and meet other expectant parents. Taking the classroom section 6-8 weeks before your due date and viewing the eClass before attending the classroom session is recommended. Register: Childbirth Class

Understanding Birth: An Online Class
$35 (access expires after 9 months)
Understanding Birth is an online course that allows you and your partner to learn about childbirth preparation in your home at your own pace. This eClass includes comprehensive information about pregnancy, labor, childbirth, comfort techniques, caesarean section, medical procedures, newborns, and postpartum care. Once you register, you will be e-mailed a personal access code that will allow you to register and view the online course at Register: eClass

Infant Care
$85 per couple
Parents, grandparents and caregivers are welcome to attend this class. Using online learning and classroom instruction, this class provides the setting to learn how to care for your newborn. The eClass, titled "Understanding Your Newborn," includes nine chapters of detailed learning about the newborn’s appearance, feeding, sleeping, crying, signs of illness, safety and a more. The classroom setting provides group discussion and hands-on practice to enhance your learning. Register:  Infant Care

$40 per couple
Using online learning and classroom instruction, this class will prepare couples for a positive, successful breastfeeding experience.  The eClass, titled "Understanding Breastfeeding," includes eight chapters of detailed information, videos, activities, and more.  In the classroom instruction, a lactation consultant will provide practical information for those who will remain at home or return to work. Parents will learn about the physical and emotional issues related to breastfeeding. Partners will learn the importance of participating in the breastfeeding process.
Register: Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Support Group

Mondays and Wednesdays (choose one), 12:30-1:30 pm
Little Patuxent Specialty Care Center Training Room
11065 Little Patuxent Parkway, Second Floor
Directions: Enter the narrow side entrance of the building and go to second level. First door on your left. Free, drop-in.

For additional information, please call 410-740-7830.

Financial Issues for Prospective, Expectant and New Parents
A certified financial planner will discuss the financial issues involved in starting a family including income and expenses, saving for college and steps you can take to help make having a baby more affordable. Learn how to protect your family should something happen to you and how employer benefits and government tax breaks can help provide for your new family. You will leave this program with an action plan to help make you feel confident about your finances and able to focus on being a parent.  Search for classes

Family and Friends CPR
$45 per person
Family & Friends CPR teaches the lifesaving skills of Adult hands only CPR; Child CPR with breaths; Adult and Child AED use; Infant CPR; and relief of choking in an adult, child or infant. Register:  CPR

Choose Your Pediatrician and Promote Your Newborn’s Health
Preparing for your new baby includes finding the right pediatrician before you deliver. Learn factors to consider and questions to ask when choosing your pediatrician. The discussion will also include ways you can promote the health of your newborn. Search for classes

Registration Information

For more information on any childbirth and new parent education program, please visit You will find a full list of services, a virtual tour of the Maternal Child Unit and class information including dates and times. You may register for all classes and a birthing center tour online. Call 410-740-7601 with questions.

When Should I Schedule My Class?

For your benefit, we strongly recommend your taking the Birthing Center Tour, Breastfeeding, Infant Care and Childbirth Class with Birthing Center Tour 6 to 8 weeks before your due date. Classes and tours fill quickly and early registration is advised. We suggest registering as soon as possible but at least three months before your due date.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation of Non-Maternal/Child Classes
To receive a full refund, cancellations must be made at least one week before class. A $25 fee per class will be applied for cancellations made less than 7 full days before class. No refunds will be issued less than 24 hours before class even for medical reasons. Registrations are not transferrable and classes cannot be rescheduled. Cancellations made by HCGH will receive a full refund. To cancel, call 410-740-7601.

Cancellation of Childbirth, Infant Care and Breastfeeding Classes
A non-refundable fee of $35 will be charged to cover the online portion of the class and will not be refunded for any reason. For cancellations made more than a week before your class, a refund minus the $35 online fee will be issued. For cancellations made less than a week before your class, a refund minus $60 ($25 service fee plus $35 online fee) will be issued. No refund will be issued less than 24 hours before class even for medical reasons. For Sunday classes, cancellation must be made by 4 p.m. on the Friday before. Cancellations made by HCGH will receive a full refund. To cancel, call 410-740-7601.

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