Some things in life are made better when they’re together. Milk and cookies. Peanut butter and jelly. Macaroni and cheese. Doula support and childbirth education. All solid choices independently but the combination of the two is unmatched. Maybe you haven’t heard of that last one, but I promise you, it’s just as cohesive of a relationship as milk and cookies! 

Hiring a birth doula helps ensure you and your partner are supported and confident during your pregnancy and birth journey. Just knowing that you will have someone whose sole focus is YOU during this process can relieve so much unanticipated stress. 

In order to ensure you receive the most out of your experience with a birth doula, it is beneficial to ALSO invest in a quality childbirth education workshop!

Here are three reasons why you (and your partner) will benefit from the combination of doula support and childbirth education workshops:

Your DOB doula is intimately familiar with our childbirth education curriculum. 

She is able to help you recall 3rd trimester health and safety information and communicate your preferences and priorities for your birth experience with your care provider through your pregnancy. Recognizing that your body was preparing for labor (hello too many trips to the bathroom!) meant you were able to give your doula a much appreciated heads up at 9 pm instead of 3 am! During labor, your doula can offer reminders to use your  B.R.A.I.N. to make decisions and ensure your partner feels confident with how and when to use the hip squeeze they learned during Comfort Measures. 

Your childbirth education workshop will set the framework for what to expect. 

Having a foundational knowledge of the ‘what ifs’ of pregnancy and birth can help you to avoid potentially serious complications. Unfortunately, not every aspect of pregnancy, labor, birth, and/or postpartum always goes perfectly according to plan. For example, because you’ve taken a childbirth education course together, your partner was able to recognize that the persistent headache you’ve had for the last 24 hours, may be outside of the range of normal and requires a call to your provider. Having the knowledge of what is expected at each stage of this journey helps you to better understand the process, communicate your concerns, and make decisions that are best for your family.

A well-prepared partner means better support for you.

Taking a workshop together takes the responsibility to inform and educate your partner, off of your shoulders. Chances are that you, as the birthing person, have shouldered much of the responsibility in researching and preparing for the birth of your baby. You may have sent resources – books, podcasts, TikTok videos, and articles in their direction but most partners benefit more from receiving information directly from a unbiased professional

Having access to a professional birth doula throughout your pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum experiences means having a sounding board for thoughts, questions, and concerns.

But the saying is true, you don’t know what you don’t know. Taking a childbirth education workshop and conferring with your doula can help you to devise questions for your providers so you aren’t left responding “I don’t know; what should I be asking?” at the end of your next prenatal visit!

There are pros and cons for all the birth classes on the market, and depending on what you are looking for from a class (your personal goals for your birth, your schedule, and the like) many of the mainstream birth classes can be unappealing.

You may feel like taking a childbirth series is one more thing to do before your baby arrives, but this is one thing that could make an incredible difference to your birth experience.

Childbirth education classes share information that is not just about the physiological birth process, but the myriad of options that could be present at the birth of your child. And, if you pick a quality class, it is about much more than that.

Most parents are asking their providers for recommendations of where to attend, and for many, that means signing up for the hospital’s class. But not every childbirth class is created equal.

We want to share why choosing an independent professional childbirth education class could be one of the best things you do for you and your baby.

1) All The Options

Because our childbirth classes are taught outside of the hospital, our instructors are free to share all options and not only those that support hospital policy. As independent instructors we focus on sharing information, explaining the many options available during labor and birth, and the various scenarios that may arise. This way our students feel informed and prepared to enter their own experience.

We are invested in getting you the knowledge for the type of birth that you desire, and the delivery you will have.

Are you looking for a low intervention birth?

Are you curious about epidurals?

Are you curious about what to do before you get an epidural?

We give easy-to-understand knowledge, and tools to help you bring your plan to life, and, if necessary, help to navigate the unexpected.

2) Specialized Birth Educators

Once you decide to take a childbirth class, why not rest assured your instructor is someone connected and knowledgeable about birth in your area. To be a childbirth educator with Doulas of Baltimore, years of study, hundreds of hours teaching, and first-hand experience helping families in labor are what make the difference.

The nuance of birth is such that there is no pattern that everyone will follow. However, with enough time working with families, a new kind of skill develops which your teacher is happy to share with class attendees. It may be silly to say, but that ability is having trust and confidence in birth. When you know what is possible, and learn the necessary skills to discuss needs and wishes with your care providers, you increase the potential for an excellent birth experience.

3) Partners Enjoy Them

There’s a stereotype that non-pregnant partners are uninterested in attending or participating in birth classes. We find birth partners engaged in our classes and happy to feel more confident when class has ended!

We do not shove you into a classroom with grainy videos of birth from the 1970s, and we don’t make a screen the focus of the class. We know your time is valuable, and endeavor to make our time together result in you having more confidence about your child’s birth. And more confident about how to interact with one another during your baby’s birth.

If you’re not convinced yet, read testimonials from former students and don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions. If you are ready to get started – head straight to our class registration page!


Around 3.7 million babies are born each year in the US, but we are the only developed country with a rising maternal mortality rate. And that rate is worse for marginalized groups. Black women are three to four times as likely to die of pregnancy and birthing complications as white women and disabled people have a significantly higher risk of dying from pregnancy and childbirth than their able-bodied counterparts. Here is the important statistic, though: 60% of maternal deaths are preventable. Understanding the disparities and providing equity in healthcare access can decrease maternal mortality. To help increase awareness for maternal health, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recognizes Maternal Health Awareness Day every January 23. 

Here are some resources for expectant parents to improve maternal health.

Routine Prenatal Visits are Vital for Your Maternal Health and Baby’s Health

ACOG recommends that you schedule a visit with a care provider as soon as you know you are pregnant. Then, go to all of your visits, even if you feel fine. A prenatal care provider can include an OB/GYN, a family care doctor, a nurse practitioner, or a midwife. The March of Dimes has an extensive guide to prenatal care visits and what to expect. 

Understanding Pregnancy Helps a Health Pregnancy

Our belief is that education, collaborative provider partnership, and unwavering nonjudgmental support can make pregnancy and childbirth one of the most fulfilling and transformative experiences of your life. Understanding pregnancy can help people know what to expect, what to look out for, and how to stay as healthy as possible. For example, preeclampsia is a leading cause of maternal mortality, but many people may not know their risk factors. ACOG has an infographic with preeclampsia basics and an FAQ about staying healthy before and during pregnancy. At Doulas of Baltimore, our Childbirth Education Classes help you feel informed and make confident decisions. 

Postpartum Care Should Be an Ongoing Process

While a lot of focus is placed on the time leading up to childbirth, ACOG has recognized that the postpartum period is important. For parents, this should mean planning and thinking about healthcare, feeding, care, and important decisions (link to last blog) before baby arrives. ACOG believes that postpartum care should be an ongoing process that is individualized for each birthing person. This is especially true for people who have other health conditions that may impact their postpartum health. March of Dimes has an overview of what to expect during postpartum healthcare visits. 

Each pregnancy and birth is unique. By helping parents understand childbirth and the postpartum period, we can hope for healthier families and babies. 

Installing a car seat safely is one of the most important things to do before baby arrives. In fact, you can’t leave the hospital without a car seat. Choosing and installing a car seat that best fits your vehicle and lifestyle can seem daunting; that’s why our own Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) is here to help. Here are six steps to ensure your baby’s car seat is safely installed. 

Be Prepared

If you are a first-time parent, you’ve probably never installed a car seat before. And even if you have other children, you may not be familiar with your new car seat’s installation procedures. To install your car seat safely, read both the entirety of your car seat manual and the portions of your vehicle owner’s manual that pertains to child restraints. We recommend that you install your seat by your 36th week of pregnancy.

Accessories Can Be Dangerous

It might be tempting to use aftermarket accessories for your car seat or car. Don’t. Use only manufactured approved items that come in the box with your car seat (infant inserts, strap covers, etc.). This includes cozy winter inserts like the J.J. Cole Bundle Me, which are not approved for use in car seats. 

Don’t Leave Baby in the Car Seat

Avoid keeping baby in the car seat more than absolutely necessary. A car seat is designed to keep baby snug and safe, but limits baby’s movement. Even if baby fell asleep in the car seat or you want to keep baby in the car seat at a restaurant or indoors, consider babywearing or a stroller with a bassinet instead. 

Ensure Proper Use of the Car Seat

Straps should come through the slot just below baby’s shoulders, be snug enough that you can not pinch any slack at the collarbone or hips and chest clip should be even with baby’s armpits. Never loosen car seat straps or unbuckle the chest clip or crotch buckle unless you are removing the baby from the seat.

Consult a Child Passenger Safety Technician to Install the Car Seat Safely

Before baby arrives, schedule an appointment with a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST). A CPST is qualified and trained to make sure that your car seat is installed correctly and can help you install a baby car seat safely.

As a Doulas of Baltimore client, you may schedule your Car Seat Concierge appointment for $100. What’s included in our car seat concierge service:

  • Initial consultation to discuss your feature and brand preferences, budget, and lifestyle factors
  • Assistance in selecting the best car seat for your child 90-minute personalized car seat installation appointment with up to 2 seat(s) in up to 2 vehicle(s) 
  • 12 months of industry professional phone/email support as your child grows to ensure your confident in your child’s car seat safety


Contact us to learn more

Two things can happen as you get closer to your baby’s arrival date. You feel the urge to nest, or prepare your home for the new baby. You might set up the nursery or clean the house. You also might feel overwhelmed and anxious about getting everything done. Here is an overview of four ways you can prepare for baby’s arrival. 

Set Up Your Home

The first thing that new parents usually think about is where baby is going to sleep. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies “room in,” ( or sleep in the same room as parents, for the first 6 months. Make sure that the crib or bassinet is away from windows, heavy shelves, and electrical cords. Other things you might want in the nursery or in your bedroom are a diaper changing table, chair for feeding, a dresser for clothing, and places to store extra diapers and toys. Consider buying natural or greenguard items to prevent off-gassing, or buy them used or well in advance of baby’s arrival. 

Get the Gadgets 

Some gadgets aren’t really gadgets at all: they are necessary tools. For example, you can’t leave the hospital without a proper car seat. Many new parents opt for car seat/stroller combos, where the carrier snaps into the car seat or the stroller, for a variety of functions. 

Additionally, a baby carrier or babywearing device can be worth its weight in gold. Babies are soothed by being nestled close, while parents enjoy having their hands and arms free. Slings, wraps, and packlike/structured carriers are all great options. Often families will opt to have a couple carriers to choose from depending on who is wearing the baby and whether they are on for a walk (or other outdoor activity) or if they are trying to get chores done around the house. Check out this list of babywearing devices

Another popular product we’ve seen lately is the Snoo smart bassinet. Many new parents swear by their effectiveness. So much so that some employers (like Under Armour) are taking notice and now provide a 6 month rental Snoo bassinet for their employees. The bassinet responds to a baby’s cries with swaddling, shushing, and swaying (part of the 5S theory). It does this by rocking and playing white noise to soothe the baby. It also ensures that babies sleep on their backs with a special sleep sack. 

Clinical Decisions to Consider 

Less exciting than preparing the nursery or getting everything ready, but just as important, are the clinical decisions to consider before baby arrives. While you’ve been working with a doula and midwife and/or an obstetrician, once baby is born, they’ll need a pediatrician. Ask your healthcare provider for recommendations and get a pediatric care provider. Similarly, begin thinking about childcare providers. While you may have time off from work, consider who will take care of baby when you head back to work. Lastly, consider options available at the hospital for your newborn such as cord blood donation or delaying cord clamping, erythromycin eye ointment, vitamin K injection, and circumcision. 

Take Care of Yourself 

In the excitement and nervousness you may experience before bringing baby home, it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself. You can take time to appreciate your friendships, your romantic relationship, or your relationship with your other children through special trips or outings. And make sure to get adequate nutrition and rest – things that might be in short supply in the coming months.

You can learn more about how to prepare for baby’s arrival through our Baby 101: The 4th Trimester, Birth Basics or Complete Childbirth Education classes. Click here to learn more.