Birth and Baby Care Classes

Becoming a new parent is an exciting time and UnityPoint Health - Des Moines offers a number of birth and baby care classes to help you prepare for this new adventure. Learn about what to expect during delivery, tips on comfort measures during childbirth, prepare yourself for breastfeeding, learn how to bathe your baby and so much more! 

Register online and view upcoming class times and locations. We encourage you to have all of your childbirth classes completed by the end of your second trimester (13-28 weeks). If you have questions or need to cancel your scheduled class, please call 515-241-8205.

Childbirth Preparation Classes

  • Childbirth Preparation- This four-week course covers what to expect during the end of your pregnancy, signs of labor, what to expect during labor, pain relief topics, breathing/relaxation techniques, medical procedures and care following birth.
  • Childbirth Express- This Saturday class is a condensed version of the Childbirth Preparation Course. Topics will be similar but will be discussed at a faster pace.
  • Twins or More- This four-week series covers topics specific to a multiple pregnancy, labor and delivery. Also included are tours of the Maternity Center and Blank Children's NICU.

Parenting Preparation Classes

  • Newborn Care- This interactive class is designed to help new parents learn the basics of caring for a baby. The focus of this class will be safety issues, newborn reflexes, bathing, feeding, diapering, cord and circumcision care during the first six weeks.
  • Baby Finance 101 - This class walks you through an example budget, explores the costs of parenting from infancy through college, and discusses insurance and legal issues to consider for your new family.
  • Prenatal Breastfeeding Class - This two-hour class will discuss the art of breastfeeding, what to expect during the beginning days of breastfeeding and what support resources are available after you leave the hospital.
  • Fathers Class - This two-hour class explores life changes for new fathers, both before and after the birth of your child. Our facilitator is a father who understands fatherhood first hand.
  • Car Seat Safety for New Parents - This two-hour class discusses properly securing your baby in a car seat, properly securing the car seat in a vehicle, car seat law versus best practice, and more.
  • Baby Safety - Learn tips on keeping your little bundle of joy safe from the start - at home, in the nursery and on the go. Topics covered include crib safety, car seat safety, baby proofing and more. Identify hidden safety hazards in your home and steps you can take to prevent unintentional injuries.
  • Comfort Techniques during Childbirth - This two-hour class for expectant parents is a more in depth study and practice in how to manage pain with less medical intervention.
  • Childhood Vaccinations - Get the Facts! - A Blank Children's pediatrician discusses the importance of infant vaccinations, addresses myths and answers questions about immunizations.

Partnering with Parents

Our goal is to partner with parents to offer education and resources to support the social-emotional development of children as well as healthy lifestyles. 

  • Feeding Your Baby (Birth to 1 Year) - This class shows parents how to feed first-year babies in the most nutritious, safe and nurturing way, including when to start solids and the progression of textures. It encourages parents to make improvements in their family's eating and physical activity habits.

Online Childbirth Education Program

  • Online Childbirth Education Program - The Gift of Motherhood eLearning Childbirth Education Program is for those who are unable to attend our conventional Childbirth Preparation classes due to bed rest, scheduling conflicts or time constraints. It is also a good refresher course for repeat parents. The web-based eLearning program is $35 and includes animated illustrations, videos, voice-overs and games.