Free Prep Classes for Expecting Parents at SSM Health

Whether you’re planning to get pregnant or expecting a baby, the maternity team at SSM Health is excited to partner with you. Pregnancy, especially for first-time parents, can be daunting. The team at SSM Health offers comprehensive, coordinated care from specialists to provide nurturing care for your growing family. In fact, SSM Health offers special prep classes specifically designed for the needs and interests of parents. From birthing classes to postpartum care and everything in between, SSM Health will help you feel confident and prepared for your new baby.

We had the opportunity to talk with Alice Williams, BSN, and nurse in the SSM Birth Suites to learn more about the prenatal classes offered through SSM Health. 

What classes does SSM Health offer for new/expecting parents? What are the benefits of taking one of these courses?

Having your first baby is often filled with brand new experiences. Prenatal classes help prepare you for what to expect along the way- throughout your pregnancy, delivery, and after your baby is born. Many parents, as well as the nurses who teach, are excited to see familiar faces when you come in for delivery. Currently, our prenatal classes are free of charge, so you have nothing to lose, and so much to gain as you plan for the arrival of your new baby!

At SSM Health St. Mary’s Madison, we offer the following prenatal classes: Childbirth education, Caring for your newborn, Breastfeeding, Postpartum care and the 4th trimester.

These classes offer an opportunity for parents to not only gain knowledge about labor, delivery, caring for a newborn and how to support each other, but is also an opportunity to meet staff that currently work on the mother/baby units and ask questions as well. 

What is a typical class like in terms of class size, topic or structure?

Our in-person classes are limited to 15 couples at this time, but our online classes have unlimited capacity. Each class is a one-time event, and each class is signed up for separately. 

Most classes are taken by first time parents, but anyone who feels they need a refresher is welcome to sign up as well. 

Each class covers a host of topics, with time throughout and at the end to have a question/answer time. The childbirth education class has an online education course to complete prior to attending an in-person or virtual class. Parents have access to this online support for 9 months and can start their learning as soon as they find out they are expecting! 

Classes range greatly in size from one person up to 15 couples in the virtual setting. Most in-person classes have 3-10 couples present at this time. 

We’ve heard so much about the 4th Trimester class at SSM Health. What is the 4th Trimester and why is it so important to understand for new parents?

The fourth trimester is the 12-week period immediately following the delivery of a baby. This is the time at home where new parents are figuring out their new life as a family! The class covers topics like adjusting to a new sense of self, the importance of self-care, bonding with your baby, family sleep and fatigue, helping siblings adjust, and more. This class is also an opportunity for new parents to meet other new parents, going through the same highs and lows with a new baby.

The group is facilitated by our midwives, nurses, and a rotating group of experts. At this time the group meets virtually at 10am on Tuesdays. 

We know a lot of new moms are interested in learning more about breastfeeding. Can you share more information about your breastfeeding class?

The breastfeeding class is taught by one of our seasoned postpartum nurses who is also a certified lactation consultant. The course covers breast anatomy, the mechanics of breastfeeding, breast care, nutrition for breastfeeding people, solutions for common breastfeeding challenges, breast pumps, and community resources that are available. Most parents take this class before delivery. 

For more information about SSM Health’s prenatal classes, or to register for a course, please visit their Maternity Care page here. Many thanks to Alice for helping us learn more about these great resources for new/expecting parents!

Full list of classes offered at SSM Health:

Classes & Events | SSM Health


Madison Family
Madison is such a cool city. We love it around here. We live here too and our vision is to create a platform where real parents share real stories and we can all learn from one another. You will get to know real moms doing life right here in our neighborhoods and find information on a wealth of topics – local summer camps, preschools, swim lessons, shops and boutiques, events and experiences as so much more.


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