Blogs and other forms of online advice can empower, educate, and so much more. But do they take the place of a traditional childbirth class? After all, using an app (or something similar) is a time-saver that can give you expert-created details on pregnancy and childbirth — minus the trip to the hospital or birthing center. And you could just YouTube “childbirth” to save even more time. But there are still reasons why you might want to go to an IRL class.

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1. Expert Information: While there are plenty of trusted sites, blogs, apps, and other e-learning tools available, they aren’t all equal. Unless you’re getting your info from a hospital, birthing center, or other verifiable expert source, the facts may not be… actual facts. A childbirth class that’s led by a certified childbirth educator or registered nurse provides the expert info that you never knew you needed to know — but really, really need right now.

2. Other Mamas: The childbirth educator isn’t the only person who’ll give you support. An in-person class gives you the chance to meet other women who are going through the same things you are. And bonus: You might meet a few new lifelong mommy friends.

3. Information Variety: You’re 100 percent sure that you want a natural childbirth. And that’s why you spend your pre-baby birth day days scrolling through every natural childbirth blog out there. But what happens if, when the big day gets there, you just can’t take the pain? A childbirth class gives you info on your options. The educator will cover more than what happens naturally. They’ll review pain meds, epidurals, and C-sections too. This prepares you for the what ifs, I didn’t know thats, and I never thought I woulds.

4. Together Time With Your Partner: Googling “What is childbirth really like?” isn’t exactly a bonding experience for soon-to-be new parents. Attending a childbirth class with your S.O. is a break from the pre-baby rush, giving you time together. It also helps to get both of you on the same page when it comes to what your birth experience will look like.

5. Pre-Baby Tour of the Hospital: While it’s possible to take a hospital/birthing center tour without taking a childbirth class, this is also a perk that comes along with most classes. If pregnancy brain has prevented you from scheduling a tour, don’t stress. Going to the class gives you a chance to check out the facility.

6. An Opportunity to Ask Questions: The awesomely informative childbirth blog post you just read has the details you needed to know. But now that you have a basic education, you have even more questions. Whom should you ask? Depending on who wrote the post and when it was written, the answer may be no one. A childbirth class provides you with the opportunity to have your very own Q&A session with a real person who is standing right in front of you.

7. Real-Life Practice: The birthing positions you’ve read about online seem like IT. But the instructions are just so-so. Unless you’re up for a complicated game of Twister that looks something like a yoga session gone wrong, you want a pro with you to help. Childbirth classes aren’t all about lectures. The educator will get you up and moving too. This gives you the chance to check out the positions you’ve been reading about, for real.

8. Local Experts: A local expert who knows the hospital, medical center, doctors, doulas, and everything/everyone else who has anything to do with childbirth is a resource that you need. The childbirth class gives you something much more than just information — it introduces you to a professional in the birthing field who most likely has connections.

Are you planning on going to a childbirth class? Share your reasons why/why not and tweet us @BritandCo.

(Photos via Getty)