Online Childbirth Education Program Expands Options for Parents-to-Be

ThedaCare Class Allows Expectant Parents to Learn at Home

There’s a new childbirth class option available for area parents-to-be and they don’t even have to leave their house.

ThedaCare is offering an online childbirth education program that future moms and dads can take in the comfort of their own homes. The course is ideal for parents who can't make it to a traditional four-week course or weekend-only class because of health concerns or busy schedules, said Barbara Pendergast, a patient/family/community educator at the Family Birth Center at Appleton Medical Center and the Theda Birth Center at Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah.

“Some moms-to-be are on bed rest and can't make it to a regular class and this is something they can do from home,” she said. “There are also parents with unpredictable or non-traditional work schedules who can’t make the evening classes or people who may be concerned about transportation issues.”

Pendergast said the new program was put together in response to the needs of moms and their birth coaches. “We definitely heard a need for this type of course,” she said. “Being well informed and familiar with where you’re going to give birth are essential parts of a positive birth experience. Many parents find childbirth classes help calm worries and answer a lot of their questions.”

The new course features eight chapters focused on caring for yourself and your baby; childbirth education and labor support; pregnancy discomforts; understanding labor and delivery; an extensive labor guide including information on Cesarean births, pain management and medication; post-partum care; and feeding options for newborns.

The program features charts, diagrams, embedded videos, animations, puzzles and interactive games that all promote learning, Pendergast said. An audio button will also read any text out loud.

To access the course, parents sign up and receive a code that activates the course for 90 days. While any parents-to-be can purchase the program, it does contain specific information on the birth centers at Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, New London Family Medical Center and Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca.

Course participants can also email any questions they may have to a childbirth instructor at the hospital they plan to deliver at.

To register for the course, parents-to-be can call ThedaCare On Call at (920) 830-6877 or (800) 236-2236. You can also go to ThedaCare Classes and select the “eLearning Childbirth Education” option. There is a fee.

 “The course is designed to help parents with a wide variety of learning styles. Some people like to see lots of visuals while others may want to read. It all comes together in this program,” Pendergast said.

ThedaCare™ is a community health system consisting of five hospitals: Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, New London Family Medical Center, Shawano Medical Center, and Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca. ThedaCare also includes ThedaCare Physicians, ThedaCare Behavioral Health, and ThedaCare at Home. ThedaCare is the largest employer in Northeast Wisconsin with more than 6,175 employees. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information, media may contact Megan Wilcox, APR, (, public relations and corporate specialist for ThedaCare, at (920) 830-5847, or call the Theda Clark Medical Center switchboard at (920) 729-3100 and ask for the marketing person on call.