This post is part of our ongoing comparison of the best birthing classes. All prices noted below are accurate as of 2021.

Originally known for teaching a unique set of breathing exercises for natural birth, Lamaze was one of the very first on the childbirth education scene, with classes starting in the 1950s. While breathing is still an integral part of classes, today’s Lamaze classes are based on The Six Healthy Childbirth Principles established by Lamaze.

In some ways, Lamaze is similar to The Mama Natural Birth Course, as we cover many of the same topics. Additionally, Mama Natural provides training on VBAC and breastfeeding.

Lamaze focuses on healthy childbirth, with special attention paid to interventions, and understanding when and why interventions might be necessary. The Mama Natural Birth Course focuses on natural hospital birth but includes training on birth center and home birth as well.

Spanning 12 hours, the Lamaze in-person, group, 6-class series provides varied offerings based on each instructor’s preference for scheduling; some instructors provide a weekly or bi-weekly series, while others offer classes condensed into one weekend.

In comparison, the Mama Natural Birth Course is 10 hours divided into 8 self-paced classes with additional bonus content like a prenatal workout video, Natural Birth Playbook, and more.

The Lamaze series takes a more clinical approach to its lessons, with a structured format that can seem a little formal at times. The Mama Natural Birth Course takes a conversational approach to instruction, aiming to educate in an upbeat, talk show style.

Parents seeking a natural birth are in good hands with either course, but we believe the Mama Natural Birth Course stands out in several key areas, including:

Instructors

Mama Natural Birth Course is the only online birthing course instructed by a Certified Nurse Midwife. Maura Winkler CNM is also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), which makes her an invaluable addition to your childbirth team. Additionally, you are not responsible for finding your class or instructor, or for fitting classes into your schedule with Mama Natural! Signing up is easy and straight-forward, and classes are completed on YOUR schedule.

Lamaze classes are taught by Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educators (LCCEs), which may be any lay person, doula, nurse, etc., who has fulfilled the requirements through Lamaze for this credential. Classes and instructors near you can be found on the Lamaze website.

Approach

The Lamaze style is focused mainly on mamas seeking a hospital-based birth; content for out-of-hospital birth is added or left out at the discretion of the instructor. And content may be changed significantly depending on whether or not a Lamaze class is offered in or by a hospital. The Mama Natural Birth Course covers options for all birth places, whether you’re delivering in a hospital, birthing center, or a birthing tub in your living room.

Coverage

The Mama Natural course goes beyond covering a hospital-based natural birth to include VBAC and breastfeeding training. We want you to be prepared and confident as possible in all aspects of delivery.

Course Access

The in-person approach used by Lamaze means that once class is over, you will be reliant on any handouts you received from class, or notes you took during classes for remembering what you’ve learned. But the Mama Natural Birth Course is accessible to you for up to one year, allowing you to review sections even after birth. This allows you to learn at your own pace and revisit areas you might’ve forgotten about later.

Bonuses

When you sign up for the Mama Natural Birth Course we send you a package in the mail that contains a deck of our Natural Pregnancy Affirmation Cards as well as a motivational bracelet from our charity partner in Haiti. (Mama Natural donates 10% of profits to charities that bring the midwifery-model of care to developing countries.) The Mama Natural Birth Course also comes with a one-year membership in our Mama Natural Pregnancy Group on Facebook!

Bonuses from Lamaze classes are provided at the discretion of instructors; students–and the public–have access to the Giving Birth With Confidence Blog, which contains lots of great pregnancy and early-parenting tips, tricks, and information!

Value

The Lamaze price tag varies from place to place, but averages $300-375. While this is significantly more than we charge for the Mama Natural Birth Course, the number of hours of education you receive from Lamaze are only slightly more. And while in-person classes allow you to ask questions as needed, the time the instructor may spend answering class questions may divert from the progress through the main material, which may limit the total time spent on the course work. From Certified Nurse Midwife-led instruction to lactation consultant-instructed breastfeeding segments, our progressive and modern course gives you the best information from the best resources at a convenient pace that you can refer back to in the future.

Closing Thoughts

We’re so happy that mamas have so many quality birthing courses to choose from!

When we designed the Mama Natural Birth Course, our goal was to introduce mamas to their innate power for giving birth. We wanted to help every woman stake their claim on their childbirth experience! We’re happy to see that mamas like you are empowered by this idea and having your very own best births through education and information.

While there are many online birthing courses out there, we strongly believe that our Certified Nurse Midwife-instructed course is the gold standard. Why? Because we made it that way. We want all mamas to feel heard and seen, and to have access to the information they need for their specific birth, no matter where or how that might happen. No matter what birth class you choose in the end, we wish you and your baby the best, mama.

Class Specifics Mama Natural Lamaze
Course Length 8 classes / 10 hours 6 classes/ 18 hours
Course Access 1 year n/a
Instructor Genevieve Howland & Maura Winkler, CNM, IBCLC Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE)
Taught by a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
Format HD video-based, hands-on In-person, group,
Approach Conversational, informative, “talk show style,” evidence-based “The Six Healthy Principles of Childbirth”
Printable Worksheets
Real Natural Birth Footage
Community Group Moderated By Certified Doula
Pricing $264 Varies, average $375
Audio Tracks
Section for Dad
VBAC Training
Breastfeeding Training
Accepts FSA/HSA
Donate 10% to Charity
Physical Bonus via Mail
Extras Mama Natural Affirmations App and physical copies, Prenatal workout video, Natural Birth Playbook, and more
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