"The more comfortable they are with the process, the more they know what their options are, the better chance they have to have a better birth," says Candy Mueller, coordinator of Childbirth Education at Morton Plant Mease Health Care in Clearwater, Fla.
Mueller says the problem is many women don't have time to come to weeks of classes.
"We began to realize that when women find out they're pregnant, the first thing they do is run to their computers and see what information there is online," Mueller says.
But many women, like mom-to-be Sarah Harris, can actually become confused by what they find.
"I actually stopped looking online because I was overwhelmed by all the stuff that was out there and I didn't know what sites to go to," Harris says.
Now Harris and her hubby Jeff Ewelt get all of their questions answered with a new online childbirth class.
"We have busy schedules so to be able to do it at our own time and own schedules. There's nothing like that," Ewelt says.
The hospital-backed course includes information that they are quizzed on, can take notes about and even watch videos. For $45 they can log on for 90 days to do the three hours of class work.
"We've found nothing but positive reaction. They are just so thankful that it is available," Mueller says.
"I now know what to expect when I go in the hospital room and I'm not gonna just be a deer in headlights," Ewelt says.
Dogs Poncho and Chili -- and tortoise, Homer -- have been good practice.
"He's the easiest thing to have. He is self-sufficient," Ewelt says.
Not so with a newborn. Thanks to the online class, they're confident they'll be ready when the baby comes along.
The online course is open to any pregnant woman, not just moms that are delivering at the hospital that's offering the program. It even includes an optional in-person session if the couple wants to attend and ask additional questions.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Morton Plant Mease Healthcare