Classes & Centering Pregnancy
Whether you’re a new or returning parent, we encourage you to participate in our classes to prepare for your new baby! Remember to start your childbirth classes no later than 34 weeks! The better prepared you are, the less overwhelmed you will feel.
Preparation for Childbirth – This series of classes taken during the 6th or 7th month are designed to educate parents about the physical and emotional aspects of the birthing process. Support person(s) are encouraged to attend and will learn their role as coach during labor. Total class duration is 8 hours and they are offered as a 2-week or 4-week series, weekdays or weekends. A tour of the Birthing Center is included. Class fee is $65 and may be covered by insurance.
Click Here to Schedule this Class
Introduction to Breast Feeding – The benefits of breastfeeding for babies, mothers and the family are numerous. This class is designed to help get breastfeeding off to a great start by dispelling myths, teaching evidence-based current information and some practical tips for the family. A doll would be helpful to bring to class. Support persons are welcome! Total class duration is 2 hours and they are offered on select Wednesday evenings. Class fee is $10 and may be covered by insurance.
Click Here to Schedule this Class
Questions about classes? Contact our OB Nurse Navigator, Kim Hunter at 610-378-2569 or KHunter3@pennstatehealth.psu.edu
Breastfeeding Support: The Baby Bistro
1st & 3rd Wednesday of the month: 10-11 a.m.
Free; pre-registration is not required; just come!
Come and meet other women who are breastfeeding their babies! This free drop-in group is a collaboration between Berks County Breastfeeding Coalition and Penn State Health St. Joseph that focuses on allowing breastfeeding mothers to support each other in a warm, nurturing environment. Breastfeeding mothers and their babies are welcome to drop in for a cup of tea, relax, and chat with others about what’s going on as a new mom. Staff trained in lactation are available to answer any breastfeeding questions with accurate, up-to-date information. Weight checks are free. Moms and babies can come for as many weeks as they would like. Click here to view the brochure.
Centering Pregnancy Prenatal Model at our Downtown Reading Campus
While the traditional model of prenatal care is given one-on-one by a provider in a private examination room in an office or clinic setting, Centering Pregnancy is an innovative model in a group setting that includes self-monitoring and extended time with the provider. It integrates three major components of care: health assessment, education, and support. Expecting moms are placed in a group of 8-12 other women due within the same month, and they attend group sessions until it is time to deliver. They are seen by a prenatal provider as they would be in a traditional appointment, and their exams take place in a private section of the Centering room during their group sessions. After all the women have been examined, they gather in a circle for group discussions about pregnancy related topics led by expert facilitators. This is not just for first-time moms. Experienced moms enjoy sharing their pregnancy and parenting knowledge to add to the group discussion.
Studies have shown that knowledge about pregnancy is greater in Centering groups when compared to traditional prenatal care. St. Joseph’s program – with offerings in both English and Spanish at our Downtown Reading and Bern Campus – includes educational sessions that consist of: prenatal nutrition, dental health, healthy relationships, labor preparation, pain management during labor, breastfeeding, post-partum depression, bonding with your baby, preventing SIDS and Shaken Baby Syndrome, and newborn care.
Since the Centering model promotes self-care, it has been linked to better overall health management. The combination of the continuity of prenatal care, as well as the educational, emotional, and social support the women in Centering Pregnancy receive has also been linked to better pregnancy health outcomes such as: lower rates of preterm delivery and low birth weight babies, and higher exclusive breastfeeding rates.
Please contact Kim Hunter, OB Nurse Navigator, at khunter3@PennStateHealth.psu.edu or (484)650-1767 for more information about this program.