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Women and Infants Center Classes

Women with questions may call: 217-744 -2229 or email

The Women and Infants Center (formerly Birth Center) has a variety of classes to meet your needs. Our teaching staff consists of experienced nurses who often have additional training and certifications to be able to teach our prenatal classes.

We want to encourage you to learn as much as you can about how to prepare for your new little one before your baby arrives. One benefit for mothers delivering their baby here at St. John’s is that most of our prenatal classes are free. 

Register for classes here or at the bottom of this page.
Baby Basics I: All About Baby

mother kissing newbornThis class discusses what a new baby is really like and how to care for   one. Information is provided on basic layette and nursery needs, feeding choices, safety issues, poison prevention and infant car seat regulations and installation.

Baby Basics II: Parenthood
This class prepares you for your new role as a parent. Class topics include the emotional and physical changes after giving birth. How will I cope with a baby? Why do babies cry? How can I calm my baby? What kind of support should I have when I get home? These and many more questions will be answered. A local pediatrician will be present to answer questions about how to choose a baby doctor.
Women and Infants Center Tours
A registered nurse will guide expectant parents on a tour of the Women and Infants Center. An overview of all services available at the Women and Infants Center will be provided. Tours are available every Tuesday evening from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. 
Dinner for Two – Breastfeeding Your Baby
This class will get expectant parents ready for a successful breastfeeding experience. Topics include the process of breastfeeding, how to get off to a good start, problem prevention, maternal nutrition, breast pumps, returning to work and weaning. Expectant moms are strongly encouraged to bring their partner to this class. 
Preparing for your C-Section Class
This class is designed for parents having a planned C-Section. Reasons for surgery, the surgery itself, pain relief, the recovery process and support at home will be presented.
Grandparents Class
Expectant grandparents will tour the Women and Infants Center facilities and learn about new trends in childbirth. The latest information about newborn baby care including feedings, sleep environment and car seats will be discussed. Experienced grandparents will share tips about how to assist their own children with their transition to becoming new parents as well as the joys that come with being a new grandparent.
Welcome Baby - Sibling Class
Children attending sibling classThis class prepares children ages 4 - 8 for the arrival of a new brother or sister. Parents do attend with their child(ren). Children will learn about newborn babies including how to touch/hold their new baby and what a newborn baby is all about. They'll also tour the Women and Infants Center and stop by the nursery to see a real baby. There will be a graduation ceremony at the end of class complete with a certificate and button. Grandparents are also welcome. Pre-registration is required.
New Daddy Academy
In this “men’s only” class, you will begin to understand what becoming a dad involves and how it will change your life… for the better, of course. Dads play an important role during pregnancy, especially the baby’s first year. You will receive great tips on preparing the house for baby, building consensus with and supporting mom and connecting with your new child. You will learn what to expect and what to do during pregnancy and after mom and baby come home. This fun, relaxing session is free for expectant fathers delivering at St. John's -- $25 for those delivering at a different hospital. Pre-registration is required.
Childbirth Express Class
This one-day class held at the Women and Infants Center will give you in-depth preparation for your labor and delivery experience. You and your support person will learn the process of labor and delivery in order to work together and share the birth of your baby. The class covers breathing and relaxation techniques, comfort measures during labor and pain control choices. Coping strategies for labor such as massage techniques, positioning during labor and exploring/managing normal emotions displayed are also included. Other methods of birth (Cesarean delivery) will be covered briefly in class. Fee: $75
Understanding Birth eClass
link to online childbirth classThis self-paced online childbirth class provides a learning opportunity for those parents who prefer to learn at home on their computer. This class is ideal for mothers on bed rest, busy parents needing a flexible class schedule, or is a great refresher for parents who have previously attended a childbirth class. The eight-chapter program covers information from pregnancy through postpartum. It uses videos, personal birth stories, animations, activities and games to enable parents to prepare for their birth. Call our personal birth consultant for registration information. Fee: $75

How to Register

You may register for most of our classes online. If you are registering online please complete just one registration per couple. A few of our classes can only be registered for by calling (217) 744-2229 (BABY) Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Press option 1.

All of our class descriptions, dates and times are listed on the Event Calendar. Most are held during an evening on a monthly basis. Additionally, we also offer a Saturday option for some of our classes. Most of our classes are free. If there is a fee, it is noted on the registration page.

Event calendar