Expecting a baby?

The birth of a baby can be a very exciting time. It is also filled with lots of questions and decisions. The Family Birthplace at Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids partners with Spectrum Health Healthier Communities to offer a variety of educational programs to help you feel prepared and confident as you move into your new role as a parent. Our prenatal and parenting classes are taught by certified childbirth educators. We encourage your support person to attend as well.

Preparing for childbirth class

Our team of experienced childbirth educators are here to help you and your partner or labor support person understand and prepare for the arrival of your baby. You will learn about labor and delivery, comfort measures to help you cope with labor, facts about epidurals, inductions, pain management and cesarean birth. We will also talk about recovery from birth and how to prepare for the early weeks at home with your baby as well as infant care and feeding.

Breastfeeding class

Learn the breastfeeding basics from a certified lactation specialist. Topics include benefits of breastfeeding, positioning/latch, breastfeeding positions, hunger signs, how to tell your baby is getting enough to eat and more. Tips on pumping and breast milk storage will be shared as well.

Infant/child CPR and choking

This class utilizes the American Heart Association’s “Family and Friends” CPR course. You will practice hands-on CPR and choking techniques with size appropriate mannequins. You will also learn how to use an AED-automatic external defibrillator, located in many places throughout the community. This class is not for certification. You will receive an AHA resource book to take home.

Safe home for baby

This class focuses on prevention of accidental injuries of infants/children. Topics include making your home safe, safety products, poisons, and emergency preparation. Basic first aid topics such as allergic reactions, broken bones, burns, cuts, and falls are included as well.

Newborn care class

For those not attending our “Preparing for Childbirth Class”, our newborn class will cover practical baby care topics that will help you to feel more confident in your ability to care for your new addition. This class is open to all types of caregivers (parents, grandparents, day care providers).

Family birthplace tours

Currently unavailable

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 visitor restrictions tours are currently not available. There is a virtual tour available.

Siblings class

Help prepare the new big brother or sister in your family for the changes that having a baby sibling brings. This class is for children ages 3 to 5 years old. Please call first to schedule a child outside of this age range. 

Dads on deck

A dads-only, one-time session that gives a dad’s perspective on what’s happening in your life—now, when the big day arrives and once you take your new baby home. Led by an experienced “Dad’s class” educator.

Pointers from a pediatrician

This virtual session is led by a pediatrician covers what to expect when visiting the doctor with your baby. Discussion will center around topics such as well baby checkups, immunizations, sick baby visits, other concerns and current pediatric recommendations.

Twins, triplets and more

Expecting twins, triplets, or more? There’s additional knowledge you need beyond a standard preparing for childbirth class! Join one of our certified childbirth educators to better understand the unique information to help support you as you journey into the world of parenting multiples. Hear advice from parents of multiples that have gone before you, and learn about what your pregnancy, labor & delivery, and postpartum experience will be like with more than just one new baby on the way! 

Cesarean birth class

Learn what to expect from preadmission through your recovery at home. Topics include: indications for cesarean birth, preparation for surgery, explanation of the procedure, breastfeeding after surgery, and postoperative recovery in the hospital and at home.

Infant car seat safety

In this virtual class you’ll learn from the experts with the Helen DeVos Injury Prevention Program how all those buckles and straps really work, what they do, how to properly install a car seat and how to secure a baby or child in the car seat.

Online eClass options

The following eClass option is available for you to take online at home, on your own time, at your own pace.

Understanding birth eClass

This interactive online course covers essential information on labor and more, and highlights ways partners can help throughout the process. You’ll also get a sense of what labor is really like as you watch several birth stories. You’ll even have an opportunity to create your own birth plan! Topics covered include: pregnancy, labor, birth stories, comfort techniques, medical procedures, cesarean birth, newborns and postpartum.

Emotional well being before, during and after pregnancy

Having a baby is so emotional! How Do I know if I need additional help?

The transition to parenthood can be a very overwhelming experience. Learn the difference between the normal “Baby Blues” or something more. Class topics include educational support for baby blues, perinatal depression, perinatal anxiety, perinatal OCD, postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder (PPTSD), and postpartum psychosis. Treatment options and support resources will be shared as well.

Helping the one you love: Providing support before and after birth.

This class is open to anyone supporting a mother, or birthing person, during the perinatal period. Key recommendations will be shared to aid the support person and give insight on helpful things to say and NOT to say, helpful things to do and NOT to do, and guidance on accessing care, resources, and treatment options to aid loved ones in recovery.

Nurturing your relationship: Navigating changes before and after baby.

Pregnancy, family transitions and shifting hormones and emotions can have a real impact on relationships. This class will dive into how dads, partners and support persons can be affected by these changes. Class topics will include the effect emotions can have on bonding and attachment for parents and their baby and information on how to navigate relationship changes between the parents. Resources will be shared to provide additional support.

Step by step plan: What can I do when I feel overwhelmed?

Learn more about how to proactively support yourself during the perinatal period. This class will educate on the physical importance of self-care and personal time, establishing adequate sleep patterns, as well as using eating habits, nutrition, and supplements to support the body. Emotional support topics will include learning and setting boundaries, how to deal with negative feelings, tips on asking for help, and where to go for help and resources.

Developing an emotional wellness plan for navigating parenthood.

This class will discuss the factors that put certain individuals at a higher risk for emotional struggles during and after pregnancy and the factors that minimize that risk. Our instructors will guide you in developing a plan of action for emotional wellness during pregnancy and after delivery. Resources for who to call and when will also be provided.

COVID-19: Understanding the emotional impact during childbearing years

COVID-19 impacted our worlds in so many ways, including the transition to parenthood in the 2020s. This class will explore how Covid has impacted the experience of pregnancy, delivery and the postpartum period. Current research will be shared, along with tips and resources on coping and adapting to it all as new parents.

Support group information

Breastfeeding support group

Free, in person support and registration is not required to attend. Safety measures are in place and health screenings will be done upon arrival. Masks are required. Only mom and nursing baby are permitted to attend.

Tuesday  - 12:30 pm to 2 pm at the Spectrum Health South Pavilion, 80 68th Street SE, Grand Rapids.

Wednesday - 6:30 pm to 8 pm at Spectrum Health Healthier Communities, 665 Seward Avenue NW, Grand Rapids.

Thursday - 12:30 pm to 2 pm at Spectrum Health Healthier Communities, 665 Seward Avenue NW, Grand Rapids. 

Breastfeeding support specialty telemedicine
Call the hospital's lactation scheduling line to schedule time for a video call with a lactation peer counselor at 616.391.9437.
Postpartum emotional support group

Free virtual support group available for new birthing parents who are experiencing unexpected and challenging emotions. Group is facilitated by Spectrum Health specialists trained in postpartum emotions.

Tuesday – Meets every Tuesday online at 7 pm to 8:30 pm via Microsoft Teams. Must register to receive a link to the online group.