• antepartum;
  • childbirth education;
  • intrapartum;
  • pregnancy

Since the 1960s, childbirth education advocates have attempted to persuade pregnant women that educational preparation for labor and birth is an essential component of the transition to motherhood. Initially, pregnant women who were seeking unmedicated births as a refuge from the inhumane childbirth treatments of the mid-20th century embraced this view. However, with the changing childbirth climate, including a growing preference for medicated birth, scheduled inductions, and cesarean sections, attendance has diminished and childbirth education finds itself at a crossroads. Commonly used childbirth education models/organizations and several new emerging models along with the available research literature and recommendations for clinical practice and research are presented.