In an effort to help parents prepare for the birth of a child, Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica is offering a series of childbirth classes beginning in January.

Included in the series — whose initial funding was provided by a grant from the Irene Dunne Guild, a key support group of Saint John’s Health Center — are Childbirth Preparation I and II.

The classes will cover a series of issues ranging from pregnancy, healthy nutrition and remedies for the discomforts of pregnancy, to the stages of labor and birth, wisdom for birth partners and the C

esarean birth experience. Class III will have two components, Basics Baby Care and Breastfeeding Basics.

Two series of classes will be held monthly in the Chan Soon-Shiong Center for Life Sciences, Flora Thornton Conference Room. Classes will be taught by a registered nurse who is certified in childhood education.

During the inaugural series, classes are scheduled for:

Saturday, January 12th and 19th, 10 a.m. — Childbirth Preparation;

Saturday, January 26th, 10 a.m. — Basics Baby Care;

Monday, January 14th and 21st, 6 p.m. — Childbirth Preparation; and

Monday, January 28th, 6 p.m. — Basics Baby Care.

“Childhood preparation classes can help those attending gain the knowledge and confidence needed during the birth experience,” said Irena Zuanic, director of Women’s Health Services at Saint John’s. “Participants will be able to develop and enhance the life skills that will be vital for taking care of themselves and their baby, while learning how to help manage the enormous changes that pregnancy and childhood bring.”

The program is funded through a grant.

The cost to attend is $280 for all three classes, $220 for just the Childbirth Preparation classes, and $110 for Basics Baby Care and Breastfeeding Basics.

To register, or for more information, (310) 829-8258.

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