Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Problem: The education department of a rural Midwestern hospital has made Preparation for Childbirth classes available to expectant parents in the community for several years. Currently, less than 30% of the women who deliver at this hospital attend these classes. Many health care providers along with the United States Department of Health and Human Services advocate for the attendance of prepared childbirth classes. It is unknown why a large number of patients are not attending classes. The education department at this hospital is seeking to develop educational information for the expectant couples who are unable to attend the hospital classes. In order to meet the specific needs of this population, it is important to have input from the women themselves. Methods: A needs assessment was performed to determine the desires of expectant women in regards to their childbirth education. Seventy-six women who did not attend childbirth classes with this pregnancy were surveyed after the birth of their baby. Responses indicated: why they did not attend classes, if they desired a home format for classes, and if so what format would be most useful for them. Demographics were also collected. Conclusions: A number of variables factored into the reason women did not attend classes including distance to travel, comfort with the information, and schedule conflicts. Regardless of the reason the women did not attend, a majority of women would have used a home study with this pregnancy. The most preferred format for all groups was DVD with book being second preference. This information will be shared with the education department to further develop opportunities for the community regarding childbirth education