25 Open Courseware Classes on Pregnancy and Infant Parenting


Are you a pregnant mom or a new mother or are you administering to a pregnant woman or nervous new mom? One frugal and fast way to learn more about all phases of pregnancy, motherhood, infant parenting and all health issues involved is to take advantage of open courseware projects offered by universities and organizations worldwide. These courses are free to use, and they offer insights often reserved solely for medical professionals.

Pregnancy and motherhood are major life changes that entail knowledge about mental and physical health. The more you know, the more you’ll be prepared for this major life change – no matter if it is you or your patient.

The list below is categorized by pregnancy and infant parenting. The articles are listed in alphabetical order to show readers that we do not favor one learning experience over another.


  1. Assessing Prenatal Risk: Current State of the Art: Edith Cheng, from University of Washington obstetrics and gynecology, summarizes the history and evolution of prenatal diagnosis to its current state with examples of the myriad of choices now available to all women. [Research Channel]
  2. Atenatal Care [PDF]: This booklet was developed to offer information on best practice for baseline clinical care of all pregnancies and comprehensive information on the antenatal care of the healthy woman with an uncomplicated singleton pregnancy. It provides evidence-based information for clinicians and pregnant women to make decisions about appropriate treatment in specific circumstances. [National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)]
  3. Chickenpox in Pregnancy [PDF]: This guideline addresses the risks in pregnancy and to women of reproductive age caused by chickenpox. [Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists]
  4. Dental Care and Pregnancy [PDF]: Learn more about dental issues that are safe to treat during pregnancy. [Tufts]
  5. Healthy Women Healthy Families: Prenatal Health: Prenatal Health examines proper diet and nutrition to best ensure that you and your baby get all the vitamins, minerals and calories needed for a healthy pregnancy. [UCTV]
  6. Human Reproductive Biology: Learn about ovum growth development, differentiation and associated abnormalities. [MIT]
  7. Making pregnancy safer: Build skills as a mother now, before the baby arrives. This site is filled with information that affects pregnant women worldwide. [World Health Organization]
  8. Management of Labor: The recommendations for management of labor are presented in the form of seven major topics with a total of 100 components, accompanied by detailed annotations. [National Guideline Clearinghouse]
  9. Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology: This course focuses on current research, controversial issues, and methodological problems in the epidemiology of reproductive and perinatal health. [Johns Hopkins]
  10. Risk factors for ectopic pregnancy: This synopsis identifies risk factors for etopic pregnancies. [Bandolier]
  11. The Life Cycle: Learn more about the diversity of ways in which pregnancy is understood worldwide in this anthropological course. [Utah University]
  12. The Pregnancy Book: If you have time for a book about pregnancy, download this one for free. This book was written with advice from various UK health facilities and organizations. [Department of Health]

Infant Parenting

  1. Early Development: This unit looks at the human being in the context of an individual life cycle, examining some of the processes that contribute to the formation of a new person. [The Open University]
  2. Early Learning and the Brain: This pioneering video has demonstrated the importance of role models in human development and their profound effect on learning. [Research Channel]
  3. First Aid for Women and Newborns Where Home Birth is Necessary or Common: American College of Nurse-Midwives has created a first aid approach called, Home Based Life Saving Skills (HBLSS). This article addresses the key points in that program. [Maximizing Access and Quality (MAQ) Initiative]
  4. Health Across the Life Span: Frameworks, Contexts, and Measurements: Introduces and examines the basic principles which guide growth and development and the health of individuals across the lifespan, from the prenatal period through senescence. [Johns Hopkins]
  5. Human Growth and Development: Although this course is meant for physicians and health care workers, it is a behind-the-scenes look at how these professionals assess growth and development through the development of motor, language or cognitive capacities and skills. [Tufts]
  6. Infant and Early Childhood Cognition: This course on infant and early childhood cognition features lecture slides and a complete bibliography of reading material. [MIT]
  7. Newborn Care Manual: Learn about your newborn through this manual, which talks about a range of newborn health issues from Apgar scoring to recording routine observations. [International Association for Maternal and Neonatal Health (IAMANEH)]
  8. Newborn Health: Learn more about maternal and neonatal health from this comprehensive world-focused site. [World Health Organization]
  9. Parental smoking and middle ear infection in children: This synopsis reviews evidence relating parental smoking to middle ear disease in children. [Bandolier]
  10. Perinatal Depression: Depression is the leading cause of disease-related disability among women, especially women of childbearing age. Learn more about the prevalence, screening accuracy and screening summaries for postpartum depression. [Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality]
  11. Pediatric and Adolescent Dermatology: What is that rash? What are those bumps? Join Dr. David Granet and Dr. Larry Eichenfield of the San Diego Children’s Specialists Division of Pediatric and Adolescent Dermatology, as they discuss the most common skin problems from birth through adolescence. [UCTV]
  12. Prevention and Management of Positional Skull Deformities in Infants: Cranial Asymmetry has become more common, perhaps attributable to parents who follow the American Academy of Pediatrics “Back to Sleep” positioning recommendations aimed at decreasing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. This detailed article will help understand this issue. [American Academy of Pediatrics]
  13. Routine postnatal care of women and their babies: This clinical guideline on postnatal care covers the core care that every healthy woman and healthy baby should be offered during the first 6-8 weeks after birth. [National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)]
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