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Birth and Antenatal Class

What are antenatal classes?

Antenatal classes can help parents to prepare for labour, birth and early parenthood. Most antenatal classes will focus mainly on labour and birth, while others will guide through life with a newborn baby.

Doctors usually recommended that mothers attend antenatal classes and breastfeeding workshops to help cope with birth & labour. They may help have a better birth experience, as well as for coping in the early weeks after the birth. An ideal class size should be small; around 20 or fewer participants then only there will be active participation from the attendees.

These antenatal classes can help both partners to focus on pregnancy and keep them prepared for labour and birth. The classes address early parenthood, making parents prepared for the practicalities, and the highs and lows, of parenthood.

Why Antenatal Classes?

The content of the classes varies. Most of them concentrate purely on physical and emotional preparation for labour and birth while some others provide a more rounded course for pregnant women and their partners. Most doctors and health professionals recommend the following topics: 

  • Developing baby
  • The changes to be made
  • Giving birth and caring for the baby
  • Mother’s health and wellbeing
  • Helping hands
  • Relaxation techniques and stress management
  • Labour positions.
  • Breathing techniques during labour
  • Different stages of labour
  • Pain relief methods, including using a birth pool and epidural
  • Interventions such as induction of labour 
  • Monitoring baby movements electronically
  • Education on caesarean section
  • The physical, emotional and lifestyle changes after the baby arrives
  • The basics of baby care that include nappy changing and skincare
  • Breastfeeding  

The aim of all antenatal classes is to improve the skills, confidence and preparing parents for a positive experience after birth. It will also help in meeting a group of parents who are expecting a baby. Many parents feel relaxed talking to other people in a similar situation and sharing experiences is one of the major benefits of antenatal classes.


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