What Happens at Antenatal Classes?
Getting ready for the arrival of a child is an exciting and scary time for both parents.
If it is the first time you have been through the process, there will be a lot of questions and worries. But rest assured, you will be able to find out all of the required information.
Antenatal classes offer guidance on pregnancy, labour and birth and they aim to make sure everyone is prepared for the birthing experience.
What topics will be covered?
People can expect to cover a range of topics over the course of the classes, which generally start about eight to ten weeks before the baby is due and are held once a week. Some of the areas looked at include:
- Eating healthily while pregnant
- Exercises that can keep you fit and active during pregnancy
- Exercises that can help you during labour
- What to expect during labour and birth
- Relaxation techniques
- Information on different kinds of birth and interventions
- Caring for your baby, including feeding
Depending on the type of class entered, the classes will cover all of these topics, or just focus on a specific one. This is why pregnant ladies should think carefully about what class to enter.
Choosing a class
According to the NHS, expectant mothers need to consider what they are looking to get out of the experience. You should have a chat with your midwife to determine which class is best for you.
Some of the classes will be designed for everyone, while others are aimed at particular sections of society – such as teenagers, women from specific ethnic groups and parents expecting a multiple birth.
People can use the course finder function on the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) website to locate the nearest class to them.
These antenatal classes are free of charge and there will normally be a larger number of participants. They are run by a health professional – such as a midwife or health visitor – and are held in hospitals or health centres.
Parents will usually have to pay for these classes and they will be attended by a much smaller group of pregnant women. They are run in a community centre – or the teacher’s own home – and the teacher will be trained by the organisation offering the class.
Why should I attend a class?
Babycentre points out that antenatal classes are great for helping women to focus on their pregnancy. As well as this, it gives you the chance to talk to other parents-to-be about any worries or fears you may have.
Once people have completed the course, they will have acquired the necessary skills and confidence needed to help make the whole birthing experience a positive one.
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