Birth and parenting classes, also called antenatal classes, help in preparing you and your partner for labour, birth, and early parenthood. These classes will help you get ready for a positive birth experience and will prepare you for early weeks with your baby.
If your budget allows, you may find it helpful to go to more than one type of class. If you’re going to a class that is not run by your hospital or health centre, check that the teacher is properly trained.
So why do you need Antenatal classes?
Though it is not compulsory, but antenatal classes will help you prepare with for the highs and lows of parenthood. Also, you will get a chance to meet other parents-to-be. Antenatal classes cover topics like:
- Labour and birth
- Good nutrition, healthy foods and what not to eat
- Signs of labour and when to call the doctor
- Different stages of labour
- Options available for pain-free delivery
- Remedies to cope with pregnancy related issues like acidity, back pain etc
- Relaxation and breathing skills to use during labour
- Early parenting
- Behavior of the newborn
- Knowledge about your developing baby
- Baby care such as diapering and skincare of the baby
- Health and wellbeing of you and your baby
- Stress management and relaxation techniques
- All about caesarean section birth
Types of Antenatal classes
You can check from your gynecologist about the classes available in your area.
- Early pregnancy classes
These classes cover topics like:
- Looking after yourself
- Advice on healthy eating and regular exercising
- Emotional and physical changes during pregnancy
- Preparing for labour and birth.
- Antenatal screening tests
- Giving up smoking
2. Women only classes
If your husband is unable to accompany you, these classes are best for you. Many women do enjoy the bond they develop with other moms-to-be in women-only classes, as here you often have the opportunity to discuss subjects that may not be covered during couples’ classes.
3. Couples’ classes
Best for first time parents, these classes help both parents get involved in the preparation of labour, childbirth and early parenthood. These classes will help your husband with some practical information about being a labour partner and a new parent. It’s also a great opportunity for both of you to meet other parents-to-be.
4. Refresher classes
If you are a second time mom, these classes will update you on research and other changes in birth practices. These may suit you if you’ve had a baby before. Most antenatal classes respond to what you want to know, but this is especially true of refresher classes. These courses sometimes also have sessions for couples and dads.
5. Dedicated sessions
Some classes specifically take up topics like vaginal birth after cesarean, multiple birth, active birth or water birth.
When should I book my classes?
You will better to start searching for an appropriate class in early stages of your pregnancy. But do check with your doctor also once.
For all pregnancy related information download Pregnancy Health, Diet and Fitness by Ango!