Why do an antenatal class?
It's not just about the birth! Preparing for your new life as a parent is fundamentally the most important thing you can do when expecting a baby. The main aim of antenatal classes are to guide you through the latter stages of pregnancy, prepare you for the birth, teach skills to help you cope in the first few days as a new parent and most importantly, to make new parent friends in your area. Attending antenatal classes will give you an opportunity to ask questions you don’t always remember at your regular pregnancy check-ups, you’ll meet other expecting parents, share experiences and create support networks.
Not just for mums! Antenatal classes are just as relevant for Dad. For some, Dad's play a vital role supporting Mums through pregnancy, birth and care with the baby. It can also be a positive bonding experience as a couple, and a bit of a laugh helping to take the fear out of birth.
Second time around! If you've had a difficult first birth experience you may wish to learn new birthing skills to boost your confidence. An antenatal class will empower you with the skills and knowledge to guide through your second labour with more ease and confidence.
Benefits of Antenatal Classes
Learn about pregnancy, labour, birth and caring for a newborn baby. You will have access to trained professionals to ask any questions you might have and share any concerns.
Boost your confidence, learn new skills and help you make informed decisions during your labour. Antenatal classes are designed to be fun and they can be a source of great support and confidence, especially for first time parents.
Meet and chat with other parents. Classes are usually designed to cater for groups of women who are at a similar stage of their pregnancy. Friends made at antenatal classes can often be a great source of support. Being a new parents can sometimes be an isolating experience, especially if their friends don’t have children. Many parents stay in touch and meet up after for that all important first cup of coffee outside of the house!
The ultimate aim of antenatal classes is to build up your confidence and prepare you for a positive birth experience. You can't plan or predict your baby's birth. It doesn't matter how many books you read or classes you attend. However, creating support networks as a new parent is probably the single most important thing to do. If an antennal class empowers you with a little bit of knowledge and skills to help you through your birth and brave your new world as a parent, then it can only be a positive thing.