What are the benefits of attending antenatal classes? Is it really worth it? Learn about what to expect at antenatal classes and the benefits of attending.
Antenatal classes happen in addition to antenatal
care and are generally just recommended and optional. They generally focus on
the labour and what happens in the hours and days after. These kinds of classes
can greatly supplement your knowledge however and can also be a great place to
meet other impending parents and be reassured that your experience and fears
are not all that weird really.
will they include?
There is a bit of a breadth of variety when it comes to antenatal
classes these days. The basic course you will generally undertake happens at
the start of the third trimester and is generally across 4 to 6 sessions which
will likely cover information such as:
The stages of labour
Natural ways to speed labour up or bring it on if you are overdue
Coping with multiple babies, both in and out of the belly
Classes for specific types of mums, such as teenage mums or older first time mums
Do I have
to do them?
No, you don’t have to do any of them generally. Some private
hospitals may require you to attend a minimum course or tour of the facility
however, but this varies from provider to provider. You may find them
beneficial if you are nervous about the whole process so should consider going
along. If it’s not your first birth you may skip them for subsequent
pregnancies; I did.
Do I have to bring a
Generally no, but this is highly recommended. If you have
someone you know you want to be in the delivery room with you then this person
would benefit from coming along to any antenatal classes, especially if they
have not previously given birth themselves. They can ask all their own
questions, voice concerns and hear what you will be needing of them. Attending
these classes together can make you both a little more sure of yourselves and
each other in what is going to be a pretty uncertain time for you both.
the benefits of attending?
There are a number of benefits of attending classes:
You willlearn about the differentstages of labourandwhen to call the hospital, or more importantly when to suck it
up and watch a few more hours of Netflix before bothering the medical staff
You will learn about the differenttypes of pain reliefand how they affect your baby, and you can then make some
guess-timations about what you are going to ask for when the big moment comes.
While you might have done extensive online research about every aspect of the
birth, it’s likely that your partner could be a little bit more clueless (or in
denial). Joining you in these classes can open their eyes a little bit and
answer their questions. (It can also make them run away leaving a little cloud
of dust behind like the roadrunner, so watch out for that possibility too)
If you utilise a class run by your chosen hospital you will usually get a tour
of the facilities which can ease your mind a little as to all the unknowns, and
where to head to on the day.
the practicalities in terms of time and cost?
This is hard to say and will vary from course to course. Your basic
course could be a whole day, a whole weekend, or around 5 two-hour sessions.
Extra courses you undertake could again be one or many. Because it is all
optional your time commitment is really up to you. A lot of the classes you can
also attend online and in your own time, like when bub is jumping around your
belly at 2am and you can’t get any sleep.
Usually those run by your primary healthcare provider are at no
additional cost to your antenatal care. Classes such asyoga, meditation etc could cost around $15-$25 a sessiondepending on number of sessions you sign up for, the expertise of your
instructor and the size of the group.
Antenatal care are compulsory visits to your
doctor during pregnancy. These essential visits to the doctor during pregnancy
ensure the healthy growth of you and your developing baby, all throughout
pregnancy. To learn more aboutAntenatal Care, read here.
Antenatal classes can help you and teach you a lot, but are not a
mandatory part of your pregnancy. Many mothers will not attend these for
subsequent births. They are however extremely beneficial in their own right and
can only serve to enhance what you know and how you feel about what is facing
There is much about the future which you can’t predict or control, but
this is one opportunity you have to inform yourself as best as possible. You
might as well grab a hold now of all the information you can to be prepared.
Welcome to Babyinfo – the ultimate pregnancy and newborn information guide. We are here to help you find all the pregnancy and baby info you need to make the most beautiful experience of your life even better.
Our team is comprised of an amazing mix of experienced mothers, recently pregnant women, and editors with tremendous medical knowledge in the fields of gynaecology and childbirth.
Think of us as your friendly advisors, here to give you honest, easy to understand and authentic information. We are here to be your support at this crucial time in your life, when you need it the most.
Note: This website is in no way meant to replace doctors, hospitals, or other healthcare providers that may be utilized by current mothers or mothers-to-be. All mothers are advised to see a doctor for medical advice and the appropriate care before, during, and after pregnancy.