Antenatal classes are designed for pregnant women to attend with a partner or support person during pregnancy to help prepare first hand for the birth of your baby.
The classroom atmosphere adds a different dimension - allowing both of you to mingle, and perhaps bond, with other pregnant women and their partners who are going through the same pregnancy experience.
Classes are commonly offered at maternity hospitals and community health centres, with some classes specifically catering to young mums, or mums with language, religious or cultural needs. Search for an antenatal class or ask your doctor or midwife for a recommendation for an antenatal classes in your local area. Encourage your partner, or support person, to join you. Classes usually go for a set period of weeks and are usually best undertaken during the second or third trimester of your pregnancy.
Topics usually covered at antenatal classes include:
- General health and well being of both mother and baby during pregnancy and in the first few weeks following the birth
- Ways in which your partner or support person can help you through this time, as well as how to deal with their own needs and concerns
- Maintaining a healthy diet during pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Your changing body - physically and emotionally
- The developing baby during pregnancy
- What to avoid during pregnancy - eg smoking, drugs and alcohol
- The process of labour
- Signs that you are in labour
- When to ring the hospital
- Early days at home with your baby
- How are you going to feed your baby - Breast or bottle?
- Child safety - SIDS and Kids, Child restraints
- Writing a birth plan
- Baby names
- Healthy pregnancy diet
- Eating for two
- Exercise and pregnancy
- Pregnancy and your relationship
This article was written by Claire Halliday for Kidspot.