Antenatal classes: Are they for you?

Prenatal classes

Antenatal or prenatal classes may come in various forms, but all have the same goal - to help prepare you for labour, birth, and early parenthood.

What are antenatal classes?

Antenatal classes are usually classes for couples which are intended to prepare you for your role as a parent as well as the impending labour and delivery process. These classes are useful to prepare you for labour when through the pain you have a set of coping mechanisms you can use. Classes are usually intimate and so you and your partner can also bond in taking one and prepare for the arrival of your baby together.

Your prenatal instructor can help you come to terms with labour and delivery as well as becoming a parent. It will also give you the opportunity to get a lot of your doubts on the birth etc. cleared here in case your doctor is too busy to answer petty questions. Depending on the classes you opt for, they could focus on early parenting too, and can help you prepare for what’s coming in the first few weeks after baby is born.

What can I expect in an Antenatal class?

The content of the classes vary. While some concentrate purely on physical and emotional preparation for labour and birth, some others provide a more rounded course for pregnant women and their labour partners. In general, these classes deal with:

  1. Pregnancy health - including a focus on nutrition and exercise.
  2. Breathing techniques to cope with labour.
  3. Pain management during labour.
  4. Relaxation methods.
  5. Prenatal yoga for improved flexibility and stamina.
  6. Remedies for common pregnancy problems such as acidity, constipation and back ache.
  7. Preparing for labour and delivery.
  8. Bonding with your baby with music.
  9. Improved communication between spouses for a healthy and fulfilling pregnancy.
  10. Proper massaging techniques for you and baby.
  11. Diapering and swaddling baby.
  12. Breastfeeding know-how.

Benefits of antenatal classes

First up, there is the social aspect of it. A lot of people find that these courses are a very good way of making new friends, especially with people who will become parents alongside you. Many people who meet in these prenatal classes end up end up becoming friends for a long time, as do their children!

Of course, one of the main reasons for the growing success of antenatal classes is the information and experiential aspect of it. These classes are structured in a way such that they give you a good insight of what it will be like to actually be in labour or what to expect when you are attempting to breastfeed your baby for those first few times. And though, nothing can prepare you for the actual experiences, you get a fair idea through professionals, on these critical and inevitable matters

a class close to you so that you can benefit best from it.