Becoming a parent is an incredible milestone, but it comes with a host of changes that can be daunting, especially for first time parents. Antenatal classes are all about offering expectant parents the education they need to make informed decisions, look after their bodies and care for their newborn babies. While you probably already have a long list of things you need to accomplish during your pregnancy, it’s a good idea to make time to attend antenatal classes. Delivered online, at private clinics or by your local hospital, antenatal classes offer plenty of information to help you prepare for what comes next. To help you get more from your course, we are going to take a look at when you should attend antenatal classes.
What Happens During Antenatal Classes?
Antenatal classes (often called Childbirth Education, birthing or prenatal classes) are all about helping expectant parents experience a positive pregnancy, labour and birth. That usually means in-person or online antenatal classes are centred around information and practical exercises that help explain:
- Changes during pregnancy
- What to expect at different stages of pregnancy
- Options for labour and pain management
- What happens during birth
- Breastfeeding and how to look after your new baby
- Decisions you may need to make along the way
The exact contents of a class depends on the provider. In most cases, antenatal classes are held by the hospital or clinic where you’ll be giving birth, but you can also attend classes and find information from other sources if that suits your needs better. It’s worth noting that in-person antenatal classes book up quickly, so you may want to attend courses that are delivered elsewhere to better suit your schedule.
When to Attend Antenatal Classes
While some antenatal classes are tailored towards early pregnancy, most courses at birthing clinics don’t begin until you are 30-32 weeks pregnant. It’s often helpful to seek other sources of information earlier on, around week 14-16 of your pregnancy, so you can prepare for what comes next.
It’s likely you will be quite busy during the last few months of pregnancy, but attending 30-week antenatal classes makes sure the important information is fresh in your mind. Classes are open to all expectant parents, ensuring you both know what happens next and can support each other through the journey. You don’t need to be a first time parent to attend an antenatal class. If you have had a baby previously, you may still find antenatal classes helpful, especially if it has been a few years and you would like to update and refresh your knowledge.
While you may be able to find antenatal classes that cover the earlier stages of your pregnancy, most clinics focus on what happens during the final trimester, labour and early childhood. Online antenatal classes are a great source of further information about pregnancy. The right course can provide a guide to a healthy pregnancy that ensures you have up-to-date information spanning from early pregnancy through to labour and birth.
How to Find an Antenatal Class
The hospital or clinic where you will be giving birth are likely to provide antenatal classes at the 30-32 week mark of your pregnancy. Speak to your doctor or midwife about the classes they offer to find out more details about when to attend and how to book. Like we said above, classes often fill up quickly, so make sure to book ahead to avoid missing out.
If you can’t attend a class, or want additional information that you can view in your own time, you can also source online antenatal classes. The right online classes provide the same accredited information and instruction, but they are available at the times and places that suit you. This can be especially helpful if you decide you would like to revisit the class in the lead up to labour, or if you would like to learn about aspects of pregnancy that are typically left out of in-person classes.
Looking for Online Antenatal Classes? Learn and Grow with Courses From Nourish Baby
It’s not always practical to attend in-person antenatal classes. They book up quickly and are only available at fixed times that may not suit your schedule. Online courses provide a wealth of information to help guide you through the exciting experience of pregnancy and parenting. Nourish Baby’s online antenatal classes deliver quality education to support you throughout your pregnancy and parenting journey. Our flexible courses offer information, advice and education that extends from early pregnancy to breastfeeding, sleep support and early childhood, ensuring you have the guidance you need.
Nourish Baby is the only online antenatal class provider accredited by the Childbirth and Parenting Educators of Australia (CAPEA) and the Australian Council of Healthcare Standards (ACHS). For any questions about our antenatal classes and bundles, please feel free to contact us at any time.
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