Antenatal Classes - Finding the Right Antenatal Class for You and Your Baby!
Antenatal classes are a vital source of pregnancy information and support for expectant parents. Amongst other things, at the classes you will learn about;
pregnancy week by week development;
your nutritional needs during and after pregnancy;
safe pregnancy exercise;
what to expect during labour;
pain relief during childbirth;
planning your baby's birth;
how to make a birth plan;
techniques for pregnancy relaxation before birth, during your labour and after childbirth;
Antenatal classes are offered by your local health department and usually at your first doctor's appointment you will be booked into one of these, if it suits you. However, although the classes are free, NHS antenatal classes tend to be rather busy, the times are inflexible and it can take a while to get to know the other parents-to-be. As a result, many new parents can find it a little intimidating to walk into a big room full of strangers and this can put them off returning.
If you don't think NHS antenatal classes will suit you, you also have the option to book yourself into a small privately run class. Such classes are often available through organisations such as the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) and run by qualified individuals. In these classes there will usually only be four or five other couples so the classes are more intimate and allow greater opportunity for parent-to-be to ask questions and to chat about their expectations, experiences, worries and plans for the future. Privately run classes often book up quickly, but they also tend to be available at more convenient times for expectant parents.