Impending motherhood is scary… heck, let’s not sugarcoat it. It’s damn terrifying! And no doubt everyone you know, or have met, since the moment your belly started to show, has had an opinion on what you should and shouldn’t do. Not to mention opinions on how to raise your kid (even though it’s still the size of a grapefruit).
No doubt it’s confusing, but there are things you can do to help you prepare better – and antenatal classes are one of those things.
The purpose of antenatal classes is to prepare you (and your partner) for the labour and birth of your child. Additionally, early parenthood will be covered. Certain classes will focus heavily on the labour and birth, while there are other classes that will help guide you through the later stages of your pregnancy, as well as what your life might be like once your newborn has arrived. While you don’t have to go to antenatal classes, it is recommended that you do so. It should improve your birth experience, provide you with important information on breastfeeding, and coping with those early stages of parenthood.
These classes will help both you and your partner to focus on labour and birth. Additionally, classes that cover early parenthood will allow you to be better prepared for the reality of parenthood. With all of the highs come serious lows and it’s better to be prepared for what’s coming. Of course, you will also meet other people who are about to embark on the same journey as you are. You will hear their fears and questions as well. Typically, classes are for people with similar due dates so you will meet people who are going through the same thing as you are.
Preparing For Antenatal Classes
There isn’t really a lot that you can do to prepare before you attend antenatal classes (aside from get pregnant to start with). However, there are certain things that will be covered and you can get ahead of the game by looking into it. While content will vary from class to class, you will learn about the developing baby, the changes that you will experience, the process of giving birth, the moment you meet your child, as well as how to care for your baby. You will also learn about how to look after your own wellbeing and health. Generally, you will also be provided with a list of organisations and groups that can offer you additional help.
There are other antenatal classes available that will cover topics in more depth. It may include how to decide where you give birth – many people consider home births or birthing centres. Additionally, you can learn exactly what it’s like to go through labour. You will learn stress management, relaxation techniques, different positions for labour and birth, as well as breathing techniques, pain relief options, as well as interventions like the induction of labour or caesarean section.
You will also learn about the changes that come with a baby, including lifestyle, physical, and emotional shifts in your life. Then there’s the practical baby care like changing nappies, bathing, and breastfeeding. So, you can prepare for this by practising on a doll and reading up on the topics above. Of course, you will learn all you need to at the classes.
The purpose of these classes is to build your confidence and improve your skills so that you have a positive experience. The best preparation you can do before antenatal class is understanding exactly what you want to learn to ensure you choose the right classes for you and your partner. Additionally, you may want to sit down and make a list of questions or queries that you might have. That way, when you’re in the class you won’t forget anything you wanted to ask.