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Ante-natal classes

What are ante-natal classes?

Ante-natal classes are to help prepare expectant parents for labour, birth and new parenthood. The classes which are run by the local hospital or midwives are free of charge but there are also other classes run by NCT or The Active Birth Centre and others - perhaps midwives in private practice - where there may be a charge. There are also aqua natal classes at sport centres, which again will charge a fee. Whatever option you choose make sure to book in plenty of time as the classes are always very popular! Before you choose a class always ensure that the teacher is well qualified and trained to teach the class.

Benefits of Ante-natal classes

They are a very good opportunity for you and your partner to set aside time in the week to focus on the upcoming birth and prepare yourself physically and emotionally for the new baby. The classes are also a good way to develop new friendships with other expectant parents and chat and share experiences during pregnancy. Often life long friendships are formed at these classes. You should receive the following information at the classes:

  • The process of labour and birth
  • Information regarding any medical procedures or interventions that may be required
  • Advice on relaxation
  • Information about different birth positions
  • Pain relief choices
  • Opportunities to ask questions about all aspects of pregnancy and birth
  • Information about the changes that may be experienced after birth and early parenthood

    Information on local classes

    You should be able to find out about local free classes from your GP, midwife or health visitor. Usually the classes are run by midwives with input from other health professionals and the classes may be in the afternoon or evening and maybe at the weekend. Some classes are for pregnant mothers only and others are for couples. The classes will normally cover all aspects of healthcare during pregnancy.

    Information on NCT and the Active Birth Centre can be found on their websites:

    Information on local aqua natal classes can be found at your local sports centre.

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