What is an antenatal class?
Antenatal class is a teaching session that you attend during pregnancy to help you prepare for labour and early parenthood. There are several types of antenatal class for example for women only (those who do not want to bring their husband or single parents), couples and refresher antenatal class.
Do I need to go to an antenatal class?
There are various topics that an antenatal class may cover and it varies from one class to another but essentially antenatal class helps you prepare for labour and early parenthood by giving you important and useful information:
- the process of labour and birth
- medical procedures
- operative interventions such as instrumental delivery or caesarean section
- pain relief during labour
- practical tips on relaxation techniques
- breast feeding techniques
Hence, it gives you and your partner an idea of what to expect during labour. This will give both of you the confidence to make the birthing process a positive experience. Often those who have not been to an antenatal class are physically and mentally unprepared. They tend to be anxious or frightened during the labour process as they do not know what to expect. Lastly, antenatal class is a great place to socialize with other parents-to-be and find new friends!
Who provides the antenatal class?
Antenatal classes are provided either at the government or private hospitals. Perhaps it would be best to book at the hospital that you are delivering. However, if that is not possible, taking the antenatal class at any other place is fine as most of the time they do cover more or less the same topics.
What if I have no time to attend an antenatal class?
It is advisable to find time amidst the busy and hectic schedule that you and partner may have. If not, you may gather useful information from books, magazines or internet. You may join any suitable forum online. However, you should try as best as possible to go to an antenatal class especially if this is your first pregnancy.