New life lessons
Preparing you for your baby's arrival
Labour and new parenthood are emotional experiences for all involved, and it’s important that partners feel just as prepared for labour as the parent who’s giving birth. Antenatal classes offer the perfect opportunity for both parents to discover all they need to know about the arrival of their baby.
It’s only natural that partners want to get as involved as they can when it comes to labour and those first few months of parenthood. One of the best ways to prepare is to go along to antenatal classes.
Not only will antenatal classes help in preparing you for labour, they’ll also give you the chance to discuss any worries, make plans, and meet some of the people who will be looking after you when the big day arrives.
What can you expect to learn at antenatal classes?
The topics covered include1:
- Health and nutrition
- Exercise in pregnancy
- What to expect during labour
- Options for pain relief
- Relaxation techniques
- Information on birth intervention
- Caring for and feeding your new baby
- Post-birth health
- Emotional health during and after pregnancy
It’s important to think about your priorities and book the right antenatal classes for both of you. This might mean that you opt for ‘pregnant women only’ classes with just a couple of partner sessions, or you might prefer to go along to couples classes from the outset.
Whichever classes you go for, remember to book them up early, as spaces can fill up quickly. Sessions are completely free through the NHS, and you can book them as early as your partner’s 12th week of pregnancy. Private, paid classes are available, but it’s often worth talking to your midwife for a recommendation first.
- Talk to your midwife with your partner about your options
- Look into the classes run by your local NHS trust
- Visit www.nct.org.uk to explore private options
- If your partner is 12 weeks pregnant, you can start enquiring about booking
Last reviewed: 19th November 2015
Questions about feeding and nutrition?
Our midwives, nutritionists and feeding advisors are always on hand to talk about feeding your baby. So if you have a question, just get in touch.