Having a baby is one of life’s most beautiful gifts, but the process of labour can be extremely demanding. The rigours of childbirth can take an enormous toll on even the fittest of mothers, so it’s always a good idea to do whatever you can to prepare yourself. These five antenatal classes will give you the knowledge, physical strength and positive mental attitude you will need to enjoy a relatively trouble-free labour.
1. Childbirth preparation classes
Childbirth can be a complex process involving a range of medical procedures, pain relief and monitoring. It is always a good idea to plan as much of your labour as you possible can, which is why childbirth preparation classes should be at the top of your antenatal agenda. You will be taught about a range of issues regarding childbirth, including how to spot the signs of labour, what pain relief is available and what an epidural involves. You will be given advice regarding the creation of a birth plan, as well as tips and advice for coping during the first few weeks of motherhood.
2. Antenatal Pilates classes
Pilates involves a series of exercises aimed at improving posture, muscle strength and mental awareness. A series of stretches are performed under supervision from a trained instructor – sometimes using specially adapted equipment. Antenatal Pilates involves the strengthening and conditioning of key muscle groups that are used during labour. There is also guidance on the building of pelvic floor muscle strength and posture.
3. Pregnancy yoga
Yoga involves a series of stretches, breathing exercises and balancing techniques aimed at improving posture, core strength and respiratory control. A pregnancy yoga class will focus specifically on the muscles and breathing techniques that play a major role during childbirth. A full course of pregnancy yoga can lead to enhanced feelings of well-being, improved circulation and optimised breathing techniques that can control the worst of labour pain.
4. Hypno-birthing classes
Hypno-birthing is a form of natural childbirth that teaches intense relaxation techniques aimed at reducing pain and helping mothers to remain calm during labour. Designed for both mums and partners, this course includes tuition on hypnosis techniques that can negate the need for pain medication. It also mentally prepares expectant mothers for what lies ahead.
5. Antenatal C-section classes
If you have already made the decision to have a Caesarean section, you will need to prepare yourself for what lies ahead. Whether you’re having your C-section through choice or medical necessity, being ready for the potential side-effects and difficulties you might face will ensure that things run as smoothly as possible on the day. You will be helped to prepare a specific birth plan, and given guidance on how this surgical procedure will affect your recovery. A C-section might affect your movement and mobility during the first few days of your child’s life, so you’ll be given various coping strategies and helpful techniques with regard to feeding and caring for your newborn.
The birth of a child is one of life’s most memorable experiences. But some planning and preparation can often enhance the childbirth experience immensely. By opting for private maternity care, your entire pregnancy journey will be in the best of hands.