5 antenatal classes that prepare you for labour

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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.

Pregnancy Yoga

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.

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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.

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  1. Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely April 10, 2015 / 7:55 am

    Aww, this is something that I feel a little bit sad at missing out on. My Deutsch wasn’t good enough to take classes in Switzerland, not that they had so many classes anyway. It meant that I didn’t really make any pregnant friends that were going through the same thing as me at the same time, which would have been quite nice.
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    • Notmyyearoff April 18, 2015 / 10:58 am

      They do sound really good don’t they? I made some really good friends but everyone’s gone their own ways now. Hoping it happens again 🙂

  2. Carie April 10, 2015 / 11:30 am

    I did NCT class before I had Kitty – I don’t remember much of the things we learnt being terribly useful with my induction but I did make the best Mum friends and it was worth it for that alone!
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    • Notmyyearoff April 18, 2015 / 10:59 am

      I remember my hubby being made to hold a plastic baby to demonstrate how much weight a pregnant woman is carrying. That was worth it for me!
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  3. Colette B April 10, 2015 / 2:11 pm

    C Section classes!? I never even knew they existed. We only attended the standard NHS antenatal classes provided by our local midwives. I wish I had discovered Yoga when I was pregnant x
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    • Notmyyearoff April 18, 2015 / 11:00 am

      Me either. I’m definitely going to ask about those. I may be having one so would be great to know how to prepare.
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  4. ClearlyBex April 10, 2015 / 5:15 pm

    Surprising, I also never new about the c-section classes. I did the NHS classes provided at our local hospital with first baby and didn’t bother with 2nd child as my labours never lasted long enough for pain relief to take effect and I used my own instincts with caring for my children after birth.
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  5. Dawn April 10, 2015 / 6:35 pm

    I recently attended a VBAC class which talked about the process and when they may need to intervene. I do like the sounds of the Yoga classes though

  6. Erin Ek Rush April 10, 2015 / 6:40 pm

    Great list! I did all of these except the c-section class but I did buy a vbac hypnotherapy cd and even though I had a second c-section in the end, I would highly recommend it! It was so relaxing and even though I didn’t consider my first c-section to be traumatic I think the visualization really helped prepare me for a relaxed second birth.
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  7. ghostwritermummy April 12, 2015 / 7:56 pm

    I swear by pre-natal pilates and did it every day in my last pregnancy. Had all been well with Elsie I KNOW I would’ve been able to get that vbac!! x x x
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