Are antenatal classes important?

My first birth wasn’t the best and I felt completely out of control, I heard myself thinking…

“I don’t understand what’s happening to me”

I had no idea how birth worked, the physiology, the science or the hormones. I had no idea how things like my surroundings and language used could affect how I birthed my baby. I definitely had no idea that I could have done so many things to prevent that feeling.

After going through this, I thought I was the only one that felt like this. I mean, I went to all of my hospital antenatal classes and appointments and assumed if there was anything I needed to know, that’s where I would be told. It was only after having my 3 babies, and talking to other mums I realised I wasn’t alone, in fact it was a lot more common than I thought. Learning this really upset me, it made me sad to see that women are birthing their babies every day and so many of them don’t understand how their body or birth works.

Why is it important for YOU?

I know going to antenatal classes outside of the hospital is the last thing you want to do; you’re already preparing your home, nursery, going to work or looking after other children and then being absolutely exhausted after it all! Like me, you assume you’ll be ok and you’ll be told everything you need to know to get you through, so why do would you need to prepare for birth? I can’t stress enough how important understanding birth is when you’re in labour. The sensations won’t be a surprise because you’ll know how your body opens up for the baby to come out. The contractions won’t feel as painful because you’ll know how your muscles and hormones work. Not understanding it can make you feel scared because the feeling is different to anything you’ve felt before, so if you can understand what’s happening inside, it’s easier to process at the time.

Why is it important for your BIRTH PARTNER?

My husband was incredibly supportive during birth, but he had no idea what was happening, he didn’t know what was normal and he didn’t know the simple things he could have done to make it better. This is so common, and most partners deal with it the best way they can, by either cracking a joke to make you smile/laugh or staying back because they’re too afraid to get involved.  A good antenatal course teaches them what’s happening to your body, which helps them to stay calm. It also teaches them how to make things better, so they can feel confident and be a part of it.  This allows you to feel supported and experience birth as a team, helping you to transition more positively after birth.

How do you find the RIGHT course for you?

There are so many antenatal and birth preparation courses out there; from group to online. Everyone is different so I suggest you think about how you like to learn, as for some reading a book together might work but for others, going to a class is more effective. The reason I only teach private antenatal classes is because every pregnancy and every couple is different, I feel it’s important to get to know you and tailor the course around your situation. I also feel that my private clients are more invested, engaged and open so they can discuss and ask any questions without feeling judged or embarrassed. On the other hand, many mums and couples are more social and prefer to be in a group setting, so it’s important to think about what you want to get out of the course.

Find out more about my Birth Fear ➡ Birth Calm Course and how it will help you and your birth partner feel calm, confident and in control.