How Antenatal Classes
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Prepare You For Birth
Prepare You For Birth
What are antenatal classes, and how can they help to prepare you for the birth of your first child?
Having a baby is a scary, wonderful journey that’s best travelled with a team of expert doctors, midwives and nurses ready to answer your questions and put your mind at ease.
While you can always turn to friends and family for advice or ask Dr Google, antenatal classes provide a safe and loving environment for first-time moms and dads to prepare for the arrival of your newborn.
In this article, we’ve tried to cover any questions you might have about Welwitschia Hospital’s Dear Baby antenatal program. We’ll start by taking a closer look at our topics:
- What are antenatal classes?
- What are the benefits of antenatal classes to new parents?
- When should you attend antenatal classes?
- How long do antenatal classes last?
- How much do antenatal classes cost?
- Do I need antenatal classes if I’ve already had a baby?
- What if I can’t attend antenatal classes?
- Next steps
What are antenatal classes?
Antenatal classes are birth and parenting classes usually given by a qualified midwife. They educate moms-to-be and new dads on what to expect during pregnancy, how to mentally and physically handle labour pain, and how to care for your newborn baby.
These classes can help you decide on your birth plan, whether to have natural labour or a caesarean section and feel more confident in understanding your newborn’s needs.
What are the benefits of antenatal classes to new parents?
Apart from meeting other new parents-to-be, antenatal classes are a time to ask questions, firm up your birthing plans, and get great insight into the journey ahead.
Here’s a little of what you’ll learn:
- The importance of nutrition during and after pregnancy
- Which prenatal vitamins you need to take
- How to prepare for labour
- The signs of labour and when to go to the hospital
- The different stages of labour
- How to comfort your partner during labour
- Birthing positions moms can try (water birth, rocking on an exercise ball, all fours, squatting)
- Different types of breathing exercises and learning about labour pain management (Lamaze, spinal block, pethidine, epidural)
- Calming techniques (massage)
- What to pack for your hospital stay
- What to expect immediately after the birth and why these tests are performed
- How to breastfeed your baby (latching techniques), heal cracked nipples, and prevent mastitis
- How to bath, handle and change your newborn baby
- Caring for your baby’s umbilical cord
- Tending to your stitches and wound if you had caesarean birth or episiotomy
Fathers play an essential role during the birth of your baby. It can be alarming to watch your partner in pain, and you can feel helpless at times. But your job is to be her support, help her breathe through contractions, and remain calm.
Antenatal classes at Welwitschia Hospital give new parents an opportunity to meet the staff that will be looking after you during labour and the first days after giving birth. You’ll also be taken on a tour of the maternity ward, so you know where you’ll be spending the first few days with your baby.
When should you attend antenatal classes?
Antenatal classes usually begin between your 25th and 30th week of pregnancy, giving you more than enough time to prepare for the arrival of your new baby.
Because we try to keep these classes small and intimate, they get booked up quickly. So make sure you confirm your place towards the beginning of your second trimester.
How long do antenatal classes last?
It really does depend on the nursing sister or organization giving the classes. Antenatal classes at Welwitschia Hospital are held every Tuesday from 17h45 to 19h00 over six weeks.
The classes take place in the evenings to give working parents a chance to attend.
How much do antenatal classes cost?
Antenatal classes at Welwitschia Hospital are free to our Dear Baby Programme members and anyone considering having their baby at Welwitschia Hospital.
Do I need antenatal classes if I’ve already had a baby?
It really depends on you, the parents, and how comfortable you feel going through birth. If you’ve remarried, and this is your husband’s first child, it might be nice to attend antenatal classes. This is his opportunity to be more hands-on and learn how to comfort you during labour.
You might also consider attending antenatal classes if:
- you’re planning to give birth differently than before
- a significant amount of time has passed since your previous birth
- you’d like a refresher
- you had a poor first birthing experience
What if I can’t attend antenatal classes?
Many women have never been to antenatal classes, so don’t stress if you can’t attend. There are other ways you can gather information on what to expect.
Here’s how you can prepare yourself.
- Speak to other moms. Find out what they wish they’d known before going into labour and what questions to ask.
- Do a little research. You’ll find the internet is a treasure trove of information, but use reputable sites.
- Talk to your obstetrician. They’ll give you a brief rundown on what to expect and how to prepare. Remember, during your stay in hospital, the midwife and nursing staff will show you how to feed your baby, change their nappy, bathe, dress, burp and swaddle them.
Are you ready to take the next step and book antenatal classes for you and your partner? It really is the best way to prepare yourself for the arrival of your new baby.
Remember, we are here to guide you in your journey and give you all the information you need to have the best possible pregnancy and birth experience. If you’d like to know more about our Dear Baby Programme, click here.
We look forward to learning more about you, taking you through our maternity ward, and meeting our dedicated team.
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- Pregnancy Do’s and Don’ts, the Facts
- 11 Questions to ask your Obstetrician/Gynaecologist At Your First Prenatal Visit
- Essential Items To Include In Your Hospital Maternity Bag
- How To Care For Your Newborn During The Hot Summer Months
- A-Z Of Breastfeeding Your Newborn
- Your Baby’s Immunization Schedule
- Postpartum Depression: What Is It And How To Manage It?