Last Updated on February 13, 2021
Though not compulsory as such, birthing classes, or antenatal classes as they’re widely known as, are valuable sessions for all expectant mothers.
Such antenatal classes can be the most informative and, in many cases, most empowering of courses for mothers who are keen to build up as much knowledge about their impending birth.
Likewise, many women find that such pregnancy classes can help with the very early stages of life with a newborn in those often-tough days at home.
However, taking a birthing class is purely a personal choice and is all the decision of the mother to be.
Here we offer a short guide as to the significance of a birthing class and explain why they are so highly recommended by many an antenatal expert.
Advantages of Attending a Birthing Class
Ultimately, you do not have to attend a birthing or antenatal class to have your baby. There is no set requirement to join; neither will you be forced to nor be made to feel ashamed for not attending such sessions.
However, as childbirth can be the most magical of times, so too, can it be the most confusing and hard going of events.
For this reason, many moms-to-be want to be as prepared as they can to tackle the many challenges that lie ahead. For this reason, birthing classes come into their own.
Designed as a means of offering all parents an insight into the labor and delivery process as well as helping out with those first few crucial hours of mother and baby bonding time, antenatal classes have been running for generations.
The many advantages of attending such sessions include:
- Reducing potential fear and anxiety of the impending birth
- Offering you an array of options and choices that can help you make the best-informed decisions for your pregnancy and labor
- Detailing what you can expect to encounter at every stage of your delivery – thus making the unknown that little bit less scary
- Encouraging you to sport the signs for yourself and select the right tools to cope with each obstacle as your pregnancy, and indeed labor progresses
- Encouraging you to bond with your partner
- Emphasizing those essential techniques that you can employ to help you relax throughout
- Discussing the best positions to try out during labor and talk about the positive impact of movement at this stage
- Listing the types of pain relief options there are and how to access the right choice for you, also noting the advantages and disadvantages of each choice
- Touching upon the topic of afterbirth and the process involved here
- Informing you of the best practices of caring for your newborn and offer helpful guidance as to feeding your baby for the first few times. This can and should include both bottle feeding and breastfeeding options
- Providing you with a good list of local resources that you can access throughout pregnancy, childbirth, and afterward, as a new mom
- Encouraging you to ask any questions you may have – no matter how silly or trivial they may seem to you at the time!
- Giving you the most relevant and updated information necessary at the exact time that you give birth
- Providing an environment whereby you can talk and socialize with other people in the same situation as yourself – thus maybe even encouraging the start of some beautiful friendships along the way!
Birth Classes Are Changing to Stay Relevant
Interestingly, there has been a decrease in the number of antenatal classes offered. The reason for this can mostly be put down to the internet, increasing cesarian rates, and of course, the rise of epidurals selected throughout childbirth. However, perhaps the most common complaint heard about such classes is that of people just not having the time to attend!
However, for plenty of women, particularly those first-time mothers, actual physical antenatal classes requiring your attendance can be a lifesaver throughout this most emotional of times.
For this reason alone, more and more charities, centers, and hospitals running antenatal courses are beginning to step up their game and ensure that the classes that they do offer remain fresh and relevant. This is to ensure that moms-to-be take as much advantage of such courses as possible to ensure a more successful labor and delivery process each time.
For this reason, antenatal class providers are working hard to:
- Offer more sessions over more extended periods and choices of days and nights to accommodate parents-to-be and their ever-increasing schedules
- Provide a greater choice of class type, for example, private sessions and indeed online sessions to make them more relevant to individuals
- Make sessions more practical by holding them in the actual hospitals, birthing centers, and delivery suites, giving all mothers first-hand access
Can I Attend Antenatal Classes Online?
A question that is asked more and more these days is regarding potential baby classes online.
Though not always promoted as widely as physical birthing classes that require your actual attendance, baby sessions, and indeed parenting classes online can undoubtedly have their benefits.
For example, you may struggle to find baby classes near me. Perhaps you can’t quite make it to the places the courses are located, or maybe the times and dates just don’t cut it for either you or your partner.
For this reason, antenatal classes online are most suitable as they allow you to attend from the comfort of your own home, but most importantly at a time and date to suit you.
Likewise, you may have a more specific requirement from your potential birthing class – but can’t locate any antenatal classes near me that cater to it. This is perhaps one of the most popular reasons that parents-to-be turn to online antenatal classes as they find them tailored to their own pregnancy and potential birthing needs.
This could be an ideal choice if you’re experiencing a multiple pregnancy but discover there aren’t any such classes offered in your nearby area for multiple births.
Alternatively, you may be a younger mother, older mother, experienced mother, or a mom-to-be with special needs that must be accommodated throughout your pregnancy.
Whatever your situation, there’s bound to be an online antenatal class that can accommodate your requests.