What You Need To Know About Antenatal Classes

antenatal clasIf you are pregnant, you are more than likely a little daunted and a lot concerned about the thought of the labour and the delivery. You have listened to the stories of your friends and family, and even though all stories are told with the intention of dismissing the fears of the soon to be mom, in most cases, they do little to abate the fear (for most they probably have the opposite effect). Antenatal classes are intended to inform and educate the new mom and dad and empower them with knowledge.


What is taught at Antenatal classes?

Newbie parents will be taught everything there is to know about childbirth, what they can expect, what medical procedures will be used, if there is a problem during the birth, including, c-sections, epidurals and episiotomies. During the classes, parents will be shown images and well as real videos of the actual birthing process, and the classes will also provide insight into the types of pain relief medications which are available and breathing techniques that will help during labour and which will bring relief. The classes will also give parents advice on childcare, the dos and don’ts, etc.


Types of classes

One can usually find different types of classes, like the early pregnancy classes which deal with the issues that are to be expected during the first trimester. These classes will then be extended into later classes which focus on the labour and the delivery.

Women only antenatal classes are also offered, as some women are not too comfortable discussing their personal pregnancy issues in the presence of other men, while others simply enjoy the woman-to-woman interaction.

The couple antenatal classes are the most common and the most preferred classes. In these classes soon to be parents are given detailed and accurate information of how their lives will change and what they should expect. The classes are intimate and generally couples form long term bonds with other couples.

Refresher antenatal classes are offered to second or even third time parents, who have already been through a pregnancy and birth but want to brush up on their skills. These classes are recommended for couples who have older children and attending refresher classes will allow the expectant mom to find out about any new birthing or pain relief techniques.


Attending antenatal classes has many benefits and not only can couples expect to gain accurate information on what to expect, they can also meet and interact with couples who will soon become parents. These friendships can last long after the babies have been born.

To find out more about antenatal classes in South Africa, visit the antenatal classes ( There are also antenatal crash courses which last only two days and here the basic are covered, from labour to childcare.


 – Kathy Baron


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