What are antenatal classes and what do they mean?

Hospitals offer classes called antenatal classes. They are designed to equip expecting parents with the necessary knowledge to help them prepare for their baby’s arrival. These classes are for expecting parents (mummies and daddy) to equip them with the knowledge and confidence to give their child a great start in life.

Although antenatal classes do not have to be taken, they are very popular as they provide practical experience that can increase the confidence of expecting parents. Expecting parents often find it a great way to meet other parents and clarify any doubts, as well as gain confidence through practice and knowledge.

What are the advantages of antenatal classes

There are many other benefits to antenatal classes beyond education. These benefits include:

  1. A hands-on experience

Antinenatal classes are more than just information. You will also get to experience the birth process firsthand. To help expectant parents get to know the environment where their child will be delivered, many hospitals offer tours of the delivery rooms. You can also take a virtual tour to save time and avoid having to travel in person.

  1. Qualified staff will help you clarify your questions and concerns

These classes can be a great place to ask any questions you may have about your pregnancy. You can trust the trained staff to assist you and make your mind at ease.

  1. A supportive community

An excellent way to meet other parents going through the same thing as you is attending antenatal classes. It is likely that you will form friendships and find the shared experience very supportive. This is especially true if your child is young. These bonds will help you get through the first months of your baby’s life and can also be a source of support for your child.

An antenatal class: What you’ll learn

Classes are usually held in small groups. They cover everything you need to know about the hospital and how to take care of your baby once they arrive.

Here are some key learning points that you can expect from Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital.

Early days and giving birth to your newborn

When should you go to the hospital?

Labor in a hospital setting

How to manage surgical and episiotomy injuries

  • Understanding emotional changes
  • Stabilizing the pelvic floor muscles
  • The common characteristics of a newborn
  • Swaddle your baby
  • Burping your baby
  • How to manage a choking child
  • Breastfeeding
  • Skin-to-skin benefits
  • Baby cues:
  • Positions for breastfeeding
  • The right latch is essential

What and when babies will require supplements

  • Breastfeeding while you return to work
  • Storage and expression of milk
  • Increase breast milk supply
  • Prevention of sore nipples
  • Relief of engorgement/oversupply
  • Blocked milk ducts can be prevented
  • Coping with baby’s crying

When is it okay to wake a baby who isn’t sleeping to breastfeed?

  • Hygiene for babies
  • Baby diapers and baby baths
  • Take care of your baby’s eyes
  • Take care of your umbilical cord

When should antenatal classes be started?

Expecting parents typically start classes around 32-32 weeks pregnant. However, they can attend introductory classes earlier. Twins are more likely to be born earlier so you should begin classes at 24 weeks.

No matter if you are a first-time parent or not, antenatal classes can be a great way for you to get hands-on experience and help prepare for your baby. Find out more about Mount Elizabeth Hospital’s classes and how to be a part.