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5 Myths About Antenatal Classes

Written by Amina Hatia RM
Medically reviewed by Marley Hall BA RM Diphe
April 01, 2021

Finding out you are pregnant is incredibly exciting – and you’ll probably have a million questions about what’s normal, what isn’t, what kind of birth you can have – or even why you need to pee so much in pregnancy!  So where do you go to ask all these questions and more – and plan on what kind of labour, birth, and life with a new baby you hope to have? 

Whilst there are many websites, forums, Instagram posts, YouTube videos, Facebook pages, books and magazines all sharing advice on labour and birth, it can all feel a little over-whelming to try and find the information and advice that works for you. And this is where antenatal classes can really help – by having that one qualified, experienced midwife on hand who you can talk to and ask questions to help prepare for your baby’s arrival.

So, what are Antenatal classes and how can they help?  We address the most common myths about antenatal classes that we hear shared!

Myth 1

Antenatal classes are all about breathing exercises and how to give birth naturally.

This is one of the most common myths we hear.  Our classes at Now Baby aren’t about teaching you how to give birth or parent.  We know that every pregnancy and birth is as different as the baby you will have and there is no one way to give birth or no one size fits all way of being a parent.

During our sessions our midwives, who bring with them a wealth of expertise of working in the NHS and private care, help you to understand the choices that exist around your pregnancy, labour, birth, and parenting journey.  We know that when you have had the opportunity to ask questions, fully understand the different options and feel confident in yourself, you’ll be empowered to make the best choice for you and your baby. 

Our midwives explore with you all of the options – be it having your baby at home, in a birth centre or in a hospital unit, whilst also ensuring that you are prepared for any eventuality during labour and birth.

Myth 2

Antenatal classes are just about labour and birth.

Our comprehensive course covers all things pregnancy, labour, birth and beyond and due to its interactive nature every course is tailored to the interests of each group.

During our 8-session antenatal course we guide you through:

  • Journey to Motherhood – focusing upon antenatal care and choices and preparing for your pregnancy, labour & birth.
  • Mind and Body Preparation – exploring what labour and birth is from a physiological and emotional perspective.
  • Labour and Birth Process – from understanding the early signs of labour, through the different stages and the birth of your baby.
  • Birth Management – explores an alternative pathway to birth because we know that birth comes in different forms. Induction of labour, pain relief, assisted birth and birth by caesarean are all discussed in detail.
  • Your New Baby – is all about baby, aiming to help clear up some of the myths and facts and support you in feeling confident in making the right choices for a great life with a new baby.
  • New Mum – your new role as parents, the postnatal recovery, what to expect and all of the changes that occur.
  • Breastfeeding – an evidence-based class that aims to help you feel confident about feeding your baby. We know how keen parents are to understand and discuss breastfeeding and there is no time better than the antenatal period to get started.
  • Baby First Aid – is about more than what to do in an emergency. We explore life with a new baby, where to get help, common childhood illnesses and safe sleeping.

Myth 3

You can find out all you need from the internet anyway.

Whilst the internet is a great source of information, when it comes to preparing for your baby’s arrival getting expert and safe advice and support is vitally important.  Our interactive, practical, and honest classes are about supporting and giving you the opportunity to really explore in detail. Our midwives draw on the very latest evidence-based research and their experience of maternity care in covering all aspects of labour and birth, as well as those crucial early days and weeks of parenthood, including plenty of practical tips and advice on how to care for your newborn.

And the support isn’t just limited to during our classes – our midwives are self-proclaimed birth and baby geeks and are more than happy to answer your questions or talk you through any concerns you may be having after the course has finished and during your first few months with your new baby.

Myth 4

Classes are only for pregnant women.

Antenatal classes are as important for your birth partner/supporter as they are for you.  During our classes, our midwives will provide essential advice on how birth partners can provide support, suggest skills and techniques for supporting in labour and during birth and discuss how you can best work together. The benefit of an online, interactive course is that you and your birth partner/supporters can all attend with you or from their own devices if they are at work/away. We often have cats, dogs and other pets joining in too!

Myth 5

It all feels too much like hard work.

Our classes are relaxed and easy going – the beauty of online classes are that you don’t have to leave your comfy sofa and can relax in your PJ’s! They are also a lot of fun – with anecdotes, lots of chats, and honest information by our midwives, the classes are informative and entertaining.

Whilst we encourage turning your cameras on, we know there will be days when you just don’t fancy it – and that’s fine too!  We usually have a mixture of both in our classes.  All of our live classes are recorded, and you are sent a link to catch up whenever suits you best.  And there’s no need to worry about taking notes – we send out links and advice after the class full of helpful information for you.