ANTENATAL PREPARATION 2020-05-18T06:01:27+00:00


Antenatal Preparation


Antenatal classes and birth education can come in various forms, but all aim to help prepare you for labour, birth, and early parenthood.

You should check with your healthcare provider to see whether they run classes or if they can recommend one. Most maternity hospitals can provide birth education classes and private classes may be available locally. Some classes are even available online.

It can be helpful to go to more than one of these classes. When attending classes outside of a hospital it is important to check that the teacher has been properly trained.

Antenatal classes not only help you focus on your pregnancy, labour, and birth, but they also allow you to meet other future parents. The content of each class will vary, but should cover some of the follow:

  • How to prepare for labour
  • The different stages of labour
  • The signs of labour
  • When to call the hospital
  • Different birthing positions
  • Relaxation and breathing techniques to use during labour
  • Early parenting
  • Breastfeeding
  • Newborn baby behaviour

These classes will give you a chance to meet a group of other parents who are expecting a baby – many parents say that being able to talk to people in similar situations and share experiences is a major benefit of antenatal classes.

You are able to ask questions, get specific information about where your baby will be born, and you can visit the birthing centre so you know what to expect.

Most parenting and birth classes run for about 12 hours over the course of several weeks and tend to suit the schedules of busy parents.

Most maternity services run antenatal classes and there are a wide range of private classes that are available. Antenatal classes tend to be run by a midwife, lactation consultant, or physiotherapist, but there are classes run by a doula, yoga practitioner, or someone who is trained in a specific birthing technique.

Whatever class you decide to take, the idea is that both you and your birth partner acquire the necessary skills and confidence needed to make birth a positive experience.

If you are in a large maternity hospital there may be more of a range of classes available with a midwife, lactation consultant, physiotherapist, or other healthcare professional. You can ask your healthcare provider or midwife for refresher classes if this is not your first baby, or special classes about caesarean births, vaginal births after a caesarean, and twins.

There are different types of antenatal classes and you may find it helpful to go to more than one type. Some types of antenatal classes include:

  • Lamaze classes
  • Early pregnancy
  • Calm birth
  • Aqua antenatal classes
  • Antenatal yoga or pilates
  • Hypnobirthing
  • Active birth
  • Preparation for breastfeeding

There are also classes specifically aimed at:

  • Fathers
  • Parents who come from different cultures or don’t speak English very well
  • Parents expecting more than one baby
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents
  • Parents who know they are having a caesarean
  • Parents considering options after the first baby was born by caesarean

If you have any further queries, our friendly team at My Obg will be happy to assist you. Call us on (03) 9731 1006 or email us at