The Importance of Attending Antenatal Education Classes

Antenatal classes help you to prepare for labour, the birth of your baby, and becoming a parent. Classes also give you practical advice on how to care for your baby as well as how to look after yourself in the postnatal period.

Antenatal Education classes are important to help women and their partners prepare for the journey they are on and the process of becoming new parents. Classes will equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to adapt to this new journey, they also give you all the information to prepare you for childbirth and parenthood.

The Aim

The overall aim of Antenatal Education is to support improvements in the health and wellbeing of babies, pregnant women, and their partners throughout the antenatal and postnatal periods. (National Standards for Antenatal Education  2020).

Antenatal Education is a vital element in the preparation for childbirth and parenting for many couples. Antenatal classes allow you to become empowered to make the best decision for you and your baby, allowing you to have full autonomy over your body and preparing you for any eventualities that may arise. They teach you many different coping mechanisms should a situation arise and allow you to make the most important decisions for yourself and your baby.

Statistics show that women who attended antenatal classes have a much lower risk of Caesarean section and were about half as likely to bottle feed while in hospital compared with non-attenders. They received better information on contraception, breastfeeding and baby care. Women who attended classes and applied the techniques learned were more satisfied with the experience of childbirth. (The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine).  

A woman who attends classes will learn more about the physiology of pregnancy and delivery; she will be more aware of her role and will thus be in a better position to participate actively in the decisions that should be made with the doctor. (The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine).

Importance of Planning

You might think you don’t need to attend antenatal education, but if you compare it to planning a wedding or a major life event, there would be a lot of planning put into that event to make sure it runs smoothly and is everything you thought it would be. Preparing for your baby is the same as this, it is a major life-changing event that you need to be ready for so in turn you can achieve a positive birth experience and make the transition to parenthood that bit easier for yourself and your partner.

A great antenatal class should provide you and your partner with all the essential information you need to go into labour and birth feeling relaxed and capable. Here at the Happy Baby Class, our mission is to provide the modern parent with the knowledge to have a positive and happy birth experience.

Benefits of Attending:

There are so many benefits to attending antenatal classes that you might not be aware of and evidence-based research has shown that those who attend antenatal classes have

  • An increased chance of a vaginal birth
  • Lower chance of needing to be induced
  • Better communication with healthcare staff as regards birth preferences
  • Higher likelihood of breastfeeding
  • Informed decisions regarding pain relief options and a decreased need for same
  • Overall increased confidence
  • Fewer nerves
  • Happier outcomes

The fact remains that many women who are pregnant for the first time will seek to attend antenatal classes () and will possibly be distressed if not offered them. Some women who can afford it will seek classes in the voluntary or increasingly visible private sector (). Others will receive no antenatal education and will approach labor ignorant of what is to come, frightened, and unable to make their own informed choices about their treatment. This situation conflicts with U.K. government policy to ensure that women are able to make decisions about their own care, based on information and understanding ().

The above points are things that may run through your (expectant mother) mind on a daily basis throughout their pregnancy journey, as they prepare for labour birth, and beyond, so why not put your mind at ease, attend an Antenatal class and get the opportunity to ask a Midwife any questions or concerns you may have so you can prepare for this part of your life with confidence and courage and overall excitement as you are now prepared to meet your new arrival.

How We Can Help

We have a range of live online classes which you can attend from the comfort of your own home where you will get the chance to ask a midwife any questions you have throughout the class making you well-prepared for labour birth and more. You can see our range of available classes by clicking the button below.

Check out our classes

Free Baby Essentials Class

A 2-hour class where you will learn everything from nappy changing to safe sleep and bathing your baby.

The Antenatal Masterclass

A full day class that covers all aspects of pregnancy, leaving you confident and empowered as you embark on your journey to parenthood