Why are expectant mothers advised to attend antenatal classes? How will they benefit from attending such classes?
First time mothers are strongly encouraged to attend antenatal classes. The classes will help them understand situations that they may experience during their pregnancy and enable them to prepare adequately for the arrival of their bundle of joy. They will also learn more about the various options available to them in terms of labour analgesia, infant feeding and infant care. These classes will dispel myths that they might have heard from well-meaning relatives as well as provide answers to many questions that they may have with regards to their pregnancy and baby.
Do the classes target a specific group of women?
All expectant mothers are encouraged to attend antenatal classes. Even "experienced" mothers who already have a few children will benefit from refresher knowledge. The management of pregnancies and baby care is changing because of new scientific evidence and it will be useful for expectant mothers to attend and update themselves.
Can your husband or family members participate in the classes?
Absolutely! Having your husband attend the classes with you will allow everyone to be involved in the pregnancy and foster a close bond with the baby even before he is born. We definitely encourage husbands to be proactive during these classes.
What can you expect from antenatal classes and how can you prepare yourself before attending them?
During these classes, you will learn about the hormonal and physical changes that are taking place in your body during your pregnancy, the milestones to look out for, as well as the options available in terms of managing your labour and after care. You will also learn how to care for the newborn, how to feed and bathe and also about vaccination.
To prepare, you can talk to other mothers and find out about their experiences. This will enable you to formulate your own "birth plan" and give you ideas about how you would want to care for your little one based on all the advice you have heard. During the antenatal classes, you can then bring up subjects of concern for discussion as well as learn new ways of management.
What is the duration of each class? When should you start attending them? What is the frequency of the classes?
Duration of each class will be around two hours. The frequency of the classes will vary; we may do it once in a month based on participant numbers; you may choose one that fits your schedule and preferably your husband's schedule as well. You may attend them at any point during your pregnancy.
Courtesy: United Hospital