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Prenatal Classes: What They Are And What To Expect

Chief Editor | Published on February 22, 2023

Prenatal classes are designed to help expectant parents tackle the myriad challenges that come with pregnancy, labour and raising a newborn. Often run by hospitals, they are also run by private organisations, such as Hatch+. If you’re not sure whether prenatal classes are useful or even necessary, here’s what you can expect to learn.

 

Pregnancy 101s

The maxim “what you don’t know scares you more than it should” certainly applies to pregnancy. Prenatal classes aim to give you a wealth of knowledge on handling common challenging situations faced by expectant mothers, dos and don’ts during pregnancy, as well as tips and tricks for a smoother pregnancy. Learning these practical hacks can help you adapt to physiological changes, relieve discomfort and put your mind at ease knowing you have the fix for unpleasant conditions such as pelvic pain or swollen feet. You’ll also receive help in crafting your birth plan.

 

The Science Behind Pregnancy

Besides the practical aspects of pregnancy, prenatal classes may also give you a clearer idea of the biological changes that occur inside your body, such as how a foetus develops in the womb. Knowing the science behind your pregnancy may also heighten your sense of wonder and awareness — creating a closer bond between you and your baby before birth.

Nutrition and Wellness

Trainers can respond to your questions about dietary restrictions and preferences. Unlike most online resources, the information you’ll get is also localised. Besides helping you ensure your nutritional needs are met, you can also pick up recipes to reduce discomfort or the risk of complications. Some classes also focus on wellness, such as relaxation techniques and exercise.

Psychological Techniques

Classes feature a psychological component that teaches mums how to deal with day-to-day stress during pregnancy. You’ll also pick up relaxation techniques such as breathing awareness. In addition, mums will also learn how to cope with unexpected or unfortunate events that may occur.

 

Labour and Birthing

Prenatal classes focus on running you through what to expect during your last trimester and how to prepare for labour. This includes briefing you on hospital procedures and giving advice on what to pack in your hospital bag. You’ll also be clued in on pain relief options during labour, possible labour complications and interventions, as well as birthing positions and exercises. Armed with labour know-how, you’ll enter the delivery room feeling upbeat and more assured of a smooth delivery.

 

Postnatal Care

Mothers are most psychologically vulnerable in the days after giving birth, so becoming proficient in postnatal care routines, such as bathing a newborn, can give your confidence a boost and reduce your risk of postnatal depression. Breastfeeding, in particular, takes a little technique to do right. When you breastfeed successfully after picking up skills at a class, the psychological lift you’ll get is immense. You’ll also learn how to anticipate your infant’s needs, better read his or her signs of potential distress, and pick up tips for skin-to-skin care that can aid baby’s development and well-being.

 

Choose the Class for You

It’s important to note that prenatal courses vary in terms of their duration, focus and course content. In terms of approach and style, some courses might be more hands-on, whereas others might be more lecture-based. Regardless, taking prenatal classes gives you an opportunity to meet other expecting mums who can provide you with valuable physical and emotional support.

 

Interested in signing up after reading this article? Prenatal classes are ideally attended by both mum- and dad-to-be! Classes are typically scheduled to begin when mums are in their second trimester, so if you’ve just found out you’re expecting, you have some time to research and compare courses before deciding on the one that bests suits you and your partner.

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