What is the point of antenatal classes? And what do they actually teach?

Sorry it has been awhile since we last posted a blog…time seems to be slipping away, and our antenatal classes are getting booked up which is great!

However, one thing I have noticed is that in Singapore, women tend to book onto antenatal classes really late. Why is that? My thinking is that obstetricians aren’t necessarily educating pregnant women about them. In the UK, a midwife would inform you at your booking appointment about antenatal classes, and most will have signed up by 16 weeks pregnant!

So – why are antenatal classes important??

Antenatal – or prenatal – classes help to provide you will all the necessary information that you need for labour, birth and how to care for your baby. It is really important that you understand why is happening to your body when you start having contractions so that you dont a) freak out, and b) you know when to go to hospital. Once you reach hospital, you are then faced with numerous decision to make – how are you going to choose what pain relief you want if you dont even know what is available? How are you going to recover postnatally if you have a traumatic birth because you didnt understand what a caesarean involved?

Our antenatal classes prepare you for the big day – we run you through different scenarios so that if they happen to you, you know how to make them a positive experience, you understand the reason that your baby is being delivered by forceps….you are able to make an INFORMED CHOICE.

That is the difference between Singapore and the UK that I have found – because it is a private medical system here, that choice element isnt as big a thing…but it is so important that you know that you can choose what pain relief you want, that you can choose whether to sit on a bed or move around….and you can choose not to have an induction just because you have reached your due date (please stop letting this happen…!)

So, to summarise, antenatal classes are all about preparation, to help you have a better birth experience and to be able to make informed choices throughout your labour and birth. Our antenatal classes cover:

– normal labour and birth
– pain relief
– complications
– how to care for your baby
– how to feed your baby – breast and bottle!

Please do email us or call us if you have any questions!

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