Types of Childbirth Classes
Looking to attend a prenatal class in Singapore before giving birth? Confused at the different classes available and what you’ll learn?
When you first start researching prenatal classes, you’ll quickly learn that courses differ in their philosophy. While the focus of classes can vary greatly, most pregnant mums and soon-to-be dads come away with valuable lessons for labor, delivery, and after birth.
What is the difference between prenatal/antenatal/ parentcraft?
Nothing! All of these terms describe childbirth classes for new parents. What’s most important is to understanding the topics each prenatal class teaches, in case you have something specific you wish to learn.
When do I take a prenatal class?
You should take a standard Prenatal Class around 28 – 32 weeks into your pregnancy. Most prenatal courses consist of at least 4 individual classes, so this will ensure you have completed the entire prenatal program before you are ‘full term’.
If you are taking a One Day Prenatal Class, you should attend between 32 – 36 weeks into your pregnancy.
Popular childbirth classes at a glance:
The Beloved Bumps Prenatal Class in Singapore was designed after studying other popular prenatal classes, and speaking to pregnant woman about what they want, and real mums about what they found useful. All the class content is taught to you by a UK trained and certified Midwife and is constantly refreshed to make sure you’re learning the most up-to-date information.
Beloved Bumps believes strongly in providing unbiased information about everything that could happen during labour and delivery. That’s because sometimes things don’t go to plan! Having all the information allows you and your partner to be in control and make informed decisions throughout your labour and delivery.
Since Beloved Bumps believes in creating a community, every course introduces you to mums that are due around the same time and includes a ladies lunch, WhatsApp group, and online resources and postnatal reunion. Whether you’re from Singapore or an expat a long way from home, women leave our antenatal classes with friends they can have after birth and beyond.
SEE PRENTATAL CLASSES
Lamaze is probably the first term you’ll think of when you start considering childbirth preparation courses. Popularized in the 1950s, Lamaze is still one of the most popular parenting classes for new parents because it focuses on simple, natural strategies for labour.
A Lamaze course is at least 12 hours long and doesn’t support or discourage the use of medicines or medical interventions during childbirth. You’ll learn about techniques to cope during labour such as, Rhythmic breathing, hydrotherapy, massage and positions during labour. The prenatal class always covers, what to expect during and after birth, complications, how your partner can be an active participant, communication with hospital staff, breastfeeding and newborn care.
Lamaze has Six Healthy Birth Practices:
- Let labor begin naturally
- Walk and change positions throughout childbirth
- Have continuous support by a loved one, friend or doula
- Avoid medically unnecessary interventions
- Avoid giving birth on your back and push with the natural rhythms of your body
- The mother and baby should be together after birth, for bonding, health and feeding
Active birth classes are a common sense, evidence-based prenatal course that is supported by midwives and doctors. With the belief that it is best to stay as close to nature as possible, Active birth promotes a woman’s natural ability to give birth and the important production of hormones to help you deliver and bond with your baby. You will learn different ideas for positions, breathing techniques and have confidence to trust your instincts during childbirth.
Active Birth has 3 core pillars:
- Free movement during labour and the ability to give birth in the instinctive position the mother chooses. During pregnancy, a woman and her partner work together to develop the connection in the mother’s natural ability to give birth.
- Optimising your natural birthing hormones to ensure your birth is faster and easier and the bond between you and your baby is established immediately. During birth, your body produces Oxytocin and Endorphins to regulate the birth process and promote attachment. When you can move around in a private, peaceful place, your body is able to release very high levels of Oxytocin and Endorphins. This makes the birth process more efficient.
- Empowering mothers to make their own decisions. By educating the mother about childbirth, the mother herself will be able to make decisions confidently during her birth. This helps her feel in control during the process.
The Bradley Method
The Bradley method believes that most women can give birth naturally (without drugs or surgery) if they have adequate preparation, education and support from a loving coach. The Bradley method course is 12-weeks long and wants soon-to-be parents to be knowledgeable about birth services, as well as to take charge in making decisions during childbirth. Unlike other popular childbirth classes, The Bradley Method has more emphasis on coaching from your birth partner, as well as nutrition and exercise during pregnancy to help keep women healthy and low-risk for labour complications. While the focus of this class is on natural birth, it does cover unexpected situations, such as an emergency cesarean section.
The Bradley Method’s main pillars revolve around the “six needs of the labouring woman.”
- Closed eyes
In addition, the Bradley Method places strong emphasis on labour coaches/partners. Couples are encouraged to practise relaxation techniques daily, to create a conditioned response to her partner’s voice and touch. These “labour rehearsals” can be very effective in preparing you for your big day.
Hypnobirthing (Mongan method) is a childbirth education approach that uses self-hypnosis techniques to help you remain clam and relaxed during labour. Classes are usually taught in small groups and done over 5 two-and-a-half-hour classes or 4 three-hour classes. Hypnobirthing will teach you what happens to your body during labour and uses the power of suggestion, affirmations, visualisations and mindfulness through childbirth. Breathing and meditative techniques help guide your thoughts in a positive direction and can be done from you, your partner, a professional hypnotherapist or a recording.
In order for Hypnobirthing to be effective, a soon-to-be mum should learn and start practising by the end of the second trimester. Even if you’re not planning on having a natural birth, Hypnobirthing can still be used with other types of pain relief and can generally help create a calmer birth.
Benefits of HypnoBirthing
- Helps manage stress, fear and pain during labour
- It may help you feel more prepared
- Can help you cope with trauma from a previous birth
- May help reduce the need for pain relief or interventions
- Can help your birth partner play a more active role
While HypnoBirthing cannot guarantee a complication free birth, it can provide calming benefits before, during and after labour and delivery, to help you feel more in control.
The Alexander Technique works to change movement habits in our everyday activities. It has been adapted for pregnant woman to help with posture and movement to improve balance, coordination, back pain, breathing and digestion. Most women start taking these prenatal classes during their first trimester, since its benefits are tied to how much you practice. For soon-to-be parents, the Alexander Technique can make you more comfortable during pregnancy, increase the effectiveness of pushing during labour, make recovery from childbirth quicker and reduce the discomfort of breastfeeding.
The main principles of the Alexander technique:
- “becoming more mindful of the way you go about your daily activities is necessary to make changes and gain benefit”
- “the mind and body work together intimately as one, each constantly influencing the other”
- “how you move, sit and stand affects how well you function”
- “the relationship of the head, neck and spine is fundamental to your ability to function optimally”