All posts filed under: Antenatal Classes

Antenatal classes for expectant parents across Tyneside

Prioritising straightforward birth

At some point during your pregnancy, you will need to focus on the birth of your baby – to know more about how it all works, what helps, what doesn’t, what your options are, how you can manage contractions and energy and what your strategies might be. It’s about good knowledge and practical skills, questions, realistic expectations and a good dose of feistiness when needed. This helps you and your birth partner become better prepared for labour, birth and any challenges.

Do you feel confident about labour and birth?

Childbirth can be brilliant but it can also be challenging and a test of endurance so it is worth being equipped with good knowledge, practical skills and strategies, birth confidence and realistic expectations of both straightforward and more complicated labour. Going into labour without knowing more of what to expect could leave you struggling to stay calm and unable to work with your contractions. It can help to think about… Do you feel confident about working with your contractions? Do you understand what your body needs to do to bring you your baby? Do you know how to use your breathing to stay calm and focused? Do you have any questions about using movement & positions? What do you expect from your midwife? What birth support might you need? What could be helpful to you during labour? What could be unhelpful during labour? Do you know what an induction might involve and how to manage it? Do you know what a caesarean involves? If you need/choose an epidural, do you know how to manage it …

Caesarean Preparation

The Caesarean rate in the UK currently sits at about 26% with an fairly equal split between planned and unplanned. Reasons for caesarean can vary from medical need – to ensure the safety of both mum and baby; choice for personal reasons; preference if also faced with induction; labour and induction are taking a long time. As an antenatal teacher, I do think it is important to know something about what to expect with a caesarean, even if you aiming to have as natural a labour as possible. Labour & birth can be unpredictable, so some caesarean knowledge can make a difference to you. If you are having a PLANNED CAESAREAN, you will have a pre-op appointment, this is opportunity to ask questions and to gather the information you may need to feel secure and to know what is going to happen on the day. If you are having an UNPLANNED CAESAREAN, so labour or induction has started, you should be informed of the reasons why a caesarean has become necessary and what is going …

Essentials for Induction

Induction can be needed for a number of reasons: for conditions such as gestational diabetes or obstetric cholestasis or because a baby becomes ‘overdue’. Induction currently sits at about 32% so its a common intervention which can be controversial and which women do choose to decline depending on why it is suggested. I work with a lot of mums so conversation about birth is frequent – induction can work well for some women, their body just needs a little encouragement to get going but, for others, it is a slog, trying to convince their body to do something it just isn’t quite ready for. The reality is that induction can be tough but knowing what to expect and how to work with it could make a difference… RELAX & BREATHE: Just as with any labour, you need to be able to relax your body and use your breathing – this encourages hormone release and effective contractions. YOU NEED TO BE COMFORTABLE: You don’t need to be stuck on a bed where you can’t move, where …

what’s the point of antenatal classes…

I work with a lot of parents – antenatally as well as postnatally – so there is always a lot of discussion around birth and preparation for it. A common themes is the assumption that all antenatal classes are the same – they’re not. There can be a lot of well-meaning antenatal classes out there but that doesn’t mean it’s effective birth preparation. Good antenatal classes can make a huge difference to confidence which means that expectant parents can have more understanding of the process, a greater belief in their ability and the confidence to ask questions, to put themselves at the centre of their care – this is so important because maternity units can be busy and even the most brilliant of midwives are juggling. Labour can be straight-forward, or it can be tough going – I am passionate about preparing you as best I can for the changes that can happen so you feel better able to go with it, to stay calm and to keep gathering the information. My antenatal classes focus …