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The Expectant Parents Guide to Antenatal Classes

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Are you planning to register for an antenatal or childbirth class but don’t know where to start?

It can all be confusing and a little overwhelming, especially if you are residing far away from home where you don’t have your family near you to give advice and support. I would suggest that you start on these two important steps towards your journey to parenthood:

1.    Find a hospital - You can ask your insurance provider to give you a list of hospitals they cover and you can select from there. You might also want to consider looking for a hospital that’s near where you live.

2.    Choose your doctor - You may already have an OB/GYN and wish to stay with them. Asking for recommendations from friends is also a great idea. You will feel more comfortable with someone that you feel a connection with, so it may mean trying a doctor or two before you decide.

You need to be booked as early as possible and generally will have an important scan around 12 weeks for checking your baby’s health.

The Importance of Antenatal Classes

After a few weeks, you will start feeling that your baby is growing inside you. This is when you should think about how you wish to give birth and what you should do once the baby is placed in your arms and you go home.

Attending childbirth classes will help you:

  • Gain more confidence in your pregnancy and when giving birth
  • Find answers to questions that your doctor can’t discuss with you
  • Meet and talk with other soon-to-be parents
  • Create a birth plan for your preferred birth process

Antenatal classes will also provide dads-to-be more confidence in supporting the wife during pregnancy and birth. Having the knowledge of what to do will help them avoid being stressed out on the BIG day.

Most classes cover birth, pain relief and feeding the baby. While others conduct one-day only classes, some spread the sessions over 6 weeks. This is to give expectant parents enough time to take in all of the information and they have an opportunity to ask questions at the end of each session.

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About the Author

Cecile De Scally is an experienced, South African trained midwife. Qualified in 1990, she has more than 15 years of experience in Antenatal and Postnatal support and education. She started childbirth classes with 2 other midwives in 1997 and the first postnatal and home visit program in 2004 at American Hospital which was successful. She aims to provide support and sound educational advice to ensure confident, happy and healthy families.

Learn more about Cecile here: http://malaak.me/en/about-the-team/

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