Antenatal classes, also called parent education or parentcraft classes, can help expecting families prepare for labour and birth. During antenatal classes, you’ll also be able to ask questions about postnatal care, breastfeeding, and anything else related to newborn care.
What will you learn in an antenatal class?
Most birth and parenting courses run for 6–10 hours over several weeks or a weekend, and are designed to suit the schedules of busy parents. You can ask the attending midwife questions and learn about the hospital where the baby will be born, so you’ll know what to expect. Antenatal classes are usually designed to be informative and fun for parents.
A typical class will answer any questions you may have about the following aspects of childbirth:
- What the early signs of labour are
- How to cope with contractions using natural pain relief methods at home
- When to go to the hospital while in labour
- What are certain things you will need to check with your doctor or midwife sooner (e.g. bleeding or reduced movements)
- What your pain relief options in the hospital are
- What you need to know about caesarean section, instrumental deliveries, induction, pushing, and birthing positions
- What is involved with newborn and baby care, including changing nappies, bathing, SIDS, car safety and feeding
Some courses will also teach breathing and relaxation skills, either as a part of the main course, a separate hypnotherapy or hypnobirthing course or as an additional workshop (like we do!).
Classes often fill up quickly, so it is a good idea to book your class at around 20 weeks of your pregnancy. You should aim to finish the course by the time you are about 36 weeks pregnant or earlier if you are expecting more than one baby.
Should you take antenatal classes?
Yes! Antenatal classes are a great way of educating yourself about the options available, what you can expect, and understanding some safety issues for labour and how to care for a newborn baby. This is particularly useful for people who don’t have family in Hong Kong to support them or those whose families may have outdated information.
Antenatal classes are also a good way to meet and make friends with other parents who are expecting babies around the same time as you. These friendships can help parents through the first few months with their new baby. The additional advantage of learning in a group environment is that somebody else might ask something you hadn’t even considered.
Another reason to take antenatal classes is that you can use the classes to help you with creating your birth plan, so that the midwives caring for you know about the things you would like for your labour, birth and your baby.
Many of our previous participating families still meet up regularly, and some of them support each other during their second or third pregnancies. By joining antenatal classes, you will gain access to a community that you can rely on in the coming months or years!
Annerley antenatal classes in Hong Kong
OT&P Annerley was voted the best antenatal course provider by Sassy Mama readers in 2019. We offer a comprehensive list of antenatal classes for expecting parents with courses based on the traditional model of parent education classes (but are interactive with parents-to-be). We welcome questions and involvement from the attending parents. Here are just a few of our classes:
- Run by 3 highly experienced midwives, the Babies and Beyond class is offered on Monday and Thursday evenings for 4 consecutive weeks. We also provide an express version for parents with extremely busy schedules, every other Saturday, for the full day.
- We also offer a Birth Breathing and Relaxation Workshop, which is a great refresher if you have previously attended a hypnobirthing class, or it can be a quick introduction to relaxation and breathing in labour. It’s also a great way of winding down from all the daily stresses.
- If you are going to be giving birth in one of Hong Kong’s public hospitals, it’s worth attending our Giving Birth in a Public Hospital Workshop led by midwife Sue Pollard. This class will walk you through the common situations encountered with Hong Kong’s HA system and how you can personalise your experience.
Help at OT&P Annerley
Antenatal classes at Annerley have been Hong Kong mum’s favourite for years – held by midwives experienced in providing care for mothers giving birth in private and public hospitals, our classes will equip you with all practical knowledge to feel prepared for welcoming your little one. Whether you are at the beginning of your pregnancy journey or are looking to supplement it with antenatal classes, talk to us today to find out about the best options for personalised pregnancy care in Hong Kong.