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Which antenatal course provider is right for you?

When it comes to antenatal education, you might feel a bit overwhelmed by all the options!

 

You may or may not be offered some online or in-person education through the NHS, and the availability, content and quality of these classes varies hugely between Trusts. To feel prepared for birth and early parenthood, and to create a network of peer support, many expectant parents decide to book private antenatal classes with a provider like Hello Baby. But how do you know what the best course is for YOU?

 

Your choice will depend in part on location, availability and budget but there are other important things to consider…

 

Word of mouth

Ask friends, family and neighbours with personal experience for their recommendations, and read reviews written by other parents.

 

Look and feel

Look at websites and social media accounts - do you like the content and how it comes across? Does it seem inclusive and balanced, or is it promoting a specific product or agenda? When you find a provider you like, contact them for an informal chat - a good antenatal educator should be happy to do this and answer any questions you have.

 

Knowledge

Make sure your chosen provider is sharing up-to-date, evidence-based content and is familiar with the maternity system. Don’t be shy to ask them about their qualifications and experience. Ideally, they should have some knowledge of local NHS Trusts, obstetric/midwifery units and Family Centres.

 

Content

Find out the topics covered in the classes and make sure the syllabus is comprehensive and balanced. Ensure that not only straightforward vaginal birth is covered, but also that caesarean birth, common birth interventions, postnatal recovery and mental health are included. Check whether there will be sessions teaching you about all aspects of caring for your baby and that all types of feeding are covered.

 

For example, you might be surprised that some big name antenatal course providers don’t cover formula feeding at all! This one-sided approach is very alienating for parents who ultimately give their baby formula out of choice or necessity. However you are planning to care for and feed your baby, it’s important to be equipped with knowledge about all the options.

 

Connection and continuity

Find out what ongoing communication is included following the course and whether they’ll be available to answer questions, offer support or provide other connected services in pregnancy or postnatally. Explore what opportunities the provider will create for social interaction during classes, whether there will be a post-course reunion or any other social opportunities available.

Antenatal course reunion with babies

 

FINAL THOUGHT

 

Antenatal education is a wonderful opportunity for you to develop knowledge, skills and confidence as you approach birth and early parenthood. It’s also a fantastic way to meet other local expectant parents and form relationships which will provide a support and social network for years to come.

 

Taking some time to find the right provider for you can make all the difference and hopefully lead you to a course which leaves you feeling informed and empowered for the next exciting chapter!


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