At your antenatal class you'll learn about:
Some classes are for women only, others are for couples. Some are designed for different groups, such as:
- young parents
- mums from the same ethnic groups
- partners and dads
If you’re in a same-sex relationship and are the non-birth mother, you have a right to go to antenatal classes for fathers and partners.
Your midwife can tell you about classes in your area.
Where these classes are held
NHS classes are free and are usually run by midwives or obstetric physiotherapists.
These can include:
Non-NHS classes are available too, but you may need to pay for these. Ask your midwife what's available in your area and for help to decide what's best for you.
How often they're held
NHS antenatal classes usually run in 2 to 6 sessions towards the end of your pregnancy.
Some areas run early classes where you can find out more about:
- looking after yourself in pregnancy
- physical activity
- common problems
Book early so that you get a place in a class that suits you.
Why you should attend
Classes can give you and your partner or birth partner a chance to ask questions and prepare for things that may happen during labour, birth and afterwards. You can practice some techniques together too, such as breathing exercises.
If your partner can’t get to all the classes, they may like to go to one or two.
If you don’t have a partner, you can go with whoever will be supporting you at the birth. This could be a friend, your sister or your mum, or you can go on your own.