Parent and antenatal classes
Parent education classes are a really good way of receiving guidance during pregnancy. You will then be better able to make informed decisions about your labour and birth preferences.
A variety of classes are available in your local community and also at the City Hospital in our parent education room. You can attend these sessions if you are booked to have your baby at QMC, City Hospital or at home. We recommend you start the classes when you are around 32 weeks pregnant, but do book as early as possible as the classes do get booked up.
The workshops are run by midwives or physiotherapists who specialise in women’s health. All these workshops are open to women and their partners or birth supporters.
Workshop 1: Preparation for labour and birth
The emphasis of this workshop is on active birth. Information is given about how to recognise the signs of labour, going into hospital, the stages of labour and coping strategies.
You will be shown how to adopt comfortable positions, discuss some basic massage and relaxation techniques and how your birth partner can be supportive.
Workshop 2: Pain management and alternative births
Different methods of pain relief are discussed such as using the birthing pool, aromatherapy, TENS machines, entonox (gas and air), diamorphine and epidurals. Information is also given about induction of labour, assisted births with vacuum or forceps and caesarean section.
Workshop 3: Infant feeding and early parenting
This workshop covers infant feeding, expressing and storage of milk, positioning and attachment of baby at the breast and where to get help and support for feeding your baby.
Early parenting is also discussed, with information being provided about baby care, car safety, reducing the risk of cot death, emotional changes following childbirth, recovery and support.
Workshop 4: Multiple pregnancies
A one off special workshop for those expecting more than one baby is held approximately every six weeks at the City Hospital. Included in the workshop is information about multiple pregnancy and delivery, feeding, premature and small babies and support groups.
These are held in addition to other workshops and are run by a midwife with special interest in multiple pregnancies.
Workshop 5: Look after yourself in pregnancy and beyond
This workshop is run by a women’s health physiotherapist for ladies only and is held at the City Hospital Maternity Unit in Parent Education. An ideal time for attending this workshop is between 24 and 34 weeks.
Advice is given about safe exercise in pregnancy, promotion of continence, pelvic floor exercises, looking after your back and general aches of pregnancy and returning to fitness after birth.
Active Vision Active Birth
The aim of this session is to give you practical advice about how to stay active and mobile during your labour and birth.This 1 hour long session takes place in a labour suite birthing room, allowing you to see your birthing environment, use the equipment and learn about good positions to adopt for labour.
By attending this session you will gain helpful hints and tips on how to make your labour shorter, reduce your need for pain relief, encourage your baby to get in a good position for birth, all of which will increase your likelihood of a normal vaginal birth.
Young Parents (Teenagers)
This session is run for younger mums and dads and is based around the Active Vision Active Birth session as described above.
Vaginal Birth After Caesarean (VBAC)
If you have had one previous caesarean section and are planning a vaginal birth this time, this Active Vision Active Birth session is specifically tailored to meet your needs. It will help show you how to keep your labour normal and to stay active even whilst you and your baby are being monitored more closely, thus increasing your chances of having a normal vaginal birth.
Water Birth Workshop
This 90 minute session focuses specifically on the benefits to you, your partner and your baby of labouring and birthing in water. We will discuss why newborn babies like to be born in water, the advantages of hydrotherapy, who can use the pool, and the role of the birthing partner. The workshop takes place partially in a parent education room and if the pool rooms are not being used we will also go to labour suite so you can see your birthing environment. By the end of the session you and your partner will have all the information you need to make an informed decision about labouring and birthing in water.
These sessions will benefit you most if you attend when you are around 34 weeks pregnant. You will be seen in small groups of five or six women with their birthing partners.