The classic preparation is easily recommended for women expecting their first child. The aim of antenatal classes is to inform you about childbirth proceedings and the methods that can help you get through it in the best possible conditions.
The topics covered during these classes
- Anatomy of the pregnant woman: pelvis, uterus, perineum, placenta , etc.
- When do you go to the hospital or birth centre?: the signs of going into labour, preparing the suitcase for mum and baby, reception at the hospital or birth centre, delivery room monitoring and epidural.
- Childbirth: expulsion, episiotomy, forceps, caesarean and delivery.
- The maternity stay, monitoring the new mother and returning home with baby.
- Baby care: breastfeeding, bottles, skin care and bedding, etc.
- Dad’s role during the pregnancy, childbirth and the return home.
- Birthing positions and pushing. This last class is conducted during the ninth month.
There are also other physical preparations where other tools are used to address the birth calmly (postures, relaxation, breathing, visualisation): relaxation therapy, yoga, water preparation, haptonomy, prenatal singing. These preparations are frequently requested by women expecting their second child or more.
The most frequent questions from expectant mothers
When should I start taking the classes?
You can meet the midwife from the fourth month for an early discussion. The other classes usually start in the seventh month.
Is it necessary to take these classes for a second pregnancy?
Nothing is mandatory. Pregnant women do not all have the same expectations. Women attending classes for a second pregnancy seek sharing, relaxation and want to spend time with baby.
Is it advisable to attend with your partner ?
Yes, this will help him establish his role as father. Often, a session is fully devoted to him.
What are the most common ailments of pregnancy ?
Nausea, vomiting and heightened sensitivity to smells are related to hormonal changes Constipation, acid reflux, sleep disturbance, frequent urination and lower back pain are due to physical changes.
How do I know if I have contractions?
Pregnancy contractions are generally painless. The belly becomes hard as a whole and changes shape. You experience discomfort, respiratory blockage, then the belly expands and becomes more flexible. This is caused by overwork (tough job, car trips, etc.) and improves at rest.
How can I communicate with my unborn baby ?
By laying your hands on your belly and talking to your baby, you can call it, that is to say, bring it to « snuggle » in your hands.Through relaxation and abdominal breathing, you can trigger baby’s movements.
Is it possible to choose baby’s birthing position ?
It depends on your place of birth, the team that takes care of you on the Big Day and monitoring baby’s heartbeat. If you have a particular desire, talk about it as early as possible during pregnancy..
What women are likely to deliver by elective caesarean section ?
Women who have already had a caesarean because their pelvis is too narrow, women who have already had two caesareans, a twin pregnancy with the first baby in a breech or transverse presentation, the placenta covering the cervix, the baby in a breech position (with mum not wanting to give birth or with a narrow pelvis), certain maternal diseases, etc.
What are baby blues? Can it be avoided?
This is physiological, but not systematic. It is linked to the drop in hormone levels after placental expulsion and/or related to the mother’s state of fatigue.
It often occurs around the third day, but can also occur back home. Mum is all on edge and cries for no reason.To avoid baby blues, you have to relax, try to limit visits to the hospital or birth centre and get help when you return home (spouse, family, home help).
What contraception should I use postpartum ?
Contraception is useful as soon as you start having sex. You can first of all use local contraception in the form of condoms.In women not breastfeeding, taking a classic birth-control pill (oestrogen plus progesterone) is possible upon return of menses (first day of your periods).In breastfeeding women, the pill must be appropriate and very low-dose (ultra-low-dose progesterone-only pill).Taking the pill begins three weeks after birth at a set time, without a break between packs of pills. An IUD can be put in place six weeks after childbirth.
Good to know
Eight sessions are reimbursed by Social Security :
- An individual interview in the fourth month allows meeting you and getting to know your expectations and aspirations with regard to giving birth.
- Seven other individual or group classes from the seventh month propose body and psychological work for calmly addressing childbirth and baby’s arrival.