Why should I do private antenatal classes?

The NHS free antenatal classes are a fantastic resource and a great place to start your antenatal education. But, restricted by their length and funding, they are not intended to deliver the breadth and detail in terms of antenatal education that a private course will provide. They are also not designed to provide the social network that a private antenatal course can, again thanks to the longevity of the courses. 


There are a wealth of private antenatal course providers out there and it’s worth doing a bit of research into the ones offered locally to you. The NCT (National Childbirth Trust) is the most well-known course provider, and a very well established institution, but in most larger towns and cities these days there are alternatives that are definitely worth considering, depending on your approach to childbirth and parenting. Finding the right cultural match for you and your partner should help to ensure that you end up with a like-minded group of fellow new parents to befriend, to help support you through your new parenting adventures. 


A good antenatal class should ensure that all the parents in a group are due to have their babies at around the same time, to ensure that your new friends are in exactlythe same boat as you in terms of each experience that parenthood presents. They should also support and possibly facilitate your social meet ups during the antenatal and postnatal period. And, of course, they should definitely be providing you with an evidence based, balanced and comprehensive and practical education to help guide you through pregnancy, birth and the newborn period. 


So, just to summarise, here’s our advice on the 4 most important thingsto check for from your private antenatal course provider:


1.Similar due dates within the group

2.Social network encouraged + supported

3.Evidence-based and balanced content (breastfeeding, expressing and formula feeding allcovered)

4.Practical skills taught (breathing for labour, how to change a nappy etc.)


In Bristol? Check out the course content that we offer at Bump to Cradle over on the course pages and book your spot today in either Redland or Southville.

Miriam Everson