Q: At what stage of pregnancy should I do an antenatal course?
A: We recommend starting your course when you are between 28-32 weeks pregnant. Please drop us a line through the contact page if you can’t find a course with the right dates for you and we will do what we can to help and advise.
Q: Do partners come too?
A: Absolutely. We are all set up for partners to attend and pretty much all of our attendees come with a partner - whether life partners, fathers, birthing partners or a bestie. Support is of the essence in this process and we want to help both you and your nearest and dearest get in the know so that you can feel as well-supported and prepared as possible. It is also perfectly acceptable to come solo if that is your preference. No judgement.
Q: Why would I choose Bump to Cradle instead of NCT?
A: We put our team of experts at the heart of your antenatal experience to ensure that you have access to not just one practitioner, but a whole selection of experts, hand picked to deliver all the latest and greatest information, advice and tips to help you feel confident and supported. Read more about our opinions on choosing us over NCT in our blog post here.
Q: I’m a bit squeamish - will the course be too much for me?
A: Although we certainly don’t shy away from talking about pregnancy, birth and new motherhood honestly and in a good amount of detail, we pride ourselves on ensuring that our classes aren’t overly medicalised and are palatable even for the squeamish. Of course if you think we need to tone it down further or you’d like us to bear your specific worries in mind then please let us know.
Q: Why should I do a private antenatal course as well as my free NHS classes?
A: 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 exactly the 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 things to check for from your private antenatal course provider:
Simlar due dates within the group
Social network encouraged + supported
Evidence-based and balanced content (breastfeeding, expressing and formula feeding allcovered)
Practical skills taught (breathing for labour, how to change a nappy etc.)
And obviously Bump to Cradle delivers on all of this and more.
Q: What should I wear to the classes?
A: A lot of people come straight from work for our evening classes - some change into comfy clothes and many don’t bother. There’s no need to wear anything specific - so just something in which you are comfortable to be seated for a while (but have space to eat biscuits in) would be our suggestion.
Q: I won’t have time for dinner!
A: Apologies that we can’t provide a more substantial dinner for you at every class. But we do our best in terms of tea, coffee and a selection of nibbles and biscuits. But please don’t be shy about bringing food along for yourselves though - we have seen it all - including partners with wine in flasks!
Q: Do I have to attend the John Lewis evening events?
A: Of course not! They are a complimentary extra, provided by our friends at John Lewis - and we think they’re a fab way to do a bit of extra socialising with your new mum-friends as well as get some top notch advice (and freebies!), but you certainly do not have to come along. There’s space to let us know on the booking form whether you would like to attend.
Q: Do you run a course near where I live?
A: We run courses in Bristol in Redland (at Snapdragon’s Nursery) and Southville (at St. Paul’s Church). But we have more courses in the pipeline so keep posted and please do let us know if you think we should start a venue near you!