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: 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?

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:

  1. Simlar 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.)

And obviously Bump to Cradle delivers on all of this and more.

Q: why would i do bump to cradle instead of nct?

A: Here at Bump to Cradle we are very fond of the NCT. Not only were they pioneers in the antenatal world, educating millions of new mothers and supporting them on their journeys into new parenthood, but they have also completely normalized the idea that parents need to get educated about pregnancy, birth and newborn care in order to survive and thrive as new parents. 

But, and here’s the great thing about parenthood, it’s completely understandable that one size doesn’t fit all. We wouldn’t expect to have anything other than the pick of the bunch in any other aspect of life, and surely this is true of antenatal courses too? So for many parents, the traditional model of the NCT course will prove a perfect match. But for others, an alternative may be even better.

So when Dr. Mim Walsh, founder of Bump to Cradle, sat and thought about her own experience of new motherhood, as well as the experiences of the many hundreds of new mothers and babies that she saw in the community as a GP, she realised that there was definitely a need for antenatal education that really champions learning from the experts, to provide parents-to-be with the absolute finest, most balanced, professional and specialist knowledge about pregnancy, birth and newborn care that could be achieved. And that’s how Bump to Cradle was born.

She saw that more than anything, there was a real need to be able to provide new parents with the opportunity to learn from a variety of experts – to hear more than one voice in the room. The best teachers are experts in their fields and the best experts have one specialism. So that’s what she decided she needed to provide for parents. From here, the original Bump to Cradle team arrived on the scene in Bristol and before long she was filling courses and harvesting positive customer experiences.

Over the years the course has naturally developed, shifted and changed to reflect the feedback she has received and now Bump to Cradle delivers new parents with a fantastic, well-rounded, refined, balanced and expert antenatal education, as well as a great opportunity for social engagement with fellow new parents in Bristol. 

So, in a word, what’s the one reason to eschew the traditional route in favour of a specialist-led course like Bump to Cradle? Expertise.

Q: What should I wear to the classes?

A: A lot of people come straight from work for our evening classes - but there’s no need to wear anything specific - something in which you are comfortable to be seated for a while (but have space to eat biscuits) 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!