Why should I go to antenatal classes with my partner?
Lots of men like to be as involved as possible with their baby from the very beginning, as well as wanting to learn how to help their partner at the birth.
Antenatal classes will help you find out how you can both prepare for the birth and what to expect during labour. You'll learn how to help your partner with their breathing and may be shown massage techniques to help her stay calm and relaxed on the big day. Classes also help you get ready for life with your new baby and prepare you for how to look after them. And of course they offer the perfect chance to chat and make friends with other dads – after all, they’ll have similar questions and concerns as you, and could offer an understanding ear before and after the birth.
Choosing the right antenatal class
You and your partner should be able to find a class to suit you – whether it’s attending a dads’ session or two at a ‘mums-to-be only’ class or signing up for couples classes.
The main thing is to think ahead and book. You can book your place from as early as your partner’s 12th week of pregnancy. NHS classes are free but there are also private classes for which you will need to pay. Your partner’s midwife will be able to discuss your local options with you and suggest a good class to try. Some antenatal classes include time for you and your partner to look round the hospital where you’re planning to give birth, so it’s worth asking the midwife about this too.
For further information about the range of classes available, why not check out the information about antenatal classes in our Pregnancy section?