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The facts and myths of birth and parenting classes

05 December 2022 Blog
At St John of God Health Care private maternity hospitals, we offer antenatal classes (also known as parenting classes) to help you and your partner prepare for the upcoming adventures. Midwife Georgi Wardrop explains what to expect from antenatal classes.

Fact: Classes are run by experts

This is true. Our passionate and experienced midwives facilitate a range of antenatal and parenting classes to give you the expert information you and your partner need to prepare for pregnancy, birth and the early days of parenting.

Sometimes other experts, like lactation consultants, physiotherapists, paediatricians and anaesthetists attend to share their expertise too.

Myth: You are going to see gory birthing videos

This is little bit of myth and fact, and it probably depends on your definition of gory. We might show you a birthing video but wouldn’t describe them as gory because it can be a helpful tool to prepare you for birth and helps to consolidate all the education you have received.

Sometimes they do show some blood and some pained expressions but they also show the beautiful reality that birth can be. You are always given the option to decide whether you want to watch it.

Fact: Classes are tailored to your needs

We have classes that are appropriate for any stage of your pregnancy and provide you with the information you need to prepare for birth and the postnatal period. 

This is because you will have different questions or concerns the closer you get to your estimated due date than when you are first pregnant. In the early months you probably just want tips to reduce your morning sickness or dietary tips, while in your eighth month of pregnancy you are probably starting to wonder about what happens if you have a caesarean-section.

Myth: Classes are the only way we offer education

This is a big myth. Our antenatal classes give you the foundation to help you prepare for birth and the early days of parenting.

On top of this we also offer online blogs and access to our maternity application that provide resources to help tie our antenatal education together and provide more in-depth information on specific topics. These platforms are great as you can view them in your own time or as a question comes to mind.

Our education and support continue face-to-face when you arrive in our hospital where we will guide you through every step of the journey and help you to build confidence as you transition to parenthood. Some of the skills you will learn include bathing, settling, feeding, changing nappies, swaddling and more.

Fact: Partners are welcome

Absolutely, we encourage partners to attend all our antenatal classes.

Parenthood is about teamwork and it is important that you are both getting the same information so that you have an understanding of what to expect and how you can work together.

We also provide advice for partners about how they can be involved in the preparation for birth, how they can provide support during labour and the how their support in the postnatal period matters.

We also love to meet everyone and seeing a familiar face can be reassuring when you arrive.

Myth: Classes are only for new parents

No, this just isn’t true. Whether this is your first, second, third, fourth or fifth baby (wow!) you are welcome to attend our antenatal classes.

We know that every pregnancy and birth is different. So while your first pregnancy and birth might not have gone to plan, your subsequent pregnancies and births may not be the same.

We encourage all of our patients to chat to one of our parent education team midwives to discuss the best option for your pregnancy.

St John of God Health Care Georgi Wardrop
Georgi Wardrop - Midwife

Georgi Wardrop is a midwife and parent educator at St John of God Mt Lawley Hospital. She is passionate about preparing parents for pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period. She enjoys being part of parents maternity journey and the continuity of care that the antenatal classes offer.