Private antenatal classes FAQs
What are the main topics that we will cover at each session?
The specific content of each Parents Class private antenatal class varies depending on which course you choose and how far into your pregnancy you are.
We have two antenatal courses to choose from:
- Mid pregnancy
- Full antenatal
Here’s more information on these two courses, so you can choose the right antenatal course for you:
Mid-pregnancy antenatal course (18-28 weeks)
- Mental health and wellbeing during pregnancy
- Developmental stages of baby growth
- How your body changes during pregnancy
- Signs or symptoms that might indicate complications during pregnancy
- Understanding movement patterns during pregnancy
- Exercise and nutrition during pregnancy
- Routine tests and scans available during mid and late pregnancy
- Work, relationships and thinking ahead
- Birth preference planning
Full antenatal course (30-38 weeks)
- Mental health and wellbeing during pregnancy and parenthood
- Normal changes in the body during pregnancy
- Developmental stages of the baby
- Normal movement of the baby
- Creating a birth plan and making informed decisions
- Possible birth complications
- Birth physiology
- Complex births
- The role of your birth partner
- Preparing for the unexpected
- Pain control options during birth
- Movement mobility and birth positions
- Looking at newborn feeding options
- Newborn care (specifically the first 72 hours)
- What to expect during the first few weeks post birth
- Stem cell banking and delayed cord clamping
- Creating a postnatal plan
- Creating a support plan ahead of birth
Read more about our antenatal courses here.
How many people will be in my class?
Each of our private antenatal classes has a maximum capacity of 10 expectant parents (and their plus ones). The Parents Class aims to provide expectant parents with evidence-led strategies for how to deal with pregnancy, birth and parenthood. We believe that having a more intimate class allows all those attending, to really get the most out of each session.
Is the cost for one or two people?
The cost of your antenatal class booking includes you and a plus one. This could be your partner or a friend. If you’d prefer not to bring anyone and come by yourself that’s okay, too!
What happens if I am unable to make a session?
If you are unable to make a session, we will do our best to give you a place in the same session on the next available course in your area. Alternatively, you will have printed materials you can read up on and you can access all the supporting materials in the e-learning platform in Our Community. We will be here to help in any way we can.
All you need to do is let us know if you can’t attend by dropping us an email to email@example.com with your name, the course you are booked on and the session you can’t make.
Will I be asked to do anything embarrassing?
Our antenatal classes are inclusive, welcoming environments where you can feel safe and at-ease amongst other like-minded parents.
Your teacher will look to create an interactive and immersive environment with demonstrations and mini-workshops, so that you are better equipped to understand the course topics.
Although they may ask you to participate in certain activities, you’re always welcome to give it a miss if you’d prefer to sit back, watch and take it all in!
Does the feeding class cover breast and bottle feeding?
Absolutely! In Week Five of our Full Antenatal Course we make sure to cover a general overview of infant feeding choices, along with specific tips and information on breastfeeding, bottle feeding, combined feeding and safe formula feeding.
Our courses are designed to provide you with all of the latest evidence so that you feel able to make informed choices about your pregnancy and birth.
I know I’m having a planned Caesarean section. Will antenatal classes still be relevant to me?
Absolutely! Planned Caesarean sections are covered in the second week of our Full Antenatal Course, along with topics like choosing where to give birth, organising your birth space, and how birth partners can offer support.
Additionally, your course teacher will give you some ideas to consider for your caesarean birth, like the types of anaesthesia, whether or not you want delayed cord clamping, and what to organise in preparation for your planned Caesarean.
I’m shy/introverted – will I be expected to talk or be put on the spot?
Not at all. Our classes are designed to make you feel as safe and comfortable as possible, whilst still providing you with evidence-led information about all things birth, pregnancy, and early parenthood. You won’t be expected to do anything you don’t want to – our qualified midwives will always ensure that your comfort and safety in the class remains paramount.
When you book onto one of our courses we’ll ask you what’ll be important for you to gain from the class. We make a note of this – and of any other preferences you have – before the course starts in order to ensure you feel you are able to get what you want from your antenatal class.
I’m really squeamish – am I likely to faint/vomit?
Because we are committed to making sure that you get all the most up-to-date and evidence-led information about pregnancy and birth there may be some topics which we appreciate may be difficult to see or hear about.
Rest assured that if you begin to feel at all uncomfortable you’ll be able to take a break. Your teacher will also be sure to check in with you throughout the duration of the class and provide you with support wherever they can.
Should I make notes?
We do recommend making as many notes as you can when attending our courses. However, if you’d prefer not to take notes and feel you’d get more from just listening instead then that’s okay, too!
What should I wear?
Whatever you feel comfortable in!
Booking your course
Who can I bring with me to my antenatal classes?
Your booking is for you and a plus one to attend – so anyone you like! And you don’t have the bring the same person – or anyone if you’d prefer to come on your own – to each class if you book onto The Parents Class antenatal course.
When can I sign up?
You can sign up now! We have multiple courses available across East London, West London, Surrey and Sussex. Just head over to our Book Now page and pick the type and location of course that suits you and we’ll let you know when you’re booked in.
Because our Full Antenatal Course is a six week course, it is worth checking that you book well in advance of your estimated due date. This way you can ensure that you are able to complete the entirety of the course. More information about this can be found on our bookings page.
Can I still attend if I’m not a first-time parent?
Of course! Even if you’ve gone through pregnancy and birth before it can still be useful to attend our antenatal classes. Evidence changes quickly in the field of antenatal care so even a few years can mean that the latest information may be different to what you may have been told before.
Having another baby can change a family’s dynamic and it’s important to know how to adjust to this change. That’s why our teachers cover this as part of our birth planning support. Similarly, if you’ve been through a traumatic birth before you may find that you feel anxious about your next child’s birth. Attending an antenatal course with The Parents Class can help alleviate those anxieties.
It is worth voicing any concerns you have around pregnancy and birth to your teacher, who will be able to help with anything you may find challenging to talk about and be able to provide advance notice for topics of discussion that may be uncomfortable.
Another benefit of attending antenatal classes, as someone who’s been through it before, is that you can meet other parents-to-be who are also expecting their second, third, or fourth child. Similarly, by attending an antenatal class with us you may find you’re able to help guide first time mums as they navigate their own journeys.
How many weeks pregnant should I be when I attend the classes?
This depends on the class you’re planning to attend. Our Full Antenatal Course is designed for you between 30-38 weeks, although we recommend attending the first session by 32 weeks, if possible. This way, you’ll be well-prepared before your baby’s estimated due date.
Additionally, we are the only UK provider of a Mid-Pregnancy Course, which we recommend attending between 18-28 weeks of pregnancy. This course covers the likes of nutrition, diet and exercise while pregnant – all of those important topics that you’d probably like to learn about sooner rather than later. Think of this as a taster, ahead of our Full Antenatal Course.
If your due date is slightly before or after the recommended dates for a particular course, but you feel like attending is the right option for you, of course you’re still very welcome to join!
How much does it cost?
The cost will vary depending on the course you decide to join.
Find your nearest class to find out more details.
Are antenatal classes and courses still as relevant for same sex couples?
Absolutely! We believe that everybody deserves access to the most up-to-date and evidence-led information about birth, pregnancy and early parenthood and we’re committed to making sure you get the most out of our antenatal classes.
That’s why our Full Antenatal Course specifically includes information for same sex couples about how to provide support as birthing partners, how to plan for and manage visits and update requests from family and friends, and how to set boundaries while supporting each other during the early days of parenting.
Do I need to bring anything?
We recommend that you bring your copy of the Parents Guide which you’ll receive when you book your place on one of our courses. We also recommend bringing a notepad and pen along so that you’re able to make notes.
Refreshments like tea, coffee and water will of course be provided at all of our venues, but if you have any dietary requirements, or would like to bring your own snacks and refreshments, then by all means do.
I’m a single mum, can I come on my own/can I bring a friend?
The choice is yours! When you book any course with The Parents Class your booking is for you and a plus one to attend. However, if you’d prefer to come alone that’s fine, too – there is no obligation to bring anyone along if you don’t want to.
How can I meet other parents?
We offer face-to-face classes that connect you with others who are on the same journey. Because whether you are pregnant, a new parent or are adding another to your brood, it is always nice to be part of a community that knows exactly what you are going through.
Our classes give you easy access to a group of like-minded others, who will all have the exact same questions as you. And dads, we are talking to you too – expectant parents, new mums and new dads, our antenatal classes are there for everyone who is experiencing parenthood.
If you join The Parents Class when pregnant, we organise a newborn meet-up, especially for our new parents, six weeks after your last session. Held in urban, trendy spaces, perfect for socialising and catching up, as you share parenting stories.
Who should I contact if I want more info at any point?
The Parents Class difference
How can I make the best decisions for me and my baby?
We have all heard of a birthing plan but what about a postnatal plan?
Join The Parents Class, and our midwives will help you create a plan for when your baby arrives. Do I want visitors during those first few weeks of parenthood? Who do I want to visit? What are my feeding options? Where will my newborn baby sleep at night?
Our midwives provide you with evidence-led advice you need so you can create a parenting plan, shaped around you and your baby.
What’s the difference between The Parents Class classes & NHS classes?
While the antenatal classes offered by the NHS overlap in some ways with The Parents Class courses, there are some key differences to bear in mind when deciding what kind of class you’d want to attend.
All of The Parents Class antenatal courses are led by NMC qualified midwives who have years of knowledge and expertise.
NHS antenatal classes are normally led by a midwife, usually a community midwife or one local to the area or hospital you’re planning on giving birth.
How long are they?
The Parents Class Full Antenatal Course is a 12 hour course that you can either attend over the course of six weeks, or in one weekend – whichever is easier! Our Mid-Pregnancy Course is a 4 hour class which takes place during one day. Check out our courses here to decide which one is best for you.
NHS antenatal classes tend to vary in length depending on where they are held. They range from a one-off course to a six week series. Head to the NHS website to find out more.
What do they cover?
Our Full Antenatal Course provides you with comprehensive, evidence-led and up-to-date information on topics like birth choices, pain relief options and infant feeding. Our class also covers topics you may not have thought about yet, such as upright birthing and saving stem cells from your baby’s umbilical cord.
Our Mid-Pregnancy Course is designed to cover all the important information you need when you’re just starting out on your pregnancy journey. Topics like nutrition, diet and exercise are usually only covered by antenatal classes that you attend quite a way through your pregnancy, normally around 30 weeks. But we think it’s worth knowing about these topics from as early as 18 weeks, so that you’re able to continue to make mindful choices about you and your baby’s health and wellbeing throughout the whole of your pregnancy.
Once you’ve completed your booking (which you can do here) for either course, you’ll receive a free Parents Guide containing all the topics covered in the class, so that you can refer back if and when you need. You’ll also be able to access these same course materials online via Our Community, so be sure to sign up!
NHS antenatal classes are designed to offer a broad overview of only the most necessary topics. The detail they go into and the level of support they offer can vary depending on area and funding.
If you have more questions about whether The Parents Class is right for you, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a message on Instagram or Facebook. Just search for The Parents Class.
What’s the difference between The Parents Class classes & NCT (National Childbirth Trust) classes?
The Parents Class and NCT both offer antenatal education classes. However, there are some key differences when it comes to how, where and when our classes and NCT’s are delivered.
In Person or Online?
Unlike NCT, all of our classes are in-person – better still, we carefully select the location of our sessions, ensuring they are each held in a relaxing and comfortable setting. By contrast, if you join NCT, you can choose to attend in person or online (or a mix of both).
Medically trained class leaders?
All of The Parents Class course leaders are medically trained. In fact, all of our class leaders are NMC registered midwives – who better to support expectant parents than a friendly midwife with years of experience? NCT practitioners complete a university-accredited course before delivering NCT courses, but are not necessarily medically trained.
How long are the classes?
Our Mid-Pregnancy Course is four hours long, meaning your teacher will be able to cover all the important topics, while also making sure there’s still plenty of time for any questions you may have. And for our Full Antenatal Course (a total of 12 hours), we offer flexibility to suit your preferences. You can either dive in over a weekend, or spread the sessions out over six weeks. In addition to the 12 hours, we also offer a newborn meet-up once you and your course mates’ babies have arrived, so you can reconnect and stay in touch post-birth too.
However, if you were looking at NCT classes, their Preparation for Birth and Beyond is 17 hours in total, including a post-birth meet-up.
How many people will be in the class?
At The Parents Class, there is always a maximum number of 10 people (along with their optional plus ones) per session. We recognise how special pregnancy is for so many expectant parents and we also appreciate that you’ll probably have a lot of questions as you prepare for the birth of your child. By limiting the number of attendees, we ensure that you get the most out of your course, while still providing you with the opportunity to connect with other like-minded parents.
For comparison, at NCT the number of couples attending a course can vary depending on the size of the venue. However, it tends to be between six to eight couples.
If you’re after a more in-depth comparison between The Parents Class courses and NCT’s, check out this blog post.
Where can I find evidence-led resources that I can trust?
We recognise that when you’re pregnant or a new parent, it can be really tricky to know who or where to turn to for advice and guidance. After all, there is so much information available on the internet alone, it can be difficult to find those all-important answers when you need them most.
That is where joining The Parents Class will prove invaluable. Our friendly and approachable midwives offer a single source of evidence-led and reliable information that you can trust.
Support and advice you can depend on, from bump to birth and everything in between.
Can I still ask questions after the class/course?
Absolutely! If you sign up for Our Community you can get in touch with our midwives whenever you want or need to. They’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have, even after the course has ended.
How can I apply to become an Antenatal Teacher with The Parents Class?
Are you a qualified midwife? Do you want to be part of The Parents Class team? We are currently looking for professional midwives across the UK, specifically in Brighton and the London areas, to join our team. Be part of something really special and join The Parents Class team. Find out more.