Prenatal Care – Get Ready For Your New Arrival

Assemble all the tools for a smooth delivery experience: Classes that cover newborn characteristics and care; safety concerns regarding illness or safety risks, when to call in pediatrician help and infant CPR techniques are provided as well.

Maternity educators from your hospital will teach you about early labor signs, timing contractions and hospital procedures such as cesarean sections.


Breastfeeding provides newborns with essential nutrition for optimal immunological, nutritional and psychological growth. While breastfeeding can be a natural process, new mothers can find it challenging. A breastfeeding class can assist mothers in preparing to successfully breastfeed their infant.

This class, taught by a certified lactation consultant, will address the many advantages and benefits of breastfeeding for mother and baby, proper latching techniques, milk supply issues and storage, how to deal with potential challenges, as well as ways to cope with them in future breastfeeding encounters. It is tailored to both first-time nursing parents as well as experienced ones. This program is open for anyone.

Women expecting babies often find it beneficial to educate themselves about breastfeeding before giving birth, so that they will know what to expect and discuss any concerns with their healthcare provider.

Women traditionally learned breastfeeding through observation and networking with other breastfeeding women. Now they may find information and support through various avenues such as antenatal classes, online resources or health care providers.

Studies have demonstrated that breastfeeding rates are significantly higher for women who participate in prenatal education classes, either physically or virtually, run by nurse educators, midwives, physiotherapists, lactation consultants or lactation consultants. Some hospitals offer these classes free while others charge fees.


No matter the birthing method you plan on choosing – vaginal or cesarean – most ob-gyns and labor and delivery nurses advise attending antenatal classes (commonly known as childbirth preparation classes) prior to giving birth. Such classes will provide valuable education on what your options are during the birthing process as well as ways of handling unexpected complications that might arise during birthing.

Most classes are held in group settings and led by either a nurse-midwife, doula (labor support person), physiotherapist or yoga instructor. Some online options may also be available if it becomes impossible for you to attend in-person classes for whatever reason.

Some prenatal classes emphasize topics like nutrition, exercise and fetal development while others provide a comprehensive overview of pregnancy and labor with information such as pain management strategies; medical procedures like forceps or C-section; as well as postpartum mother and infant care.

Consider the instructor’s philosophy and goal when selecting a childbirth class. Programs like Bradley Method promote natural, drug-free birth using breathing techniques instead of pain control medication while Lamaze provides more structured curriculums designed to prepare moms for hospital experiences.

Consider the size of the class when signing up for group childbirth classes: smaller groups tend to provide more one-on-one attention from instructors and have greater camaraderie between couples, while larger classes may feel less intimate.

Infant Care

Children don’t come with instructions, leaving expectant parents feeling intimidated with the task of caring for a new born. Infant care classes help alleviate some of this anxiety by teaching expectant parents about newborn characteristics, daily care needs and concerns like sleep patterns, diapering and swaddling as well as tips for breastfeeding, soothing fussy babies or baby proofing their home.

Prenatal classes don’t just cover childbirth; many hospitals also provide infant CPR courses to prepare for emergencies and refresher classes for experienced mothers who want to hone their skills or expand their knowledge about pain control options. Most classes are led by Certified Childbirth Educators but you could also find in-person and virtual options.

UChicago Medicine offers online classes designed to educate expecting parents and their partners on pregnancy, labor and childbirth. These nine-week courses, taught by certified childbirth educators and available as individual or combined modules are taught by certified childbirth educators; participants can opt to take them together or independently depending on your preference. In addition, two online Infant Safety and CPR courses taught by certified Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Instructors focus on techniques for infants up to one year such as choking prevention techniques when 911 should be called and basic safety issues like identifying hazards around the home.


Pregnancy can be both exciting and anxiety-inducing. Unknowns surrounding childbirth may add extra layers of confusion for expectant moms-to-be, making prenatal care classes beneficial in helping ease those anxieties and answering any remaining queries about childbirth. Classes often cover infant care while providing you with the opportunity to meet other expecting parents at approximately the same time; you might even make lasting friendships that last into parenthood!

Many expectant-parent education programs are provided by health-care professionals in group settings, with CenteringPregnancy programs hosted by midwives and public health nurses being an example. Studies have demonstrated how such programs increase expectant parents’ knowledge about prenatal care, labor and birth, infant care as well as feelings of empowerment among expectant-parents.

CenteringPregnancy participants were polled regarding the most essential prenatal-care topics. Labor and birth preparation and newborn safety topped this list; most participants ranked these subtopics as “very important”. This finding aligns with research indicating that labor and birth preparation play an integral part in driving participation in prenatal classes (Best Start Resource Centre, 2014).