Antenatal classes in the time of COVID-19

Educating yourself is vital to prepare for the birth of your child as well as taking care of a new baby. But what to do if antenatal classes aren’t available due to the lockdown? Registered midwife Pippa Hime has this advice.

Childbirth educators are there to guide you through your birthing options, teach you how to feed and care for your newborn, and calm any anxiety that may arise during your pregnancy. They help you prepare to become parents and support you through this new and exciting chapter in your lives.

Preparing for birth and parenthood is like training for a major sporting event. Imagine arriving at the Comrades Marathon without having done any preparation whatsoever. You would not do very well. The same applies in pregnancy and childbirth.

However, given the current COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown, it is not so easy. So just how do you prepare for parenthood during this challenging time?

ALSO SEE: Why you should attend antenatal classes

Online antenatal classes

One solution to childbirth preparation has been the introduction of online classes. This enables new parents to socially distance, while still being able to get the info they need ahead of childbirth and parenthood.

What to consider when selecting an online antenatal course?

  • Who is offering this course and what are their credentials? Ideally you want to find a midwife or healthcare worker who is experienced in childbirth preparation and postnatal support.
  • What platform is the course being offered on? Do you have a good internet connection?
  • How long is the course?
  • Does the course content match your needs?
  • What support is offered after birth?
  • What ongoing contact will you have with your childbirth educator?
  • Are there any notes or materials provided for further reference?

Many antenatal or childbirth preparation educators often assist you with breastfeeding support and advice once baby arrives, too. This is invaluable in those first few weeks after birth. So have a discussion with you chosen class provider to see if they can assist you with postnatal consultations or telephonic support once baby arrives. You will get to form a relationship with them and may feel you have a “go to” person in those early days when you are unsure of how to fulfill this new role as a parent.

ALSO SEE: The benefits of having a midwife

Join this online antenatal class if you are expecting

Pippa offers online antenatal classes via Zoom every Saturday and Sunday morning from 9am – 12pm. If you are interested in joining one of her classes, email her at pippa@yourdr.co.za. The cost is R1 500 per couple and includes all course notes.

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