Labour and birth is often faced with anxiety by first-time expectant parents. Therefore, prenatal classes are invaluable because they help expectant parents feel empowered, that they know what to expect. This takes away the mystery and makes a positive birth experience more likely.
- Understand the changes in your body and emotions during pregnancy, birth and postpartum
- Gather information and skills to help with labour, birth, postpartum and newborn care
- Make informed decisions about the care that you and your baby receive
- Connect with your spouse/partner or labour coach
- Address your concerns with the instructor and other couples with the same concerns
- Learn about a wide range of views about birth and parenting
- Find out about the various community resources available to you and your family
Why take Prenatal Classes with New Life?
- New Life offers a wide variety of prenatal classes to meet the needs of all families, wherever they plan to give birth
- Learn ways of coping in labour and postpartum from an experienced Certified Childbirth Educator, Labour Doula and mother of two
- We incorporate the most current research into our teaching and bring a wealth of experience to our classes
- We view pregnancy and birth as normal, natural and healthy.
- We value family-centred care, informed decision-making and respect for individual choices
- New Life clients have access to follow-up support in case you have questions after class ends
When in my pregnancy should I take prenatal classes?
Although the best time to take prenatal classes is in your last
trimester (the ideal would be to complete them one month before baby is
due) our classes fill quickly, so please register as far in advance as
possible to book a class that fits into your schedule. If you take
prenatal classes too early in pregnancy, you may forget the information
How do I choose the right prenatal class for me? A quality childbirth class should be facilitated by a Certified Childbirth Educator that provides current, evidence based information about the following:
- The normal process of labor and birth, and health care practices that support it
- Changes during late pregnancy and the stages of labor
- A wide variety of coping strategies for managing pain in labor
- The importance of labor support
- Movement and positioning during labor and birth
- Medical interventions and their indications, risks and alternatives
- How to communicate with your health care provider
- Developing a birth plan
- Breastfeeding and newborn care
- Postpartum care and the adjustment to parenthood
- Hands-on practice of labour support techniques and newborn care
What childbirth education philosophies are taught in New Life Prenatal Classes? There are many childbirth education philosophies. Some methods are more aimed at women wanting an unmedicated birth( Hypnobirthing, Bradley and Birth Works) and others are aimed at encouraging women to make informed choices about all aspects of birth, including pain medication and medical interventions (Lamaze, ICEA, Birthing from Within). New Life Prenatal uses a multi-disciplined approach which incorporates information from several of the above mentioned methods. The emphasis is placed on using a broad variety of techniques to teach women how to cope with labour, and teach partners how to best support a labouring woman. Also discussed in the prenatal classes are the medical interventions/options in birth, and how to make informed choices. Emphasis is on "freedom of choice based on knowledge of alternatives" and your role as an informed patient and parent.
What if I miss a class (or cannot complete a class) because I give birth early or was sick? Refunds (less a $25 administration fee) are given up to two weeks prior to class start date. There are no refunds after that point; no exceptions. If you miss a class, arrangements may be made to catch you up on the information that was missed Once you begin a class or a series of classes, there is no refund for not completing the class(s).
Should my partner attend with me? The instructor helps dad/partners understand their role in helping the labouring woman through all stages of labour and through the post-partum period. Partners will be given specific tasks that they can perform and tips on how to cope with the way the new baby will affect their relationship. If dad/partner cannot attend, you may attend by yourself or bring a friend/designated labour coach with you.
I know that I want medication during labour. Do I still need to take prenatal classes? Yes. Prenatal classes will inform you about all medication options for pain relief including how they are administered, when they can be administered and the benefits and risks of each option. For example, did you know that there are times when it may too early...or too late...for a labouring woman to receive an epidural? What options do you have then? Discussing all your options and their benefits and trade-offs will help you to make informed choices.
I am going to need a cesarean section. Should I still take prenatal classes?
Even when a cesarean section is needed, participants still find
prenatal classes a valuable experience. Classes will cover
issues surrounding a caesarean section birth, teach relaxation
skills for before and after the cesarean section and cover many other
topics that are relevant to pregnancy, birth (whether vaginal or by
cesarean section), breastfeeding, the postpartum period and
I'm expecting my second baby. Should I take prenatal classes? Yes. Policies, procedures and practices for childbirth may be different than when you gave birth last time. You want to ensure that you have the latest information to be prepared for what you may experience this time during your labour and birth. Also, medical techniques change over time and if it has been a few years since you last gave birth, there is a good chance that some things may be different in a hospital setting.