Healthy living

Childbirth education classes

  • Childbirth education classes are important to help you prepare for having your baby.
  • You and your partner will benefit.
  • Ask your maternity care provider about booking in for a class at the facility where you plan to give birth.

What are childbirth education classes?

Childbirth education classes, also known as antenatal classes or parenting classes, help prepare you and your partner for your birth.

At your antenatal visit, your midwife, obstetrician or GP will let you know about childbirth education classes offered at your hospital or birth centre.

Classes usually fill quickly so it is ideal to book ahead for when you are around 20 weeks.

What can I learn at childbirth education classes?

Childbirth education classes will teach you about:

  • how to prepare for labour
  • signs of labour/when to call the hospital
  • stages of a normal labour
  • pain relief options
  • birthing positions
  • relaxation and breathing techniques
  • possible birthing complications
  • birth planning and assistance
  • breastfeeding
  • early parenting
  • newborn baby behaviour.

They also provide you with the chance to:

  • bond with other expectant couples
  • address fears
  • share your concerns with others
  • explore the facility where you plan to give birth
  • for your partner to join in.

More information

For more information, ask your maternity health care provider (GP, obstetrician or midwife) or the facility where you plan to give birth.

Last reviewed: 20-04-2020

Chief Nursing and Midwifery Office

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.