You’ve received the exciting news that your having a baby, congratulations! But what now? No doubt you will be inundated with well wishers, antenatal appointments, medical jargon and lots of well meaning advice from seasoned parents…and that’s before you start reading books and information on the internet!
The difficulty many couples find is separating up to date evidence based facts from myths and arriving at decisions that suit them.
This is where good quality antenatal education comes in. Antenatal courses explore evidence based information surrounding pregnancy, birth, parenting styles, feeding, choices,rights and responsibilities, changes in relationships and lots more.
A good facilitator will create a safe, comfortable environment which and enable each participant to learn in a way that suits them, optimising the learning experience.
By empowering couples to make choices based on up to date, evidence based information they are better able to make decisions with confidence.
Women in particular undergo a physiological mind change during their transition to motherhood which encourages them to seek out other women with mothering experience or women going through the same changes. Antenatal courses offer a wonderful opportunity for couples to make friends, theses friendships often forge into long term relationships which evidence has shown can support women’s mental health and enhance self-efficacy because the women give and gain reassurance that their babies are developing normally. Such friendships may reduce demands on overstretched social and health-care services.
When choosing your antenatal course you need to look for a practitioner that is qualified through a University Accreditation. Most good quality practitioners will be regulated by FedAnt, the Federation of Antenatal Educators and have a License to Practice. Don’t be afraid of asking to see a practitioners credentials, most are proud to show you evidence of their hard work and knowledge!