Prenatal classes and programs are excellent sources of information and peer support. As part of the Right from the Start program, Child, Youth and Family Health's prenatal education program for expectant parents is currently being revised and updated.
Your doctor, midwife or public health nurse can give you a list of prenatal education programs in your area.
First Nation members can also get information on prenatal classes from their community health worker.
Some communities have privately-run prenatal/birth preparation classes. For more options in your community, please contact your nearest public health unit. A public health nurse may also provide:
- One-to-one and group prenatal teaching and support for people with specific needs
- Prenatal teaching for pregnant adolescents
- Pregnancy Outreach Programs
- Pamphlets, brochures, books and videos on pregnancy and parenting
Questions to ask before registering for a prenatal class or program
- When, where, and how long are the classes?
- How many classes are in the series?
- How much does the series cost? Are bursaries available?
- What are the instructors’ qualifications/experience?
- What is the philosophy of the class regarding prenatal care and birth?
- Is a hospital tour arranged?
- How many birth support people are welcome?
- Do birth support people have to attend?
- What is the maximum number of participants in a class?
- Are refreshments and parking provided?
Look for the following topics
- Physical and emotional changes of pregnancy
- Maternal care issues such as nutrition, exercise, activity, rest, and avoiding alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes
- Labour and delivery
- Medical assistance (ex. caesarean section, episiotomy, medications)
- Baby care
- Infant safety
- Post-partum adjustment and early parenting
- Community support