Published January 29th, 2020

When Should I Take My Prenatal Class? What New Parents Have Told Us

Here at New Mummy Co. we have helped thousands of parents with prenatal education. One question that comes up time and again is, “When is the best time to take my prenatal class?”

It is recommended to take your prenatal class at the beginning of your third trimester. Taking the prenatal class at approximately 28-32 weeks will ensure everything is fresh in your memory. You will also gain the knowledge far enough in advance to plan ahead for your birth with confidence.

However, there is no set rule to when to take your class and in some cases you may even want to take your class earlier. We have researched the reasons why and discussed with parents who join us for our classes to understand more.

Why take your class at the start of your 3rd trimester?

The start of third trimester is overwhelmingly the most popular choice for parents to attend their prenatal class. We recommend to book your class as early as possible to guarantee your date for weeks 28-32. Our Oakville prenatal classes book up early and its recommend to reserve your place well in advance.

There are multiple benefits for parents taking a prenatal class at the start of your 3rd trimester.

Parents told us the following was most important to them.

  • Your bump has grown and mentally you are preparing for the birth of your baby.
  • The content will be fresh in your mind.
  • You will have a more accurate idea as to your due date and are starting to plan for your baby’s birthday.
  • Dads and partners want to learn how they can support you and know what their role is for the big day.
  • It’s early enough in your pregnancy where you are not as uncomfortable or tired when taking the class as you would be closer to your due date.
  • You learn information to help with important decisions that you can then discuss with your health care provider.

It is difficult to generalize on the content provided within every prenatal class across the world, however, it is extremely likely your class will cover the following topics.

  • Stages of labour
  • Decision making
  • Medical interventions
  • Comfort techniques

Parents told us learning these topics at the start of the 3rd trimester helped when you discussing with their health care provider and making informed decisions about their birth choices.

You will also be taking the class with other moms at the same stage of their pregnancy. This allows you to share in the experience and gain comfort from others asking questions that you may not have contemplated. Our class sizes are kept to a minimum to ensure you have plenty opportunity to ask the questions important to you!

Babies do not have a schedule! Taking a class too close to your due date could mean you risk missing important classes if the baby comes early. While most first time mothers will have their babies slightly later than your predicted due date, you will never know for sure unless a c-section is scheduled.

Scheduling 8-10 weeks in advance of your due date ensures you are avoiding being overly fatigued and uncomfortable in comparison to booking closer to your due date.

We will make you and your bump as comfortable as possible by providing luxury recliners for you to relax enjoy our small group prenatal classes! Because we do prefer to keep our class sizes smaller, we suggest booking your class in advance to secure your spot and avoid disappointment.

At this time you will also start making decisions around your birth and the plan for the day. Our classes are great for letting Dad or your partner know how they can support you over the coming weeks and this gives you plenty time to prepare in advance of baby’s arrival.

Dad’s and partners told us learning well in advance of the birth allowed them to get their routine planned for the big day. The hints and tips provided allowed them to know what to buy and pack for the hospital, that planning made everyone more confident and comfortable when the birthday came along.

When Should I Take My Prenatal Class Early?

If you are expecting twins or multiples then it is best to schedule your prenatal class for when you are approximately 24 weeks pregnant. With twins and multiples, the babies are more likely to be born early and you will need be ahead of schedule compared to someone having a single baby.

Your healthcare provider may also indicate to you that it’s likely your baby will arrive before your due date for a medical reason. By following the advice of your healthcare provider, aim to schedule the class for 8-10 weeks prior to your due date depending on availability.

At The New Mummy Co. we look to schedule our prenatal classes on weekends and run the classes every 1-2 weeks. This ensures that both yourself and your partner are available to come and join us for the class and by us running frequently we do our best to avoid disappointment when finding the preferred class date is sold out.

However, your classes may be over a number of weekday evenings and take place over a number of weeks. In this situation you will have to ensure you start the series early enough so you are not running close to your due date and miss out on important information in classes you were unable to attend!

Also, not all prenatal classes are equal. If you are taking a early pregnancy class then as the name suggests, this class is something you will want to take early in the second trimester of your pregnancy. If you are only taking a newborn parenting class without the labour and birth sections, then this can be scheduled closer to your due date.

How Far In Advance Should I Book My Class?

Prenatal classes are always in demand; both private and public health care classes will regularly book out weeks in advance due to limited spaces available.

We recommend booking as early in your second trimester as you are comfortable with. We understand that life is busy and by booking early you will get the date that suits both you and your partner’s schedule.

Most importantly, by booking early you will get the pick of the class dates that fall around the start of your 3rd trimester. This ensures you get the knowledge early enough but that it is also still fresh in your mind for the big day.

We are passionate about the value of small group private prenatal classes. These classes allow you to learn practical skills in person. We recommend attending a class in person over an online recorded video class as you will have the opportunity to ask the questions important to you.

Who Should Attend The Class With Me?

Bring your partner! At The New Mummy Co. our classes are priced for you to bring someone along with you. We encourage you to bring along your partner, sister, mother, friend or whoever will be supporting you with the birth and immediate postpartum time.

The classes will help your partner understand more about what to expect during labour and birth. The class will review the partner’s role, and how they can best support you during labour and birth. We will also review how to best prepare for the trip to the hospital, being organized on the day of baby’s birth, and how to provide support during the birth.

Taking your class early in the 3rd trimester will help your partner prepare for the birth. This could be in your local hospital or even your planned in your own home. There are multiple tips and tricks that you will learn during the class on how to best prepare. This allows your partner to plan ahead and have everything ready for the birth. Being prepared and knowledgeable will allow for a more relaxed and organized birth day!

Being prepared and knowing you have someone available to support you will make for a more relaxed and comfortable experience. With this being such a  exciting time, taking your prenatal classes and preparing in advance means not only are you informed and ready, but you can enjoy the beautiful experience. Make some life changing memories to share with your little one when they are older!