Birth Preparation Course - What To Expect?

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Birth Preparation Course - What To Expect?
Birth Preparation Course - What To Expect?
Video: Birth Preparation Course - What To Expect?
Video: Childbirth Class Video 01 2023, February

Well prepared for birth

A good birth preparation course informs expecting mothers and fathers about all issues related to childbirth: How does the female body change during childbirth? What are contractions, what is their role? How can I deal with the pain of childbirth? This also includes information about the puerperium and the first time with the baby.

During the course, open questions can be discussed and fears or insecurities can be reduced. Proper preparation helps many expectant parents to be more relaxed about the birth.


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  • What can I expect in the antenatal class?
  • Learning to deal with the pain of childbirth
  • Pregnancy gymnastics
  • Whom can I ask?
  • How are the costs going to be covered?

What can I expect in the antenatal class?

Birth preparation courses accompany expectant parents through the pregnancy and aim to prepare them for the upcoming birth and the first time with a baby. On the one hand, basic information about the process and phases of birth is conveyed. On the other hand, there is also the opportunity to learn and practice techniques to cope with the birth of the child more easily. This includes, for example, targeted relaxation exercises and correct breathing techniques. The different birthing positions are also presented and can be tried out in dry training. Information about the different places of birth (hospital birth, birth house, home birth) can be an important aid in decision-making.

The participants also learn which different methods of pain relief are available to them during childbirth. You will also be informed about surgical measures such as forceps or suction cup delivery or caesarean delivery, which can sometimes be necessary during childbirth.

A good birth preparation course can also be valuable for fathers-to-be. In addition to information about childbirth, men learn how they can support their partner before and during delivery.

Last but not least, expectant parents receive a lot of information about the puerperium and the first time with the baby, such as the correct care of the newborn or tips on breastfeeding in birth preparation courses.

Learning to deal with the pain of childbirth

Dealing with childbirth pain is an important topic in antenatal classes. The thought of labor can create anxiety and insecurity in expectant mothers. Birth preparation classes help alleviate these fears. If you know what role pain plays in childbirth, you can usually accept it more actively.

Labor occurs when the uterine muscles contract vigorously at regular intervals (contraction). This is the prerequisite for the baby to be pushed through the birth canal. The stretching of the cervix and the ligaments and muscles of the pelvic floor also contribute to birth pain. It is a natural sign that the birth of the child is in progress. Ultimately, through the release of the hormones oxytocin and endorphins, it also has a positive influence on the relationship with the newborn.

The perception of labor pain and how to deal with it is very individual and varies from woman to woman. In general, however, it can be said: Anxiety can lead to tension and cramps and thus exacerbate pain. Preparation courses help to reduce fears and to experience the birth in a more relaxed manner.

The birthing position also contributes to this: it varies from person to person in which position the woman feels most comfortable during childbirth and copes better with the pain of childbirth. Many women find it a relief to keep moving because the human body instinctively reacts to pain with movement. The different possibilities are presented in preparatory courses.

In addition, a good preparation course also provides information about all the options for treating pain during childbirth. These include systemically administered painkillers or forms of analgesia near the spinal cord (e.g. epidural anesthesia, PDA). These pain treatments are safe for both mother and child. The use of pain relievers is widespread. Many so-called “primitive peoples” also successfully use pain relieving “drugs” - that is, painkillers - during childbirth.

Pregnancy gymnastics

Special pregnancy exercises are also often recommended. It is offered by midwives and in some parent-child centers. The pregnant woman learns, for example, to strengthen the pelvic muscles and relieve the pelvic floor through specific exercises. With regular gymnastics, typical complaints such as back pain, tension or fatigue can also be prevented. In addition, the muscles and ligaments are relieved and the circulation gets going. Exercise also has a positive effect on mental wellbeing.

Whom can I ask?

You can find midwives in your area who offer birth preparation courses on the website of the Austrian Midwives Committee. Some hospitals also offer birth preparation courses. Birth preparation courses in the hospital in which the delivery will also take place have the advantage that you can get to know the midwife or obstetrician and the premises during the course. Birth preparation courses are also offered in some parent-child centers.

In Vienna, the MA 15 family midwives offer free birth preparation courses only for women or for couples as well as individual counseling. You can find more information and contact options at

How are the costs going to be covered?

Some birth preparation costs take place weekly over a certain period of time, others are held in blocks, e.g. on a weekend. The costs for a birth preparation course are not covered by social security and have to be paid by yourself; Exceptions are the free preparation courses held by family midwives in Vienna. Some health insurance companies cover the costs for pregnancy exercises.

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