Pregnancy courses: which course is right for you?

When you are pregnant, you have a lot to deal with. Practical matters, but also physical changes and many women feel the need to prepare for childbirth. There are various courses you can take for this. You can choose between pregnancy gym, pregnancy fitness and pregnancy yoga. In addition, you also have pregnancy haptonomy, which is less known and which can also be combined with another course. In addition to these types of courses, the midwife will also inform you about the possibility of a lactation course. You can read a little more about all these courses in this article and especially about how you can best make a choice between what you want to do and what you do not want to do.

Pregnancy gym or pregnancy fitness

Pregnancy gym and pregnancy fitness are the more active forms of pregnancy courses. The difference between these two types of courses is usually in the type of exercises that are done, but the difference is small and if you are interested in an active pregnancy course, look at the complete offering of pregnancy gym and pregnancy fitness in your place of residence. Both forms will suit you and you can also use the description of that specific course, because it is always different. During this course you will do physical exercises to get and/or maintain your fitness and muscle strength at the best possible level. You can of course also continue to exercise, but during these courses extra attention is paid to your posture as a pregnant woman while exercising. For example, by tilting your pelvis slightly, you can prevent complaints and perhaps remain active for longer. You will also do exercises to prepare for the birth, such as breathing exercises (puffing).

Pregnancy yoga

Pregnancy yoga is a quieter form of a pregnancy course. You mainly do relaxation exercises for this: some can be used very well during childbirth, but also relaxation exercises that can be used independently of pregnancy or childbirth. Some find pregnancy yoga ideal as an antenatal course to really have some time for themselves and find peace. For others it is too quiet or vague. It will depend on the person and the situation you are in (for example, one or more children are at home), but it certainly also depends on the course. Pregnancy yoga (just like any course) is given in many different ways and the institution where you take the course is very decisive, but also the person who teaches the course.

Pregnancy haptonomy

Pregnancy haptonomy is a relatively unknown form of pregnancy course. In pregnancy haptonomy, making contact with the unborn baby is central and that is important for both parents. That is why it is very common for both parents to participate in this pregnancy course and the course can be given per couple to keep it intimate. During pregnancy haptonomy you learn to make contact with the baby in the belly, but a partner also learns to support the woman during childbirth. A major difference between preparing for childbirth through pregnancy haptonomy and other pregnancy courses is that pregnancy haptonomy does not concentrate on the different breathing techniques. With pregnancy haptonomy, people trust that you as a woman will find your own way. Something that is also noted as a side note when learning breathing techniques in the other pregnancy courses: everyone will like different techniques and will have to find their own way together with the midwife or maternity assistant.

Lactation course or breastfeeding course

In addition to the courses that focus on the general preparation for childbirth, you also have a very specific short course if you plan to breastfeed: the lactation course or breastfeeding course. Your midwife will probably draw your attention to this or you will find leaflets about it in your midwife’s waiting room. This often concerns one or two meetings of approximately 2 hours. During that time, information will be provided about the difference between breastfeeding and bottle feeding, what you should pay attention to when breastfeeding and what challenges you may encounter. Partners are often also welcome at these courses and that is very pleasant, because when you start breastfeeding there is so much to deal with that it is nice to have an extra person with you who can see whether the baby is well established and doing well. is. Of course, breastfeeding is something you have to learn and gain experience in at the time, but in preparation it is definitely recommended to go to such a course or meeting.

Choose a pregnancy course

Before you choose between the antenatal courses, please read through the list below:

  • What suits you as a person and what do you need? A pregnancy yoga course is really different from pregnancy gym or pregnancy fitness. Pregnancy yoga is not necessarily vague, but it is much calmer and the aim is to achieve relaxation. That must suit you. If you are very busy at home, it can be very nice to have such a quiet moment during pregnancy yoga, while if you can also get some rest at home, you may not need this. In addition, see how important you think it is to be somewhat sporty during the pregnancy course. If you find that important and enjoyable, pregnancy exercise or pregnancy fitness is a better fit than pregnancy yoga.
  • Do you want to attend the antenatal course every week until the end of your pregnancy or would you prefer to receive the necessary preparation in a limited number of sessions? In pregnancy yoga, pregnancy gym or pregnancy fitness, you have courses that you can join continuously and which you can therefore continue to follow until the end of your pregnancy, as well as pregnancy courses that start on a certain date and then have, for example, eight meetings. See how much time you want to make available for the antenatal course and what suits you best.
  • Does your partner also want to participate in the preparation courses and is one time sufficient or would he like to participate every time? Most pregnancy courses have one or two partner lessons, but there are also some where there is no partner lesson or where you do everything together (as is always the case with pregnancy haptonomy). Discuss this with your partner. Men will often laugh and say that they will come along if they have to, but in reality it is also very nice for them to get more information about how a birth can proceed and what he can do.
  • Large group, small group or individual: there is a lot of difference between the size of the groups. Most pregnancy courses have a website that indicates the maximum number of participants. If you cannot find that information but find it important, please call to inquire. 10-12 participants is most common. If you would like to take an individual pregnancy course, you will often have to call because this is only common for pregnancy haptonomy. Please take higher costs into account.
  • Is it possible to take a trial lesson? This will especially be possible with continuous antenatal courses. Then first take a look and participate without obligation, so that you can experience whether it is indeed what you expected. This way you are not immediately tied to the (financial) obligation.
  • Do you want to do one course or several? Of course you can also combine. Make sure it doesn’t get too busy.

Finally, it is wise to orient yourself on antenatal courses in time, because not all courses are continuous and you can join them continuously. So you may have to wait another 1.5 months until the next group starts and you must still have time for that. Familiarize yourself with antenatal courses before 20 weeks and try to start an antenatal course around 25 weeks.