Are Antenatal Classes Worth it?

I always imagined antenatal classes to be in-person, with my husband cradling my bump whilst we learn breathing techniques for labour. However, in Malta, antenatal classes (know as ParentCraft) are done via Teams online, which I found disappointing, but joined them anyway.

I started attending these sessions when I was 26 weeks pregnant. They would last well over an hour, and after each call, I’d leave with so many more questions than I went in with, along with heightened anxiety.

I told a midwife at a routine appointment that the classes were making me worry about the birth and baby’s arrival. She reacted quite strongly and said that a lot of women have given that feedback, and in her opinion, expectant parents shouldn’t be encouraged to attend them. She advised me to stop joining the calls and said there is really no need to watch the videos.

However, I still felt like I wanted some guidance. I also wanted my husband to know what to expect and thought he would be much more likely to take in information if he was at a class in person. I searched online and found a private course for parents-to-be, run by midwives, at MyMama in Naxxar.

In contrast to the ParentCraft classes, which seemed to have about 50 sessions, the MyMama course has just three succinct classes: pregnancy, birth and baby. The information given at this course was plentiful, yet concise, and delivered in a reassuring manner. I actually left feeling excited about giving birth rather than dreading it!

For mums-to-be, the prospect of being a mother and having no idea what you’re doing, is a daunting one. It is tempting to watch all of the ParentCraft classes the government offers so you know you are fully prepared. However, I think there is an information overload and opinion is delivered as fact, making you worry if you decide to do something differently.

The MyMama course on the other hand, gives you everything you need to know, whilst making it clear that all the choices you make about the birth and baby are your own. Plus they save you a hell of a lot of time!

I know some people who love the ParentCraft classes and if you enjoy them then keep it up! However, if you are pregnant and finding the ParentCraft classes overwhelming, I want you to know you’re not the only one, and highly recommend the MyMama course instead.

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