Antenatal classes

Antenatal classes (also called parentcraft classes) can help you to prepare for your baby’s birth and learn to look after and feed your baby. They can help you to stay healthy during pregnancy, and give you confidence and information. You can learn about the different arrangements for labour and birth, and the choices available to you. You may also meet some of the people who will look after you during labour.

You'll be able to discuss your plans and any worries with our healthcare professionals and with other parents. Classes are also a good way to make friends with other parents who are expecting babies around the same time as you. These friendships often help parents through the first few months with a baby. Classes are usually informal and fun.

Our antenatal classes are very popular and we encourage you to book as early as possible. You will be given specific dates for classes when you are booking.

Earlybird class

This one-off class is aimed at all antenatal women and their partners interested in learning about safe diet and exercise during pregnancy. If you have weight management goals this class will be particularly useful. We encourage you to book as early as possible but you are welcome at any stage in your pregnancy. Partners are welcome to attend. You only need to attend this class once.

The class includes talks from our healthcare professionals and a question and answer session covering what to expect through your pregnancy, safe nutrition, breastfeeding and safe exercise during pregnancy.

Earlybird classes are run by a dietitian, physiotherapist and midwife.

Class times
4.45 – 7pm on the second Monday of every month

Location
Physiotherapy Department, Old Nurses Home, The Whittington Hospital, Magdala Avenue, London N19 5NF

How to book
You can book through your midwife or by phoning our antenatal team on 020 7288 3482 or 020 7288 3483 and quoting code: MIDEB

Body care class

This one-off class is aimed at all antenatal women whether you are experiencing physical problems or not. If musculoskeletal problems are addressed appropriately from the onset of symptoms they are more easily reduced and controlled. Due to the exercise component of this class partners are not invited to attend. You only need to attend the class once.

The class includes a talk and a mat based exercise session led by a specialist physiotherapist. The class will outline the physiological changes that occur during pregnancy and the effect these changes can have on your body in terms of musculoskeletal problems. We will provide you with the knowledge and skills to manage musculoskeletal problems at home and the signs that mean you should see a women’s health physiotherapist.

Please note that pregnant women experiencing severe problems may attend the class but should also ask to be referred to women’s health physiotherapy by their midwife.

Participants should wear comfortable clothing appropriate for exercise.

Body care classes are run by a women’s health physiotherapist.

Class times
2 – 4pm on a Friday every other month

Location
Physiotherapy Department, Old Nurses Home, The Whittington Hospital, Magdala Avenue, London N19 5NF

How to book
You can book through your midwife or by phoning our antenatal team on 020 7288 3482 or 020 7288 3483 and quoting code: PHYBB

Antenatal pelvic and back pain class

This class is recommended for pregnant women experiencing lower back (lumbar) or pelvic pain. You will usually attend one class and then opt in to an individual physiotherapy assessment if required.

Classes include a talk and a mat based exercise session that specifically targets lumbar and pelvic pain in pregnancy. You will learn about the changes during pregnancy that affect your lumbar and pelvic region and what you can do at home to manage and reduce pain, including the use of abdominal and pelvic supports.

Participants should wear comfortable clothing appropriate for exercise.

Antenatal pelvic and back pain classes are run by a women’s health physiotherapist.

Class times
2 – 4pm on Mondays twice per month and 5 – 7pm on Thursday once a month

Location
Physiotherapy Department, Old Nurses Home, The Whittington Hospital, Magdala Avenue, London N19 5NF

How to book
This is a referral only class for pregnant women with lumbar or pelvic pain. If you are experiencing pain in your lower back or pelvic region please speak to your GP or midwife and they will refer you if appropriate. You will then be contacted by our physiotherapy team inviting you to book a class.

Women’s health class

This class may be recommended to women with pelvic floor muscle (PFM) dysfunction and is open to all women, not just those who are pregnant. PFM can include problems with bladder or bowel control, or vaginal prolapse. You will usually attend one class and then follow-up with an individual physiotherapy assessment.

The class includes lifestyle advice, bladder training, discussion about other treatments available and a chair based exercise session specific to PFM dysfunction. The class will outline the way PFM training can help different problems and how to complete PFM training effectively.

Women’s health classes are run by a women’s health physiotherapist.

Class times
2 – 3pm on Monday or Friday twice per month

Location
Physiotherapy Department, Old Nurses Home, The Whittington Hospital, Magdala Avenue, London N19 5NF

How to book
This is a referral only class for women with PFM dysfunction. If you are concerned about your PFM function please speak to your GP or midwife and they will refer you if appropriate. You will then be contacted by our physiotherapy team inviting you to book a class.

Vaginal birth after caesarean section workshop

This workshop is recommended for women who are able to have a vaginal birth but have previously had a caesarean section and have no existing medical or obstetric problems in pregnancy. You only need to attend this workshop once early in pregnancy, at around 16 weeks and before 24 weeks. Partners are welcome to attend.

In the workshop we cover information about vaginal births and share tips on how women can prepare themselves.

Vaginal birth after caesarean section workshops are run by a consultant midwife and supervisors of midwives.

Workshop times
11am-12.30pm on a Monday every month

Location
Parentcraft Room, 5th Floor, Kenwood Wing, The Whittington Hospital, Magdala Avenue, London N19 5NF

How to book
You can book by phoning 020 7288 5586 or through your midwife or obstetrician. If you would like to discuss vaginal birth after caesarean section please contact Logan Van Lessen, consultant midwife and supervisor of midwives, on 07876 390586 or email logan.vanlessen@nhs.net.

Parent education class

This one-off class is aimed at all expectant mums and their partners from 28 weeks.

The class covers:
  • Normal labour and birth
  • Pain relief in labour
  • Deviations from normal birth
  • Assisted birth
  • What happens after your baby is born, while in hospital or at home
  • Care of your newborn baby
  • Breastfeeding
Parent education classes are run by our midwives.

Class times
Various dates and times, including weekends

Location
Community sites and The Whittington Hospital

How to book
Please speak to your midwife for class dates, locations and to book

Active birth class

This one-off class is for women who are nearing their due date and have chosen to have their baby in our birth centre without strong pain relief. Partners are encouraged to attend.

During the class we’ll discuss how to be active during your labour and the benefits, which can include a shorter labour, reduced need for pain relief and encouraging your baby to get into a good position for birth. Topics covered include how to stay mobile, what to expect in our birth centre, water and land birth, and techniques such as hypnobirthing and acupuncture.

The active birth class is led by one of our midwives and involves discussions, watching short films and when possible parents who have recently had a baby in our birth centre sharing their experience.

Class times
10am – 3pm on Saturdays

Location
Parentcraft Room, 5th Floor, Kenwood Wing, The Whittington Hospital, Magdala Avenue, London N19 5NF

How to book
If this class is suitable for you, your midwife will speak to you about booking a class around three weeks before your due date.

Breastfeeding workshop

Breastfeeding workshops lasting two hours take place every month at The Whittington Hospital and are open to all women.

Daytime workshops are for women only and partners are welcome to attend evening (6-8pm) and weekend (2-4pm) workshops.
The workshops are run by infant feeding specialists.
 
Workshop dates for 2015
Daytime
Thursdays, 1-3pm
(Women only)
Evening
Tuesdays, 6-8pm
Weekend
Sundays, 2-4pm
2 July
20 August
10 September
8 October
5 November
3 December
15 September
13 October
10 November
15 December
27 September
18 October
15 November
13 December

Location
Parentcraft Room, 5th Floor, Kenwood Wing, The Whittington Hospital, Magdala Avenue, London N19 5NF
 
How to book
You don’t need to book ahead for breastfeeding workshops – just turn up to a workshop that suits you. For more information please contact Sally Crowther or Pippa Faulkes, infant feeding specialists, on 07956 257987 or 07831 436674.
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