Birth preparation course: content and procedure

In the birth preparation course you will deal with pregnancy, birth and life with a baby. You can do the birth preparation course with or without your partner. Read more about the content and structure of these courses and the various courses on offer here.

Why a childbirth preparation course?

Women who are pregnant for the first time often feel insecure and don’t know exactly what to expect. The majority of pregnant women therefore attend a classic childbirth preparation course. The birth preparation courses are usually led by midwives and usually focus on the following:

  • The course helps pregnant women to prepare themselves physically and emotionally for the birth and the time after the birth. The focus of the courses is on information about the course of childbirth. You learn to recognize when the birth starts.
  • During the course, pregnant women are given an explanation of the natural birth process, as demonstrated by midwife Ulrike Pauls in our video “Phases of Birth” and receive a great deal of information about the process in the clinic or in birth centres. There is often the opportunity to visit a delivery room, a maternity ward or the birthing room of a birthing center. So you can familiarize yourself with the conditions there.
  • The midwife will explain different birthing positions and ways of relieving pain such as acupuncture and epidurals . You will also be shown movement exercises, for example for your pelvic floor, which should make childbirth easier for you.
  • In the course you will learn breathing techniques that contribute to relaxation during childbirth and can have a positive influence on the course of the birth. These breathing and relaxation exercises are important so that you and your child can get enough oxygen during the birth and gather strength during the breaks in labour.
  • The partner also learns in the birth preparation course how he can support his partner during the birth. He takes part in relaxation exercises and learns how he can support his partner in different birthing positions, for example by supporting her or through targeted massages. The childbirth preparation course therefore also helps the partner to understand what the couple can expect in the course of the pregnancy and during and after the birth. He can already practice his part and thus reduce his insecurity and inhibitions.
  • Another focus of the childbirth preparation course is baby care. For example, course participants learn how to wrap their baby.

Birth preparation course: Your options

There are different types of courses. The usual evening courses are offered once a week. Pregnant women can choose between a women’s course and a partner course. If you or your partner cannot take time off during the week, you can also take part in a weekend course together. Since more and more fathers want to be present at the birth, at least one partner evening is also held in the women’s courses.
In order to be able to take part in a childbirth preparation course of your choice, you should register early – preferably within the 10th and 15th week of pregnancy.

Birth preparation course: advantages at a glance

  • If you know what to expect when you give birth, you can experience the birth more consciously, less fearful and therefore usually less pain.
  • Your partner also has the opportunity to prepare for the birth and can thus stand by your side and support you better.
  • You get the opportunity to meet other pregnant women and to exchange ideas with women in the same situation.
  • The classic birth preparation course is particularly recommended for first-time mothers. But there are also courses for second mothers.

When and where to take a childbirth preparation course?

  • Suitable for : Most pregnant women attend the first class around 25 weeks. You can still attend weekend courses in a later week.
  • Time : The weekly course lasts 1-2 hours and takes place in six to eight weeks. The weekend course takes place over two days (usually Friday and Saturday) and comprises a total of around 10 hours.
  • Providers : midwifery practices, family education centers, clinics with birth stations, parents’ schools, adult education centers, birth centers and practices for physiotherapy offer courses in childbirth preparation.
  • Costs : The health insurance companies usually cover 14 hours of preparation. However, your partner must bear the costs for his participation himself (50 to 120 euros).

ATTENTION: It is better to inquire early about the courses you want and register in good time (preferably before the 15th week of pregnancy), because popular weekend courses are often fully booked early.

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