Virtual Antenatal Groups You Can Join At Home
One thing many mothers look forward to in the lead up to the birth of their baby is the opportunity to explore a variety of antenatal classes and resources to prepare them for welcoming their new arrival. These groups focus on everything from the birth itself to breastfeeding and caring for a newborn and give new parents the opportunity to meet other families at the same stage of life as them.
Sadly during these unprecedented times, the ability to attend these classes in person is restricted meaning that many families worry that they are missing out on the opportunity to use these precious moments well. Many are concerned that they won’t have the information they need as they broach this new journey.
Fortunately, thanks to the wonder of the internet, these groups have been made available to as many new parents as possible. We’ve rounded up a selection of virtual antenatal classes and courses that you can access online, both on demand and in real time, so that parents-to-be can get an experience as close to the real thing as possible, finding more information and making connections with other parents.
NCT Live Online Classes
NCT can feel like a lifeline for new mums, often helping them to forge lifelong friendships. In quick response to the social distancing guidelines, they launched live courses online that are interactive and local so that parents could build a community support network in the early days. You can find more information on these courses on Zoom here.
Treasure Chest Breastfeeding Workshops
Breastfeeding your new baby can feel like a steep learning curve, but there are plenty of resources out there to help. Treasure Chest is an example of a local group of peer supporters and counsellors to support breastfeeding mums. Normally, this group leads support groups locally around York but due to the current climate, they are running breastfeeding workshops monthly in real time via Zoom – you can find more information here. They also have a fab Facebook support group where trained peer supporters can answer questions and give advice at any time.
NB: This specific group is based in York and the surrounding areas, but your health visiting team will be able to recommend groups local to you.
Here are some examples of free online videos to help you learn and better understand breastfeeding and latching techniques:
KG Hypnobirthing is a complete antenatal course for parents based around building confidence in pregnancy and birth and releasing fear. It is designed to inform families about the birth process to help mothers and their birth partners make the best decisions for the birth of their baby. You can sign up for the full online course which gives you access to not only video content but also additional resources such as a Facebook support group, relaxation audio MP3s and a digital version of the KG Hypnobirthing book. There is also a good selection of short videos free to access on KG Hypnobirthing’s YouTube channel on demand that demonstrate hypnobirthing techniques and discussions.
The Happy Birth Club are another branch of hypnobirthing who are offering their courses online in real time, allowing you to receive information, ask questions and meet other pregnant couples, all from the comfort of your sofa using Zoom. You can find more information on their courses here.
The Positive Birth Movement
The Positive Birth Movement is a global network of antenatal groups connecting families by social media and online information. Even before lockdown, they were perfectly positioned to help new parents online. They have a selection of pregnancy and birth groups around the world that anyone can join, and have recently set up a Facebook support group specific to those aiming for a positive birth during Covid-19.
There are a huge range of online pregnancy fitness videos online to help women both stay fit during their pregnancy and also to prepare for the labour and birth ahead of them. Moderate exercise is safe for women during pregnancy, but it’s important to take your midwife’s advice on what is right for you personally. The NHS have provided a free video with gentle exercise designed for pre and post-natal here, and you can find many more similar free fitness videos for pregnant women on YouTube.
If you’d prefer to join an online pregnancy fitness class in real time which will help you remain better motivated, MummyFIT offers livestreamed workout sessions via Facebook Live with a personal MummyFIT trainer. You can find more information on these here.
With all the resources mentioned above, it’s important to make sure that you seek advice for any medical related questions you have from your midwife or GP.