Choosing which antenatal class to book onto if any is a very personal decision which could make an enormous difference to your birth and postnatal experience with your baby. Working predominantly with women postnatally I hear about their experiences and thought it would be helpful to put together a list in one place of your options locally in Cheltenham and Gloucester to help you decide. These classes can be very popular so it is a good idea to book early. It’s fair to say with any option it is a fantastic place to meet other local pregnant couples and it can be a personal decision which you feel is best for you. Most antenatal sessions are recommended to begin after 28 weeks of pregnancy and yoga from 14 weeks of pregnancy.
Midwife led classes held in Cheltenham with an emphasis on practical skills and information for pregnancy & birth; trouble-shooting tips (aka what to do & expect when things don’t go according to plan); how to help each other, who’s who, what you’ll need and loads more. They also offer hypnobirthing courses and refresher courses if it isn’t your first baby.
4 week course 7-9pm on Tuesdays
The best thing we did as a couple was antenatal classes with The Baby Journey. We did the first course 5 years ago with our first son and did the refresher course this pregnancy. I’m still in regular contact with both sets of people from the 2 courses.
I was recommended to use The Baby Journey by a friend who had recently had a baby girl and thought the concept of being taught by practicing midwives would be more informative than NCT. The class was fantastic! Everyone was so friendly and I’ve made friends for life. The classes are extremely informative and there wasn’t a question that couldn’t be answered. They provide handouts each week & these proved to be very useful to refer back to. Would definitely recommend to anyone who is pregnant who is looking for a relaxed and funny, but extremely informative, antenatal class.
Midwife led antenatal classes held in Cheltenham, Gloucester and Cirencester. They provide all of their knowledge, practical tips on birth and life with a newborn to get you feeling totally ready for everything that birth may bring and prepared to meet your baby. They also offer hypnobirthing courses too.
4 week course 7-9:15pm on Wednesdays
Classes are designed to meet your needs – no two courses are the same – but an example of some of what can be offered includes the following: early pregnancy classes, what to expect during labour, birth and early days with a newborn. Understand what may happen during labour, how to cope, pain management options and what to expect during those early days with a newborn. Caesarean birth, practical baby care, refresher, grandparents workshops!
Courses are based on the latest, evidence-based research, expect this course to be practical, hands-on and friendly and focus on labour and childbirth. Practical baby care includes nappy changing, washing, swaddling, crying and safe sleeping. This course has a breastfeeding session.
Times, days and locations vary.
NHS Antenatal Classes
You should find out about these from your midwife and they run from Cheltenham Birth Centre and Gloucester Hospital, they are free to attend. They are a great place to hear directly from midwives about what to expect and meet other couples however the emphasis is not greatly on forming friendships. They will cover giving birth, looking after and feeding your baby and can also help you to keep fit and well during pregnancy.
4 weeks run in evenings
Ann is an incredibly knowledgeable, caring, supportive and empowering person to be around, you will not only learn yoga but a whole heap of birth prep too. Her ever popular 90 minute classes are held at various times through the week so there is bound to be a time to suit you. You can start from 14 weeks pregnant; yoga can help women enjoy their pregnancy with minimal discomfort, cultivate breath awareness and strengthen the body in preparation for Labour. Yoga for pregnancy classes differ from general yoga classes as we awaken the deep feminine energy within us all cultivating ways of listening to our bodies and deeply connecting with the baby. Through the practice of moving meditations, visualisations and affirmations confidence increases.
I loved Lotus Buds yoga – I felt so cared for in all Ann’s classes, she has created a sanctuary – a place where I could breath, relax and prepare for the arrival of my baby. I was felt taller, more confident and more relaxed after her classes. Classes include breathing, meditation, yoga exercises and tips for birth preparation and chocolate and snacks afterwards. I highly highly recomend Ann’s classes.
A weekly class to support you during pregnancy and prepare for your baby’s arrival. Whether you are an experienced Yogini or brand new to yoga these comprehensive classes will introduce key concepts around pregnancy and birth, give you a toolkit to soothe pregnancy niggles and maintain your strength and mobility.
7:15-8:15pm on Tuesdays
I did pregnancy yoga at Rosie Glow on the Bath Road. It was really relaxing and made me feel super chilled.
Honest, realistic and down to earth hypnobithing classes. Yvonne is an experienced antenatal and hypnobirthing practitioner and has worked with hundreds of parents over the last six years. You will receive up-to-date, evidence-based information and simple, but effective, techniques to use during your labour and birth all delivered in a relaxed and gentle way. You won’t have an off-the shelf impersonal course delivered to you – each course is tailored specifically to your needs to ensure you get exactly what you need to help you prepare. In addition you will also receive a book, mp3 and affirmations, available as a group or 1-2-1.
Hypnobirthing classes by Kerrie in Cheltenham, available as a group or private 1-2-1 sessions.
These have a small fee and are you can attend from 28 weeks in pregnancy which run from 6-8:30pm over 4 weeks generally, bookable via email.
Highly experienced, knowledgeable calm and confident Alex offers birth and postnatal doula packages throughout Gloucestershire. Alex provides emotional and physical support and back up to your birth partner.
Alex was such a gift to us during the birthing of our fourth son, at home in a pool. In the months before the birth she was there to meet up with and talk through any concerns, which was a great comfort, and she was an invaluable member of our support team during it, working seamlessly with the midwifery team. It was an amazing birth, made the smoother because of Alex’s lovely presence and assistance.
I discovered my own passion for birth through having my own children and the more I learn the more passionate I am about the care women receive and the part I can play in this. I love to come along couples during pregnancy get to know them, build trust, learn about them, and prepare them for the best birth experience.
Sarah was great – very supportive and empathic, made helpful suggestions and gave guidance and signposts to further information without ever telling us what to do!
Many more fantastic local doulas can be found at Doula UK.
Water based Aquanatal Yoga classes are one of the best classes you can do for your body, mind and baby whilst pregnant. Benefits include: allows intense exercise with low impact stress in a gravity free environment, facilitates bonding between Mother and Baby, A relaxing, stress relieving activity which can help release tension and anxiety. Strengthens the muscles and keeps the spine straight and supple. Helps to open the pelvis and prepare for labour and birth. Classes can be attended as early as you feel comfortable.
5:50pm on Fridays
Pioneered by Birthlight, Turtle Tums aqua-natal yoga is the most comprehensive set of adaptations of classic yoga practices in water. Aqua-natal yoga offers the benefits of stretching, relaxation and deep breathing with buoyancy and water resistance. It is accessible to all, irrespective of age, fitness, yoga experience and swimming competency. Turtle Tums makes full use of the properties of water for fitness, wellbeing and therapeutic applications.
I joined the Turtle Tums aquanatal classes at the Star College which were lovely and relaxing. I’m still in contact with some of the mums now.
If you have any recommendations and personal experiences from your pregnancy in Cheltenham to add to the list please do let me know.