Our antenatal classes will guide you through your pregnancy, helping you to have a positive, joyful birthing experience. We encourage all parents to participate in the classes, which creates a greater understanding of the physical and emotional journey of pregnancy.
Antenatal Education Classes
Antenatal classes help to build self-confidence by encouraging expectant parents to learn about the many aspects of pregnancy. Our relaxed classes involve interactive discussions and demonstrations. They help parents to become more involved in the pregnancy. Also, they help to calm fears by explaining the physical and emotional changes that take place during pregnancy. Expectant parents get a chance to share their experiences with others and gain the skills and confidence to make birth and parenthood a positive experience.
Preparation for Parenthood Classes
We provide two options for our ‘Preparation for Parenthood’ classes.
They are our Public and Private classes.
The public classes are a course of six classes for first-time mothers and their partners, or a
refresher class for mothers who have already had a baby.
The first class is booked at your booking visit and is for mums-to- be only. For the next
classes partners are encouraged to attend. The dates for those classes will be posted to you
once you have attended the first class.
Three classes are given by the parent education midwife, and three by the Physiotherapy Department with input from dieticians and social work.
Private classes are held on Saturdays. There are two classes, one given by the midwives and
one by a physiotherapist.
To book a private class, please phone 087 661 9233.
The remaining five classes are booked after you attend the first class and will start around ten weeks before your baby is due. In the hospital, classes are held during the day, and last for up to two hours. If your partner is unable to attend, a friend or relative is welcome to come with you.
Topics covered in the parent education classes include:
- Healthy eating during pregnancy
- Exercise in pregnancy
- Posture and prevention of back pain
- Care and health in pregnancy
- Tour of the delivery suite (depending on how busy it is at the time)
- Signs of labour and admission to hospital
- Coping skills for labour
- Relaxation techniques
- Care during the stages of labour, including pain relief
- Baby feeding and weaning
- Care of the newborn
- Exercises for after the birth of the baby
- Adjusting to parenthood – emotional and psychological aspects
- Going home with a new baby
- Family planning
- Returning to work
- Looking after yourself
Antenatal Education Classes
Refresher classes are available and are aimed at women who already have a child. If you find you are unable to come to the classes in the hospital, there are classes in your local community. Special classes are held for couples with support needs (including teenage pregnancy, hearing impairment, language difficulties, sight impairment and adoptive parents).
To make an appointment for parent education classes, please contact
Public classes 2 pm to 6 pm – 01 817 1787
*Private classes – 087 661 9233
* Saturday parent education classes available (at additional charge), day-time parent education classes available at no charge. We also offer one-to-one Antenatal Classes.
Click here to download our Antenatal Classes leaflet
Yoga classes for pregnancy and birth
Prepare yourself for the physical and mental challenges of pregnancy and birth with our yoga classes. Increase your physical strength and sense of well-being, while sharing your stories with other people in our relaxed and supportive environment.
In addition, prenatal yoga classes offer a supportive environment in which pregnant women can share their experiences, which may help relieve feelings of anxiety. Pregnancy yoga instructors aim to empower and educate women to experience a healthy pregnancy and birth.
Pregnancy Yoga Classes
Pregnancy yoga consists of various exercises and movements done slowly and meditatively combined with breath awareness. Whilst pregnancy and childbirth are considered normal life events and can be a wonderful experience, modern life has left us less prepared for birth than would ideally be. Pregnancy yoga can assist women in reaching a state of physical and mental readiness for childbirth.
Yoga encourages relaxation, internal focus and slowed breathing patterns. It may help relieve many of the common discomforts of pregnancy, such as lower back pain, nausea, insomnia, and headaches. In addition, prenatal yoga classes often offer a supportive environment in which pregnant women can share their experiences, which may help relieve feelings of anxiety. Pregnancy yoga instructors aim to empower and educate women to experience a healthy pregnancy and birth.
Venue: The Rotunda Hospital, School of Midwifery
Day& Time: Mondays 5.15 pm- 6.30 pm
Cost: €60 for six classes
Booking is essential: Call 087 661 9233
Hypnobirthing can help you give birth naturally, without any medicines or medical intervention. Learn about hypnobirthing from our trained midwives, and the techniques
which can help you have a relaxed pregnancy and birth.
Due to the increase in the popularity of hypnobirthing, several midwives working in a variety of areas in The Rotunda Private are trained in hypnobirthing. We now offer couples a four week course in hypnobirthing. The aim of the course is to give couples more tools to use during labour and birth so that they have an enjoyable birth experience – a calm, comfortable and in-control birth. The course is covered over four Tuesdays and the class runs from 5.30 pm – 8.30 pm with a break at about 7.00 pm with refreshments provided.
The class covers how the body gives birth and how relaxation can assist it. The role of the partner is covered extensively and massage, relaxation tools, a variety of ‘scripts’ and birth preferences are also covered. A book and an audio book (MP3) are available to go with the course. A labour ward tour is done in class three and in class four a couple who have used hypnobirthing recently come in to share their story.
Feedback on the course is very positive and the women have found that hypnobirthing is a very useful tool to help them on their birthing journey.
Venue: The Rotunda School of Midwifery
Day& Time: Tuesdays 5.30 pm-8.30 pm
Booking is essential: Call 087 661 9233
Information on Breastfeeding
Our team will discuss the many benefits of breastfeeding with you, while our complementary breastfeeding classes offer the practical support that new mums often need.
The Rotunda Private promotes breastfeeding as the healthy way a woman can feed her baby.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that breastfeeding is the best form of nutrition for infants. It recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of the baby’s life and thereafter infants should receive complementary foods with continued breastfeeding up to two years of age or beyond.
There is more to breastfeeding than simply providing food. The very intimate relationship that develops between a breastfeeding mother and her baby can also help the behavioural and emotional development of the baby.
During the antenatal period, our doctors and midwives will discuss breastfeeding with you and answer any questions you may have.
Importance of Breastfeeding for Mothers
Research shows that breastfeeding has significant health benefits for mothers. These include:
- assisting the uterus (womb) return to its pre-pregnant state faster
- helping women to lose weight after the baby’s birth
- reducing the risk of ovarian and pre-menopausal breast cancer
- reducing the risk of osteoporosis
- reducing the risk of mothers with gestational diabetes developing type 2 diabetes
- postponing the resumption of ovulation and menstruation during exclusive breastfeeding
Importance of Breastfeeding for Babies
Less illness and hospitalisations – babies who are breastfed have a lower risk of developing some illnesses including:
- stomach upsets and infections
- respiratory and ear infections
- urinary tract infections
Perfect food – breast milk has all the important ingredients to build the baby’s immune system. Breast milk changes from feed to feed to suit each baby’s unique needs, making it the perfect food to promote healthy growth and development.
Breast milk is easily digested and allergies to breast milk are rare.
Environmentally, breast milk has no waste products and leaves no carbon footprint.
Breast milk is FREE, convenient, clean and safe – always available at the right temperature anytime.
Complimentary Breastfeeding Workshop
We hold antenatal breastfeeding workshops which aim to give practical tips and advice to women who intend to breastfeed. All women are encouraged to attend this workshop once during pregnancy from 28 weeks onwards. This session is in addition to the parent education classes, which all women are encouraged to attend. Early booking is advisable as these sessions are very popular.
Venue: Lactation classroom in The Rotunda Hospital
Date & Time: Tuesdays 5 pm-6 pm. Thursdays 6 pm-7.30 pm
Parking: Parking is available on the grounds of The Rotunda Hospital at a fee of €6
Cost: No Charge
Booking: Early booking is advisable as these sessions are very popular (classes are small)