Prenatal courses aren’t mandatory but are definitely a helpful tool – besides the books, videos, and BabyHome – that can help prepare a first-time mother for the birth process. Usually, these are paid, offered by the hospital, and are geared towards the expecting couple, which is great because it can help your partner feel more included in this mission.

The breakdown of classes varies depending on where you go. Still, the pregnancy courses tend to guide you on ways to relieve the pain from contractions, optional procedures (such as the epidural), and details about the big day, such as questions surrounding hospitalization and practices involving the baby during birth in the maternity ward. Practical tips on breastfeeding and newborn hygiene are also shared with the class – in fact, classes take place before birth so the group can discuss their anxieties and share experiences.

The prenatal courses are a good opportunity to gain new information and answer any questions – therefore, do your homework carefully.