Choosing a pre-natal class and what the hospitals offer

As you enter your second trimester, it is time to consider enrolling in a pre-natal class. If you are first-time parents, it’s very helpful for you and your partner to participate in a pre-natal class as these classes teach you about the process of labour, inform you about your options during the labour process and can also provide many helpful tips about labour techniques and caring for your infant.

What should I look out for in a pre-natal class?

All hospitals that deliver babies in Singapore offer pre-natal programmes that you can enroll in. It will be cheaper if you enroll at the hospital you’ve registered to deliver at. Most pre-natal classes will allow only a maximum of about 12 couples, so if you have some popular dates in mind, it’s better to enroll early.

Aside from hospital-run classes, you can also enrol in private pre-natal classes run by other organisations. These private classes may focus more on certain areas, like birthing methods such Lamaze, or massage and other forms of natural pain relief.

Most pre-natal classes, however, will usually cover these following aspects:

  • The stages of labour and when to go to the hospital
  • Pain relief options during labour
  • Labour complications and interventions
  • Labour positions and exercises
  • A tour of hospital facilities
  • Infant care

What the hospitals offer

Here is an overview of the pre-natal programmes offered by some Singapore hospitals:

KKH: The hospital offers a comprehensive three-part package for couples that starts in the second trimester. The pre-natal class tends to be more general, although it covers everything from nutrition during pregnancy to vaccinations after the child is born. The pre-natal class comprises nine sessions and are conducted on weekdays or weekends. Price range between $150 for KKH patients and $230 for non-KKH patients.

NUH: The programme offered by NUH lasts 8 sessions and is more focused on labour and infant-care. Topics covered include labour and the husband’s role, antenatal exercises and breathing, breastfeeding as well as baby massage. The pre-natal classes here tend to be more hands-on and a one-day express class is available. Prices range between $160.50 to $224.70.

Mount Elizabeth: The hospital offers both a group pre-natal class as well as a private class for parents who want a one-to-one experience. Group classes comprise seven sessions, covering nutrition, exercise and labour, breastfeeding and pain management. The class is mostly lecture style although some hands-on is involved. The group programme costs $200 while private classes cost $250 per couple.

Mount Alvernia: The childbirth education programme here is designed for mums starting from 20 weeks, and run on weekdays and Saturdays. The six sessions cover changes during pregnancy, exercises and labour relaxation techniques as well as infant feeding. A complimentary session at the end focuses on marriage after childbirth, covering topics like communication, sex and conflict. Prices range from $181.90 to $235.40.

Raffles Hospital: The seven session pre-natal class given by Raffles Hospital starts as early as the 12th week of pregnancy, and covers pregnancy changes and nutrition, exercise, labour and post-delivery care. The course is conducted every Tuesday evening and costs $253.75.