Antenatal Classes Brisbane
Our Antenatal Classes in Brisbane Offer Birth Preparation, Prenatal Education and Safe Exercises for Pregnant Women
If you’re pregnant, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed – especially if it’s your first time. During the year that you’re pregnant, your body will go through many unexpected changes. It’s important to be prepared and receive support from experienced professionals can help make the wonderful journey to motherhood a smooth and seamless one.
At Graceville Physio, we offer Antenatal Classes in our Brisbane clinic and online to assist women through their pregnancy.
Unlike traditional birth preparation classes and prenatal education classes, ours also include safe exercises for you to practice in our studio or at home. We believe that it is vital to remain active and work on developing your strength during your pregnancy.
What are Antenatal Classes?
Antenatal classes involve birth preparation and education and may come in many different forms. Overall, such classes aim to help prepare you for labour, the birthing process and the early days of parenthood. While they do vary from place to place or class to class, attending an antenatal class of some sort can really put you in the best possible position when it comes to giving birth.
In addition to helping you focus on your pregnancy, antenatal classes also offer a great social function. Here you can meet other parents-to-be and create a support network around you for the beginning of your life as a parent.
Typically, an antenatal class will offer the following aspects:
- Information about the process of labour and childbirth
- The latest research on how to best prepare for labour and childbirth
- Noticing the signs of labour and knowing when to call the hospital
- General advice on relaxation techniques
- Practical tips on breastfeeding and understanding newborn baby behaviour
No matter the class, the idea is that you’ll gain new skills and confidence so that you can experience a smooth and positive journey toward becoming a mother.
How our Antenatal Classes are Different from Typical Birthing or Childbirth Classes
At Graceville Physio, we strongly believe that remaining active during pregnancy is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your bub to be. Safe exercise that’s focused on building your strength and stability can help you experience a smoother pregnancy.
That’s where our antenatal classes really shine! We have been running exercise programs for pregnant women in Brisbane for over 25 years, and have just expanded into online classes as well. Each of our classes is run by a clinical exercise-trained physiotherapist who has extensive experience dealing with pregnancy-related conditions.
Our classes include the traditional prenatal education components as well as:
- Postural correction
- Core & pelvic floor activation
- Pregnancy clinical exercises to build strength and stability
- Treatment of pain or injury associated with or affecting your pregnancy by our experienced physiotherapists
- Mobility exercises to help with upper and lower back pain
- Exercises for optimal baby position during labour
- Breathing exercises to induce a more relaxed state during exercise and labour
- Stretches to improve posture, decrease pregnancy related pain and make the birthing process easier
- Education on optimal positions for a smooth, easy birth
- Education around suitable exercises and working postures
We liaise with your obstetrician and GP so you can be assured of a team approach. We can also combine these classes with our range of tailored services for pregnancy including pregnancy physio, clinical exercises and massage.
The Benefits of Active Birth Practices and Antenatal Excercise
Staying active during your pregnancy has many proven benefits. With the changes that take place, your body needs a way to remain strong in order to support the additional weight of your baby.
Our approach to pregnancy exercise focuses on building strength in key muscle groups as well as maximising mobility, stability and balance. Learning to exercise safely during and after pregnancy is what we’re all about.
Appropriate exercise during pregnancy has many fantastic benefits, including:
- Preventing and managing pregnancy-related conditions such as low back pain, pelvic girdle pain, incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse;
- Preparing yourself for labour and childbirth;
- Maintaining good baseline fitness and good health to enhance recovery after the birth; and
- Preparing you for the physical challenges of life with a newborn!
In fact, the most recent guidelines on physical activity in pregnancy recommend that mothers should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, including a combination of aerobic and resistance exercise.
However, throughout pregnancy, the mother’s body undergoes numerous changes that can make participating in physical activity challenging. These can include:
- Increased ligament laxity leading to less stable joints and possibly subsequent pain, dysfunction or injury;
- Changes in muscle length to accommodate the growing baby, leading to altered muscle function;
- Diastasis of the rectus abdominus (separation of the stomach muscles)
- Increased pelvic floor loads; and
- Reduced energy levels and cardiovascular capacity.
As such, it is usually necessary to modify your pregnancy exercise program to accommodate these physical changes and allow you to continue to exercise safely and optimally throughout your pregnancy.
These changes may include:
- Modifying training loads (intensity and frequency of exercise);
- Reducing high impact exercise as ligament laxity and pelvic floor loads increase;
- Transitioning to deep abdominal stabilisation exercises instead of crunches, sit-ups etc to reduce the risk of ongoing rectus abdominus diastasis (stomach muscle separation) after giving birth; and
- Introduction of specific, targeted exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor, deep abdominals and pelvic stabilisers.
As every woman and every pregnancy is unique, these changes are best made in consultation with your women’s health physiotherapist. This will ensure the exercise program is appropriate for you and your stage of pregnancy, enabling you to enjoy an active pregnancy and all the benefits this will reward you with.
Pregnancy Clinical & Safe Exercises for Expectant Mothers
Here’s a quick snapshot of the types of exercises that we include in our programs for pregnant women so that they can feel fit and strong in their bodies before, during and after pregnancy.
Introduction – 0:00
Standing Stretches and Exercises – 0:31
Standing Resistance Band + Posture Stretches – 2:39
Sitting Ball Strengthening Exercises – 3:37
Laying Ball Stretches – 5:14
Kneeling & Mobility Ball Exercises (Great Exercise for Labour!) – 6:55
Floor Core Stability & Strength Exercises – 8:10
Laying side stretches and strength building – 9:52
Laying Resistance Band Stretches – 11:11
Sitting Stability Exercises and Rotational Stretches – 11:59
Resting Exercise – Wide Base Child’s Pose – 13:13
Essential Information for our Antenatal Classes in Brisbane
- Classes run weekly on a Monday night at 6pm
- You’ll need to complete an initial health assessment prior to being booked in
- Individual classes cost $55 each, or you can buy a block of 6 classes for $270
- Yes, you can claim health rebates for these classes
It is advisable to attend classes right until you’re due to give birth. Completing antenatal classes will get you just as ready for the birth and give you a wealth of tools and exercises to use at home.
Each week we’ll tailor the class to suit the participants that are present. Classes are small with only 4-6 participants and we always aim to make classes personalised to the needs of everyone in the group.
You can start these classes at any time in your pregnancy. If you’re thinking of becoming pregnant, these classes are still suitable as the exercises we do help relax the muscles around the pelvis and optimise the function of the pelvic floor.
At the moment, our classes are not designed to have partners attend. However, we can arrange for a joint private consultation if your partner has specific questions or would like practical advice on how to best help you during labour.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I start antenatal classes?
You can start antenatal classes at any time during your pregnancy. They're great for working on a variety of muscles to ensure your pregnancy is as smooth and pain-free as possible.
Why are antenatal classes important?
Antenatal classes are important because they give you a chance to build your confidence and prepare your body for carrying a child and childbirth. These classes also offer a chance to speak with other women who are going through the same thing so you receive both physical and emotional support.