Birth preparation

All women booked to have their antenatal care at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital are welcome to attend our birth preparation classes. Each midwifery team runs a set of antenatal classes over a 3 or 4 week period. We recommend that you attend these from 30 weeks of pregnancy, but you are advised to make a booking for the classes from 24 weeks onwards.

The sessions will give you practical information, advice and support to help you prepare for the birth of your baby. These are not exercise classes. We would encourage you to attend the sessions with your partner if possible. The sessions last approximately 2 hours.

If you are booked with the community teams (ie Rose, Juniper, Pine or Cherry), your community midwife will do the booking for you—please speak to your midwife about this. 

For women who are booked with the hospital teams, all bookings can now be made online using the links below. If you have any queries about classes, please email birth.preparation@chelwest.nhs.uk or call 020 3315 7850.

You can also book a tour of our Maternity Unit—please contact Maternity Reception on 
020 3315 5371. The tour lasts approximately 45 minutes. Please be advised that there is no guarantee to see all areas, as access will be dependent on unit activity. Please also note that children are not permitted on the tour and only the mother and one birth partner are able to attend.

Our classes

Preparing for birth and afterwards course 

The hospital based course is a set of three classes for first-time parents.

  • Class 1: Normal birth including signs of labour
  • Class 2: Coping with labour including pain relief options and self-help techniques
  • Class 3: Complications that may arise, including caesarean and induction of labour, and what to expect after baby is born, including basic principles of breastfeeding.

Classes are now bookable online—please see below.  

The hospital classes are always in the afternoons. You should aim to attend all three classes and ideally plan to attend all 3 by 36 weeks of pregnancy. Your partner is welcome to attend, but you must book 2 tickets in the mother’s name.  

You will need to make a separate booking for each class and it is strongly advised that you attend the classes consecutively, on the same day each week, to ensure continuity. Book online:

If you have any problem booking, please email us on birth.preparation@chelwest.nhs.uk or call 020 3315 7850.

Refresher class

This is a single class for parents who have had a baby before with an aim to remind parents of the key topics about birth and labour. This class includes a tour of the Maternity Unit. Partners are welcome to attend, but strictly no children.

Classes can be booked online using the link below. If you have any problem booking, please email us on birth.preparation@chelwest.nhs.uk or call 020 3315 7850.

Twins and higher multiples class

This is a single class for parents expecting more than one baby. The class supplements the course for first-time parents and the refresher class for parents who have had a baby before. The class is led by a midwife and antenatal teacher and includes:

  • Maternal health and wellbeing
  • Labour and birth
  • Maternity Unit tour
  • Meeting others expecting twins or more

You are advised to take this course after 24 weeks pregnancy but ideally before 34 weeks. Partners are welcome to attend, but strictly no children. Classes can be booked online using the link below. If you have any problem booking, please email us on birth.preparation@chelwest.nhs.uk or call 020 3315 7850.

Dads-to-be evenings

This is a single class for fathers-to-be/birth partners only. The class is led by fathers from the 2 Become 3 charity and an antenatal teacher and is held once every other month. Topics include:

  • Labour
  • Birth partner’s role
  • Becoming a parent

Classes can be booked online using the link below. If you have any problem booking, please email us on birth.preparation@chelwest.nhs.uk or call 020 3315 7850.

Private antenatal classes

We hold private classes on Monday evenings from 5:45–7:45pm. Classes are led by a Midwife and Active Birth teacher. To book or for more information please contact the Kensington Wing on 020 3315 8616.

Breastfeeding workshop

This is a 2 hour session where partners are also welcome. It is facilitated by midwives from our Infant Feeding Team. The aim of the workshop is to help you feel more confident about feeding your baby nurturing a close relationship with them. It includes information around how breastfeeding works with practical tips about feeding your baby.

The best time to attend the workshop is when you are around 28–34 weeks pregnant. Please arrive promptly for the start of your chosen session:

Physiotherapy antenatal class

This is a single class for women who are experiencing back, hip and pelvic pain in their pregnancy. The class is led by a specialist women’s health physiotherapist. To book a place please call the Physiotherapy Department on 020 3315 8404.

Feedback

Was this page useful to you?

Share this page