Dossier: Pregnancy

Antenatal classes

As the birth draws nearer, nerves may begin to creep in. Taking an antenatal course will help you and your partner feel confident as you head towards the delivery.

What does an antenatal course involve?

A professionally run antenatal course provides information not only on the birth, but on all matters relating to pregnancy and the initial weeks with a new baby. Other topics covered may include relaxation and physical exercises, pelvic floor training, pain relief, the correct breathing technique and what to expect during the birth. The course will also include information on your recovery after the birth, breastfeeding and how to look after a new baby. Courses run by hospitals and maternity facilities usually also offer you a tour of the delivery rooms. The aim is to help mums-to-be feel comfortable and confident.

Who offers courses?

Antenatal courses are run by hospitals, maternity facilities, midwife practices and self-employed midwives. Your doctor can recommend a local provider.

How long does an antenatal course last?

The duration differs from course to course, but they usually include between 8 and 12 modules. Course dates also vary. Most are held between the 25th and 30th week of pregnancy. Sign up early if you want to take part in a specific course. Courses often sell out pretty fast.

With or without partner?

It is up to you whether you want to attend the course alone or with a partner. Some women are more relaxed and have fewer inhibitions in women-only groups. There are courses for couples and for mothers only.

Which course is best for me?

There are a wide range of courses on offer and the sky’s the limit when it comes to choosing an antenatal course. For example, some courses incorporate yoga, swimming or belly dancing. Do you have little time and feel comfortable attending an intensive weekend course or would you prefer to attend weekly sessions? It’s important to choose the course that feels right for you.


The cost of antenatal courses is as varied as the courses themselves. Health insurers typically contribute CHF 150 to the cost of an antenatal course.