New church-run antenatal classes give parents-to-be the “starting blocks for family life”
A church in North Devon has been piloting new antenatal classes specifically designed by Christian health professionals to be delivered in the community by churches.
The Begin Well course was put together by a health visitor and consultant obstetrician with between them nearly 40 years experience in the NHS.
They say the 5-week evidence-based course gives parents-to-be the starting blocks for family life. It is designed to be run by volunteers.
Topics include: giving birth, meeting our baby, changes for me and us and caring for our baby.
It is based on the NHS curriculum and links new parents with people and resources in their local community – so they are also supported once they have had their baby.
The course has been running at Holy Trinity Church in Barnstaple and the Diocese of Exeter recently ran a taster event for other churches who might be interested in running it.
Claire Cooke, the 0-5 advisor for the Diocese of Exeter, said: “I am a mum of three young children and I really benefited from the Antenatal classes I did.
“Sadly, from what I understand, they are not now offered for free on the NHS in every area.
“Churches are brilliantly placed to fill that gap.”