Antenatal classes improve women’s knowledge and competence.
August 20, 2015
An Italian study was done to examine the characteristics of women attending antenatal classes and evaluate the effects of these classes on mothers’ and babies’ health. This study observed a group of women and examined care during pregnancy, delivery and in the postnatal period was carried out in 1995-96. A total of 9004 women resident in 13 regions of Italy who delivered in a 4-month period were interviewed. The outcomes studied were attendance at antenatal classes, Cesarean section, bottle feeding, satisfaction with the experience of childbirth, knowledge of contraception, breast feeding and baby care.
A total of 2065 (23.0%) women attended antenatal classes. Women without previous children, those with a higher level of education and office workers were more likely to attend classes. Women who attended antenatal classes had a much lower risk of Cesarean section and were about half as likely to bottle feed while in hospital compared with non-attenders. They received better information on contraception, breast feeding and baby care.
Women who attended classes and applied the techniques learned were more satisfied with the experience of childbirth.
Antenatal classes seem to improve women’s knowledge and competence overall and it was theorized that Antenatal Classes may provide a defence against the tendency to overmedicalize pregnancy and childbirth.
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.
Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.21). 03/2003; 13(2):94-101. DOI: 10.1080/jmf.22.214.171.124