Antenatal Education & Preparation

The Antenatal Education (Parent Education) team in The National Maternity Hospital play an essential role in promoting, and helping you  maintain good health in pregnancy and beyond. We aim to help prepare women and their partners for childbirth and the changes and challenges that their new baby will bring to their lives. We know that a positive birthing experience can positively affect a woman’s long term wellbeing, and aim to empower women and their partners to believe in themselves through a partnership approach. 

Following on from great feedback in relation to providing the classes virtually on-line during pandemic restrictions, we will continue to provide many antenatal education classes as live, online interactive webinars delivered using the Webex app. This should be downloaded before the class.

There will be a gradual reintroduction of inperson classes from the beginning of April.

Some of the classes we provide are listed below but please see the full menu of classes at the end of this page.
There are also a couple of Antenatal Education videos linked at the end of this page, that we prepared in conjunction with Whatsupmum that we hope you find useful!

  • Pregnancy Wellbeing
  • First time mothers/parents preparation for labour and delivery* and Babycare and postnatal classes
  • Young Mum’s (women aged 18-21yrs)
  • Refresher
  • VBAC (vaginal delivery after c section)
  • Elective section (for women who know they will be having a planned c section)
  • Preparation for Breastfeeding (led by Breastfeeding Midwife)
  • Partners'
  • Introduction to Hypnobirthing
  • Twins 

*We suggest that approximately 30 weeks pregnancy is a good time to do your labour antenatal education class and the babycare/postnatal class can be done later in  pregnancy. 

Other classes available that are run by our colleagues:

Physiotherapy: 'Healthy Bodies After Birth Class' and details of other classes can be viewed on the main Physiotherapy page

Dietetics: "Tus Mhaith" (good start) - healthy eating  for women with a BMI over 25, to book email

Perinatal Mental Team: 'Healthy Minds in Pregnancy and Beyond'  and 'Supporting Your Postnatal Emotional Wellbeing' a class focussed on mental wellbeing (see below for booking info).

To book your place, just e-mail or call Nicola or Susan (01) 637 3499. When emailing, please include:

  • When you are due (Estimated Delivery Date - EDD)
  • Your Hospital number if you attended the NMH before under any specialty
  • Whether it is your first baby
  • If there is anything in particular we need to know about you

If you do not receive a reply from us, please check your spam folder as there is sometimes an issue with hotmail, yahoo and gmail. 

The NMH eLearning Hub

To complement and support your antenatal education needs, a team have developed the eLearning Hub,  This incredible multidisciplinary team  is composed of NMH healthcare professionals including midwives, physiotherapists, lactation consultants, dieticians, paediatricians, obstetricians, psychologists and many more.  Each resource takes you through a series of educational modules to help you on your journey through pregnancy and beyond, and will be referenced throughout your  classes. We recommend that you review each module prior to the classes.

We need your feedback to help develop our service. Please take a few minutes to complete this evaluation of your class here after you have attended. 

There are a wide variety of Classes and Support Groups available for all stages of pregnancy and following birth.

Pregnancy Wellbeing

This is a set of three classes focussing on promoting wellness and maintaining good health in pregnancy and beyond. Ideally, women should come as early as possible in the pregnancy, however you are welcome at any stage. each class will be apprximately 1-1.5 hours long.

  • Class One: 1st Friday of the month led by a Midwife and Pharmacist.
  • Class Two: 2nd Friday of the month led by a Physiotherapist.
  • Class Three: 3rd Friday of the month led by a Dietitian.

Please note that there is no class on the 4th Friday.

This is a great opportunity to meet a midwife, physiotherapist, dietitian and pharamacist early in your pregnancy, and can help lay the foundation for a positive experience for you. 

For convenience, this is a recurring link ie. there will be one meeting link for all three classes however there is no class on the 4th Friday. You are also free to pick and choose sessions to attend.

To get the most out of this class, we recommend that you take time to go through the material available on The NMH guide to keeping well in pregnancy.


Mental Wellbeing Classes: led by the Perinatal Mental Health Team

Our perinatal mental team have developed two classes focussing on mental wellbeing in pregnancy and beyond.

  • 'Healthy Minds in Pregnancy'
  • 'Supporting your Postnatal Emotional Wellbeing" (participants are invited to  join this class during pregnancy, and also in the postnatal period)

Each class will be run once a month on a Tuesday 17.00-19.00 

email for an invite.

Virtual Classes for First Time Parents

We run sets of live, interactive, virtual classes for first time parents/ women and their support partners weekly.

Classes currently consist of a "preperation for labour and childbirth" class which is best done at about 30 weeks and a "babycare/postnatal care" class which is ideal to attend later in the pregnancy. 

In response to feedback, a new format has been designed, and from the beginning of March, a set of three classes will be launched which will replace the current two classes.

  • Class one will focus on preperation for labour and childbirth and the first, second and third stage of labour.
  • Class two will cover interventions such as instrumental delivery, emergency c section and induction of labour. It will also start the postnatal journey of the mother.
  • Class three will focus mainly on the baby and transition to parenthood.

For an overview of the programme content please click here.

We are also delighted to announce that there will be a gradual reintroduction of in person classes from April. Numbers will be strictly capped so please don't book in for these classes if you don't feel you can attend the full set. Masks are still currently required. 

All classes are designed to complement and build on the information in the eLearning hub and you will find them more beneficial if you have reviewed the relevant modules before your class. 

The NMH guide to Labour and delivery:

The NMH guide to caring for yourself and your baby after birth:

Please click on links below for outline of first time parents classes.

Class one:  "Labour and Delivery"

Class two: "Baby care and Postnatal care"


Young Mums and Dads

This is a class aimed at the younger mother and father (late teens to approximately 21 years of age).

It is a small, interactive class, facilitated by a midwife. Where possible this is done in person.

Partner or a Support Person is encouraged  to attend.

Last approximately 2-3 hours. 

For further information: email Susan



Refresher Class

This class is designed for women who have had a previous vaginal delivery and aims to help prepare for this pregnancy's labour and delivery.

It is facilitated by a midwife 

Partners welcome.


Vaginal Birth After Caesarean Section Preparation

This class is designed to support women who have had a previous caesarean section and are hoping for a vaginal delivery in this pregnancy. This is known as a VBAC - Vaginal Birth After Caesarean section.

The class aims to empower women to maximise their chances of a vaginal delivery.

It is facilitated by a midwife 

Partners welcome.


Introduction to Hypnobirthing

This interactive, online class is designed to introduce women and their partners to hypnobirthing. It builds on the skills you will have learnt about in the "preperation for childbirth" "refresher" or "VBAC" classes, and aims to instill a greater confidence in you in preperation for your birthing journey.

It is recommended that first time parents do the "Preperation for labour and childbirth" class before the Introduction to hypnobirthing. 

Preparing for an Elective Caesarean Section

This class is designed for women where it has been decided that an elective caesarean section is the most likely delivery method.

It is facilitated by a midwife and aims to prepare women for their Caesarean Section. 

Partners are welcome.

Preparing for Breastfeeding

This class is facilitated by lactation consultants and will help start a positive breastfeeding journey. Further information is available on the Breastfeeding page.

This virtual class is held on the first Friday of every month at 12.30 and the third Wednsday at 18.00. Partners are encouraged to attend. 


Partners Only

This is a class for partners only. It is designed to give partners the opportunity to ask questions and clarify information. It is open to partners who have attended other antenatal education classes, and those who were unable to attend classes.

It is held once a month 17.00-1900hrs. 

Twins class

This class is designed to help a woman and her partner who are expecting twins, navigate pregnancy and childbirth.

Antenatal videos in conjunction with whatsupmum

Antenatal videos in conjunction with Whatsupmum

We have been working with Whatsupmum to bring you short, focused, educational videos, which you can watch in your own time. We hope that you will find them helpful and would love to hear your feedback.

For Pregnancy related videos, please visit

For Parent Craft videos, please visit

Information for patients on blood group and transfusions

Information for patients on blood group and transfusions
If Your Blood Group is RhD-negative

A leaflet is available to explain the standard of care given to pregnant women who have been identified as having an RhD-negative blood group.

Blood Transfusion Information for Patients

Leaflets are also available to help explain blood transfusions for mothers and babies and why you may need one.