From their book ‘You and Your New Baby’ by Christine and Peter Hill.
It is not quite as easy as it might seem to make straightforward points about antenatal classes. At one level they are obviously a good thing, yet what one course offers is quite likely to be different from another. If you are in the fortunate position of being able to choose which ones to go to (which probably only applies to people living in cities or large towns) then it pays to think about what they can do for you. Then, by asking around, you can find out what goes on and choose accordingly.
Hospital classes are generally sound, though sometimes unexciting, and have the advantage of familiarising you with names, faces and the building where it’s ultimately all going to happen.
The main point of antenatal classes is to educate people so that they are not frightened during labour. They will also explain how to recognise the onset of labour; when to go into hospital; what is going to happen there; the language used by health professionals to describe the processes involved in childbirth; how to manage contractions; what forms of pain relief are available; and how to help the midwives deliver your baby. Whatever else the classes do, they must cover this ground.
Some classes go further. The better ones provide a framework for understanding the process of birth in terms of the female anatomy and physiology. They will also explain when and why medical interventions may be necessary. The best take the whole process beyond the birth (which of course is not the finale) and discuss current feeding techniques and basic baby care as well as the potential problems that are likely to arise when caring for a new baby.