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What do you get in this package?

  • 6 hours of teaching in 75 bite-sized videos
  • Course handbook
  • 4 Checklists to help your preparation for labour
  • 8 tools and templates, including a birth preferences document

We recommend you set aside approximately 7 hours to complete this course, as there are interactive elements and discussion points for you and your birth partner to work through together.

Course programme

We created this programme with the help of a broad range of midwives, doctors, health visitors and private specialists. Drawing on their vast experience, we created a robust, evidence-based course that takes a realistic look at best-practice information given by the Department of Health, NICE guidelines and World Health Organisation. In addition, we spoke to hundreds of parents about what they wish their antenatal classes had told them before their babies arrived (but never were). We incorporated many of their answers into this course.

Things to consider in your third trimester

  • Packing your birth bag and preparing your home for the big day
  • Choosing the best place to have your baby
  • Communicating your birth preferences effectively via a birth plan
  • Health and pregnancy conditions in the third trimester

Early labour and coping strategies

  • Recognise when you’re in labour and when to go into your chosen birth unit
  • Practical tips to help with a prolonged latent phase
  • Natural pain relief methods and coping strategies
  • Top tips to help you be a great birth partner

What to expect in established labour

  • What to expect in each stage of labour – your body, your care and your birth partners role
  • The first few hours with your baby
  • Types of monitoring you may be offered – for mum and baby
  • Pharmaceutical pain relief options and coping strategies

Planning for the unexpected

  • Understand the induction process
  • Coping strategies for an instrumental or caesarean birth
  • Tips for having a positive birth experience, even when things don’t go to plan
  • The benefits of a birth debrief

Course leaders

Iona Reading – CEO

Photo of Iona Reading, founder of New Life Classes
Iona founded New Life Classes in 2016 and has supported more than 3,000 first-time parents with midwife-led antenatal education UK-wide. Before setting up New Life, she studied BSc Psychology (with a particular interest in mental health and child development) and worked in conference and event management. Her passion is providing people with the knowledge, tools and professional support to start their new life as a parent with confidence.


Carley Oates – Midwife and antenatal course leader

Photo of Carley Oates, Course Leader, Nailsea antenatal classes


Carley is a specialist mental health midwife in Bristol, looking after women throughout their pregnancy, labour and birth and early postnatal period. Prior to this role she was a midwife on the continuity team, looking after pregnant people and their families during pregnancy, labour (at home, on the birth centre or obstetric unit) and the early postnatal period. As well as teaching for New Life, Carley has been integral to the development of our digital courses. Prior to becoming a midwife, Carley taught pregnancy and postnatal yoga for 15 years. 


Abi Matthews – Midwife and antenatal course leader

Photo of Abi Matthews - Antenatal Course Leader


Abi is a delivery suite (obstetric unit) midwife in a busy Bristol hospital, supporting women who often have more complex medical needs during labour. As well as teaching for New Life, Abi volunteers for a charity supporting refugee women during pregnancy, birth and the early postnatal period. 



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