During the prenatal period women face many changes with their bodies, health, nutrition, and well-being. The prenatal period is the beginning of the family's expectancy of the new baby. This is a period in which the family grows and evolves in preparation for the new family member. Prenatal education assists women and their families to make informed decisions about pregnancy and birth.
Parents may receive support, education, and information from sources such as prenatal classes.

Outcomes of Prenatal Education:

1) Encourage and support healthy baby and family growth and development

2) Promote understanding of growth and development needs of newborn

3) Promote an environment in which parents can be with other parents in a setting that promotes identification of feelings and emotions of bringing a new life into the world

4) Promote confidence and familiarity in the process of labour and delivery

Main Topics of Prenatal Education

Healthy lifestyle choices

Developmental stages of the baby

Care of the baby

Changes for the mother, father, and family during the prenatal period

Labour and birth

Supportive relationships


(Children's and Women's Health Centre of British Columbia, 2001)
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Children's and Women's Health Centre of British Columbia. (2001). Growing babies... growing parents: An evidence-based perinatal education resource. Author: Vancouver, BC
Health Canada. (2002). Chapter 4. Care during pregnancy. In Family-Centred Maternity
and Newborn Care: National Guidelines.
(4th ed.).
Wong, D.L., Perry, S.E., Hockenberry, M.J. (2002). Maternal Child Nursing Care. (2nd ed.). Mosby: St. Louis

Image References
Page 1 Image- Denton Hospital
Pages 2 and 3 Images - Dream Deliveries

Rita Gill, Student Nurse, Fall 2003