Birth & Early Parenting Course

Karen van der Merwe

Preparing you and your partner physically, psychologically & emotionally for the birth of your baby and beyond.

What the classes cover

Karen van der Merwe is an Independent Midwife who provides a comprehensive but easily understood 6x week antenatal “Birth & early parenting course” which is aimed at couples who are having a midwife-led birth.

Course dates

Ideally you need to book early and be available to start when you are between 20 to 30 weeks pregnant.

The course consists of 6x classes held over a seven-week period, once a week on a Monday evening from 18:30 to 21:30. In the event that the Monday falls on a public holiday, then that class is carried over to the following week. 

  • 3, 10,17 February and 2, 9 & 16 March.
  • 4, 11, 18 May and 1, 8 & 15 June.
  • 20, 27 July and 3, 17, 24 & 31 August.
  • 19, 26 October and 2, 16 , 23 & 30 November.  

Cost and Venue

R2650 per couple for the 6x week course or R1800 for the 4x week refresher course which is the first 4 classes. Individually selected classes will be charged at R475 each. Classes are held in the Genesis Maternity Clinic Training Room. Space is limited and booking is essential.

Outline of the course content

Class 1

  • Reasons for childbirth education.
  • Birth options & choices,
  • Anatomy and physiology.
  • Introduction to breathing, relaxation and visualisation techniques (LAMAZE).
  • Warning signs & foetal movements.

Video: An Introduction: “The Business Of Being Born” will be shown.

Class 2

  • Onset of labour.   
  • Stages of labour.
  • True/false labour.
  • Breathing and relaxation techniques.
  • When to call your midwife / go to hospital.

Video: A midwife home water birth movie will be shown.

Class 3

  • Breathing, relaxation & visualisations.
  • Active participation in labour (active childbirth).
  • Non-medical forms of pain relief
  • The back labour.
  • Pelvic floor exercise.
  • Perineal massage.
  • Role of the “Doula.”

Video: Active childbirth/midwife birth.

Class 4

  • Mechanism of the birth of your baby & placenta

Medical interventions:

  • Episiotomy.
  • Tears.
  • Assisted birth (forceps/vacuum).
  • Birth injuries.

Medical options for pain relief :

  • Pethidine & Aterax.
  • Entonox.
  • Epidural.

Neonatal ICU

Video:   Doctors active management of labour, with epidural anaesthetic & delivery of the baby.

Class 5

  • A chat with new parents relating to their personal experience of labour & caesarean section birth
  • Or a Video:  Why choose a midwife? Challenging the high rate of caesarean sections.

Medical interventions including:

  • Maintaining hydration in labour.
  • Intravenous therapy.
  • Induction/Augmentation of labour. 
  • Artificial rupture of the membranes.
  • Foetal heart rate monitoring.
  • The “Caesarean Birth Experience.”   

Video: Spinal anaesthetic and caesarean section.

Class 6

  • The newborn baby.
  • Apgar scoring.
  • Appearance.
  • Procedures.
  • Reflexes.
  • Postnatal adjustments & challenges.
  • A chat with new parents: relating to their own experience of labour and birth.
  • Breastfeeding.
  • Postnatal care after birth & discharge home.
  • Emergency childbirth.

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