This page explains the education antenatal workshops we offer to women being cared for by our midwifery team.
About the workshops
We offer a variety of workshops to help you both during and after your pregnancy. You can come to all of the workshops or just choose the ones that you are interested in. Your birth supporting partner or other relative/friend is welcome to attend the workshops with you.
If you have any difficulty speaking or understanding English we can arrange classes in your language by asking your midwife or contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where are the workshops held?
Currently most antenatal classes, also known as workshops, are held at the Antenatal Education Room within the Antenatal Clinic at St Thomas' Hospital, North Wing, 8th floor. Some caseload teams also run classes in the community if you are not sure, please ask your midwife.
The classes are free and intended for women between 32-36 weeks of pregnancy, but women pregnant with twins can attend a bit earlier from 28 weeks, in addition to twin classes.
In 2019, all day and evening classes must be booked online. The workshops are very friendly and many women do attend alone, you are welcome to bring a birth supporter, who will also need to book a free ticket so we know how many people are in the room and comply with fire safety regulations.
Please arrive on time as the doors will close 15 minutes after the starting time.
Day antenatal classes and content
In 2019, day classes need booked in advance for free. Our 'Labour, birth, feeding' and 'Life with a new baby' workshops cover signs of labour, when to call the hospital, coping methods, typical vaginal birth and giving birth in theatre scenarios. We take regular breaks during the morning, stopping for lunch about 12 noon. St Thomas’ Hospital has a range of cafés and food retailers that you can buy lunch from, you are also welcome to bring your own food.
The afternoon session starts at 1pm, when we often have a health visitor attend to introduce their role once you return home following the birth. Using dolls, we teach you ways to hold and feed your baby, discuss all aspects of breastmilk and feeding and relate this to how life will be at home with your new baby.
2019 dates for our whole day classes (PDF 103Kb). Find out more information and book an antenatal class.
Labour (9.15am-12 noon)
Feeding your baby and life with a new baby (1-3.30pm)
- Benefits of breastfeeding
- Positioning and attachment of your baby at the breast
- Expressing and storing milk
- Where to get help and support
- Responsive parenting
- Postnatal mental health
Evening antenatal classes
Evening antenatal classes run on the first two Wednesdays and last two Thursdays of the month, 5.30-8.30pm. The first Wednesday and Thursday of the month will be the labour workshop. The second Wednesday and Thursday will be the breastfeeding and parenting workshop.
Part one (labour and birth classes) needs to be booked separately from part two (feeding and life with a new baby class). If you are bringing a birth supporter, you also need to book a ticket for them so we know who is attending and can comply with fire safety standards. Please be advised if you do not book, you will be unable to attend.
Drop-in workshops. One Monday a month, 9am-12 noon.
Ideal time to attend is between 24 and 32 weeks of your pregnancy.
We can usually arrange a visit to the neonatal unit during the workshop
Talk on pain relief by one of our anaesthetists
Drop-in workshop held once a month on Tuesdays, 5-6pm.
Home birth workshop
Drop-in workshop held once a month on Fridays, 6pm-8pm.
Information is given by community midwives about birthing at home.
Physiotherapy antenatal class (for women only)
Alternate Mondays from 5.30-7pm. The class is held within the physiotherapy department at St Thomas Hospital.
Please bring your antenatal book. Ideal time to attend is between 12 and 30 weeks of your pregnancy.
A physiotherapist runs the workshop and offers advice about:
- safe exercise in pregnancy
- pelvic floor muscle exercises
- care of your back and pelvis
- returning to fitness after birth
- optimal foetal positioning and perineal massage.
To book, please email email@example.com for further information or call 020 7188 5084.
Aqua aerobics in pregnancy
For women booked at St Thomas’ Hospital with depression, anxiety, gestational diabetes.
- When: Tuesdays from 3pm (45 minutes each)
- Location: Guy’s Hospital Orchard Lisle Pool, London Bridge
- Cost: £10 for four sessions – payable on the first session and by card only.
To book, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Birth interventions pilot workshop
Our new trial workshop is for those who would like to know more about why and when doctors get involved to assist labour, covering topics such as induction of labour and use of instruments such as a ventouse and forceps.
- Dates: Wednesday 20 February and Thursday 7 March, 5.30-6.30pm
- Location: Antenatal education room, 8th floor, North Wing, St Thomas' Hospital
No booking is required, partners and birth supporters also welcome.
As these are pilot sessions, if you are able to stay for half-an-hour afterwards to give feedback in a focus group, your input would help shape the information we provide, and develop future sessions.
Pregnancy information is available on the NHS website.