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Parent Education and Preparation for Labour

Our aim as a parent education team is to help parents achieve a positive experience on their journey to parenthood.

A positive experience will mean different things to different people. One person's perspective of a positive experience may not be another's. Our aim is to help you understand labour and birth.

“If you can understand the reasons for the paths you are taking it can go towards helping you feel in control of labour and your baby's birth. Understanding a situation and retaining some control can help towards you achieving that positive experience, even, if it was not the path you had planned”

An Introduction to Parent Education

At Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust we strongly believe in the benefits of Parent Education.

Our aim is to give you all the necessary information and practical skills to help prepare you and your birth partner for labour and birth. We will also teach you how to use your body during labour and birth to make the process as easy and safe as possible.

All our classes are run by a dedicated team of experienced Midwives and Community Support Workers.  We run a variety of classes to cater for individual needs. Please look through the options for classes and choose those you feel would be right for you. You may attend more than one.

We want to help you get the best from our courses. Below is a summary of the programmes and courses we offer at Leighton Hospital. Unfortunately our classes are only available to women who are booked to have their baby here at Leighton (except the tour of the Unit). However, if you have been referred to another specialist unit for medical reasons you will be able to attend the classes at Leighton Hospital if you wish.

We recommend that you attend the classes between 28-36 weeks.  You can come to the classes on your own, or bring your birth partner or friend/relative with you for support.

To book onto one of these courses please ring 01270 612184 between the hours of 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.

Parent Education Classes

Our classes are designed to give you information and practical skills to help prepare you and your birth partner for labour, birth and parenthood.
You and your birth partner will gain a greater insight into how a woman’s body works in labour. Your birth partner will gain skills to enable them to be more confident and effective when supporting you in labour.
We will inform you about the choices available to you, enabling you to make your own informed decisions about our care of you and your family.
Classes can either be taken as:
The classes also includes valuable information about what to expect in the early days as new parents.  It is suitable for both first-time mothers and as a refresher for women who have given birth before.
Topics covered include:
What happens in labour:
  •  stages of labour
  •  managing early labour at home
  •   when to come into hospital
  •  optimal fetal positioning
  •  the role of hormones
Active birth:
  •   building a toolkit for natural labour
  •  controlling the birth environment
  •  good positions for labour and birth
  •  introducing techniques for massage, mediation, visualisation, relaxation and breathing
Managing contractions: 
  •  natural methods including TENS & water
  •  drugs
  •  epidural    
When nature needs a helping hand:
  •  induction of labour
  •  assisted delivery (ventouse & forceps)
  •   caesarean section
Newborn transition from womb to world
  •   the golden hour
  •  skin to skin
  •  initiating feeding
  •  newborn checks
  •  bonding, communicating and brain development
Early days as parents:
  • staying well
  •  baby blues & postnatal depression
  •  who is there for ongoing support
  •  practical parenting skills and care of your baby
  •  reducing the risk of sudden infant death (SIDS)
  •   understanding and meeting the needs of your baby and each other

Tour of the Maternity Unit


Unfortunately we cannot guarantee tours of Maternity unit.  Please watch our virtual tour to access more information:
Video Tour and Guides available on this website (internal link).
Please contact The Midwifery Led Unit on 01270 278063 or Labour Ward on 01270 612144 if you wish to arrange a tour and we will do our best to accomodate you.

Your rights relating to Parent Education Classes

Please follow the link here to look at your rights regarding time off work for antenatal preparation.

Gentle Birth Workshop


We are pleased to be offering a Gentle Birth Workshop, which aims to promote a positive birth experience.  During the three-hour workshop we will discuss coping strategies in labour and it will include deep relaxation and use guided imagery.
The workshop is suitable for women who are approximately 30 weeks pregnant or over and who are currently low risk in their pregnancy and suitable to deliver on the Midwifery Led Unit. We would encourage birth partners to attend the course.

Gentle Birth Workshop timetable