Print this topic

HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Pregnancy & parenting education (antenatal classes)

Attending antenatal classes, or pregnancy and parenting classes, can be valuable for your preparation for labour and birth, breastfeeding, and early weeks with your new baby. They're also an opportunity for you to meet other parents who are expecting a baby.

The Canterbury DHB funds several free pregnancy and parenting services, providing information and skills to help parents through different stages of their child's development.

Plunket's pregnancy and parenting education

This programme provides information and support to first-time parents, focusing on pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting a newborn. It used to be known as antenatal classes.

It's best to enrol as soon as your pregnancy is confirmed. You can attend with your partner or another support person, or come on your own.

For more information and to book into a course, visit Plunket's pregnancy and parenting education website.

Te Puawaitanga ki Ōtautahi Trust's Whānau Mai (antenatal education)

Whānau Mai is a journey through pregnancy, childbirth and the early weeks of parenting that incorporates a Māori world view and traditional Māori birthing practices.

It's a six-hour programme run on different days in various locations across the city.

For more information, phone 0800-66-99-57 or (03) 344-5062 or visit Te Puawaitanga ki Ōtautahi Trust's website.

Other services

There are several privately available antenatal classes, each of which has a slightly different focus. Ask your midwife or LMC about what is available.

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed January 2022.

Image courtesy of phanlop88 at

Page reference: 490282

Review key: HIPPE-490282