Pregnancy Classes for Women

Our pregnancy classes are designed to prepare women for a positive birth, keeping their bodies strong and their minds fear free. Our highly skilled facilitators emphasize that birth is a normal, healthy event, giving women the courage and confidence to birth how they wish.

Expect to connect with a supportive peer group of soon-to-be mothers with each class focusing on a different topic surrounding birth. We provide pregnant women with the most up-to-date, evidence-based information concerning their changing shapes and needs as their pregnancies progress.

What do the sessions involve?

Classes run in 10-week cycles and in this time you will:

  • Be confident that birth is a normal healthy process and that your body is designed to birth normally.
  • Understand the normal process of birth and how you can support yourself in allowing the process to unfold.
  • Be introduced to the choices in birth so that you feel informed and can collaborate with your healthcare professional in finding a birthing option that supports you and your partner.
  • Be introduced to many useful web resources and books to help you be informed and make choices that make your birth a positive experience.
  • Learn to plan/prepare for any difficulties that may arise. This way you can make the most of the situation and attain the best outcomes for you and your baby.
  • Be informed about interventions, when they may be necessary and when there may be other options.
  • Learn how to make a caesarean a positive experience (if you need one).
  • Be introduced to many natural alternatives to interventions such as induction (if your baby is overdue).
  • Learn how to negotiate the best possible care from your chosen place of birth.
  • Learn techniques to cope with fear.
  • Develop skills to cope with pain and discomfort.
  • Learn to deeply relax and rest.
  • Learn how to adapt yoga poses and core exercises as your pregnancy progresses.
  • Learn how to help your baby get into the most optimal position for birth. If your baby is in a breech or posterior position at term you will learn about the options for birthing in this circumstance.
  • Meet other pregnant women and have the opportunity to ask any questions or share your own experience.
  • Hear experiences of women who have birthed before – an opportunity to share their wisdom of birth.

Recommended by midwives and obstetricians

Pregnancy classes at Coast Yoga are recommended by many midwives and obstetricians in South Australia. They attest that women who have attended cope much better with birth and have less intervention than women who have not attended.

Recommended by research

South Australia has some of the highest intervention rates in the world. Many women would prefer to have a normal birth without intervention but don’t have the confidence or knowledge to go about this.

A study conducted in 2016 on 176 Sydney women


As published in the British Medical Journal, the study found that:

  • Birth education classes similar to those provided at Coast Yoga led women to feel that birth is manageable, that they have the resources to cope and that they understand birth.
  • Following birth education, pregnant women had a 65% lower epidural rate, a 44% lower caesarean rate, half the rate of inductions and much lower perineal trauma rates than women who attended common hospital classes.
  • Unlike Coast Yoga’s Pregnancy Classes, hospital classes were seen to socialise couples into accepting hospital protocol and a culture of intervention.

A study conducted in 2014 on non-drug approaches


Academics looked at all the research that had ever been conducted into non-drug approaches and found that these were actually very effective:

  • Classes similar to Coast Yoga’s Pregnancy Class helped decrease the chance of needing an epidural and greatly increased the chances of being satisfied with birth.
  • When people were randomly assigned, like tossing a coin, to either having a drug approach or a central nervous system approach, researchers found that those who were assigned the central nervous system approach actually experienced fewer caesarians, fewer forceps and vacuum-assisted deliveries, a lower use of Pitocin to stimulate labor, and they also had a shorter labor on average.

Dates and Timings

Dates: Every Friday (start at any time).

Length/times: 6.30pm – 8pm.

Cost: $165 for 10 sessions (no casual visits available).

Who can attend the Pregnancy Classes?

Our classes are for pregnant women only. Alternatively, pregnant women and their partners or support person can attend our Couples Birth Skills Workshops.

Pregnancy Classes are designed for those new to yoga, so no previous experience is necessary.

The classes are open to complete beginners or to students who can no longer attend their regular yoga classes. If you have been attending regular classes at Coast Yoga you may choose to remain in a regular class until later in your pregnancy as all of our facilitators can modify classes for pregnant students. Please go to the timetable to find a class at your level.

At what stage of pregnancy should I attend?

Classes are suitable from 12–40+ weeks of pregnancy and can be started at any stage during this period.

Part of the class cycle can be attended if you are more than 30 weeks pregnant.

What should I expect from the classes?

Each class starts with some discussion followed by yoga and pilates, pelvic floor strengthening and awareness, breathing and relaxation.

What are the benefits of Pregnancy Yoga?

There are numerous benefits associated with yoga and pregnancy, including helping women to stay strong, healthy and pain free throughout in a safe way with yoga and core exercises.

Facilitators

Vanessa Shribman; Director at Coast Yoga –

Vanessa teaches the pregnancy classes. She has been a birth educator in South Australia for 27 years and a yoga teacher for 30 years. Due to her extensive knowledge and insight into the birth scene in South Australia, Vanessa is often called upon to support women during pregnancy, advising on the best birthing option based on an individual’s needs and circumstances.

Although the birth of Bodhi didn’t go to ‘plan’, going into labour I felt confident and empowered. The Coast classes equipped me with the knowledge to make informed decisions, ask questions and utilise the natural pain management techniques we talked about (tens machine, music, breathing, visualisation, humming, affirmations).

An amazing and still positive experience where I felt supported by my partner, Mum and some fabulous health professionals.

Looking forward to seeing many of you at the mother and baby classes!

Hannah

“We began labour at home after my waters broke at 12.30am. Labour further established at 3am and I was then able to shower and use the tens machine to manage contractions.

We headed to the hospital at 6.30am where I used the bath to manage the later stages and the birth.

We were grateful for a short but calm labour with much of it spent at home and the final stages with the fantastic support from Midwifery Group Practice.

Coast Yoga and all the women that have come before me empowered us that we could have a natural/normal birth!”

Rebecca

“I had a natural birth with no complications!

I used a bit of gas which really helped and I’m so proud of my partner and Mum who supported me to push through with my birth plan even though I really wanted to give in. They were amazing as was the midwife we had from start to finish at Women’s and Children’s. Excellent standard of care and actually complimented me on my Birth plan and respected it 100%.

After all my worry about my obstetrician, he wasn’t even there in the end and I had fabulous support from the doctor on call. Only a couple of stitches and everything else went really well.

Thanks to Vanessa and all the ladies who birthed before me and shared their stories. You are all true inspirations and made me feel so empowered.

Good luck to all those yet to birth their beautiful miracles!”

Tara

“Contractions started at midnight, waters broke at 3 am and due to meconium in my waters I was induced. After five hours of active labour our beautiful little girl was born. We could not be more grateful for the strategies we learnt at the Couples Birth Skills Workshops and Pregnancy Classes – we utilised as many as we possibly could!

The whole experience was overwhelmingly positive and surreal and I look forward to sharing the whole story soon.

Enjoy yoga tonight!”

Laura

“Our precious funky haired girl was born on Anzac Day at Flinders. I never knew I could feel so powerful and managed to go through a quite tricky labour avoiding a lot of interventions.

I thank my partner for being there for us using all he learned at the Couples Birth Skills Workshop. I thank Vanessa Shribman for being such a strong positive advocate for the magic of birth. During my long labour I breathed through every single contraction and I accepted all the sensations. I kept listening to Vanessa saying Yeah bring it on!!! and I’m thankful for all the birth stories that I’ve heard at yoga class – they were so motivating and made me believe I could do it!

It was a long labour with some complications but we did it without any pain relief, even though we had the anesthesiologist in our room. We are all healthy and happy!”

Angelica

Terms and Conditions

  • You can start at any time.
  • You can attend as many cycles as you want.
  • You do not have to attend consecutively.
  • Any sessions not used by the end of pregnancy can be used for the Mother and Baby Yoga Classes.
  • Physiotherapy rebates are available for this course.
  • There is a 12 month expiry.
  • There are no refunds on class tickets.