BCT birth and parenting courses

Birth & Parenting Courses

FEEL CONFIDENT WITH OUR BIRTH & PARENTING COURSE.

Our courses (online and in-person) are carefully designed to give parents-to-be time to explore the many issues and questions about pregnancy, birth and early parenthood as part of a friendly and supportive peer group, usually with due dates around the same time. They perfectly complement both physiotherapy sessions and a hospital class or visit. Sessions involve a mix of discussion, information and practical activities in a relaxed small-group environment. We usually have 1 or 2 courses for first-time parents starting every month and we recommend that you book early to avoid disappointment.

Our aim is to help you to make informed decisions during pregnancy and birth, communicate more effectively with health professionals and look forward to birth and early parenthood with confidence.

Each course is tailored to the needs of the individual group, comprises 15-16 hours, and topics typically covered include:

  • The process and stages of labour
  • Ways (and exercises) to make labour easier
  • Pain-management options
  • Belgian birth procedures
  • Infant feeding
  • Baby care
  • Life as a family

When all babies are born, the group will come together again for their postnatal reunion. This and each course session help new parents to develop a support and friendship network that continues long after the course ends.

Courses are taught by our team of Prenatal Teachers who have outstanding professional experience and keep up to date with the latest developments in maternity care. They are mothers themselves who have lived and worked abroad with their families. They also teach the Refresher courses and our Pregnancy in Belgium information class.

As our courses are to be booked with a first year membership (unless you are already a member), you are more than welcome to join our New Mums/Dads Group already during your pregnancy. Our playgroups also welcome new parents-to-be for a chat and a little peep of what’s to come. Additionally, we offer a range of helpful courses, classes and services for expectant parents such as pregnancy information evenings, prenatal exercise sessions, pain management equipment to hire as well as baby wearing or cloth nappy information that might interest you.

You already have a child and only need a little refresher? We also offer shorter Refresher Courses!

“Very useful preparation for labour and birth. When we were at the hospital we felt much more confident and I understood more clearly the medical decisions and processes going on. We…really felt that the quality of teaching was of a high standard and that the classes were well organised. The sessions were also interactive which made them more dynamic and fun. We met some interesting and nice people through the classes and we had good fun attending even when they were in the evening after work.”

Prenatal Teacher Özra

Özra Gökçe is an IDA certified Childbirth Educator and Full Spectrum Doula and she has been accompanying expectant and new parents from all over the world on their journey to birth and parenthood since 2013. Özra has also acquired profound knowledge in the field of Elimination Communication and Postpartum Recovery and holds free talks about these subjects for BCT members. Her early professional experience in people-focussed management and research fields and the arrival of her two sons both add to her being the dedicated and empathic prenatal teacher she is today.

“I feel so grateful to be teaching expecting parents. Providing them with the essential information relieves them, reduces their anxieties, clears their doubts and fears… As we deepen their knowledge about what the natural physiology of birth is and how we (as birthing parents) help ourselves to make it easier with a lot of practical tools, positions, breathing and relaxation techniques, they become completely ready for this huge rite of passage. It is such a rewarding work in so many different ways, it makes me feel completed and centred.”

Prenatal Teacher Alison

Alison arrived in Belgium in 2003 with 2 small children and, through the BCT's antenatal teacher training programme, trained with the National Childbirth Trust in the UK, gaining a diploma in higher education, in prenatal education. She taught her first course while expecting her third daughter, and now has 17 years of experience facilitating courses in Belgium.

"It is such a joy to be involved with expectant parents, to help them gain in confidence by providing information and teaching physical skills, and then allowing them space and time to discuss with each other the options available, so they can make decisions which are best for their family. The richness of the diverse cultures here in Belgium means we are always learning together and discovering new things. Occasionally I meet parents years later, who stop to chat, thank me for the classes and tell me they are still meeting with other parents, a lasting legacy of which I am humbled to have been a part in."

PARTICIPANTS

Courses are normally attended by up to eight couples and single parents. Mothers- or fathers-to-be are welcome to attend sessions on their own. Pregnant women may choose to be accompanied by a family member or a friend.

LOCATIONS

We offer both online and in-person courses. For online courses we use Zoom. In-person classes take place at teachers’ homes on the Eastern outskirts of Brussels or occasionally at the BCT Clubhouse in Ixelles.

COURSE COSTS

Our Birth & Parenting courses cost €240
(plus €55 first-year membership fee for non-BCT members).

Find out about the many benefits of BCT membership.

WHEN TO ATTEND

Ideally your course should begin at around 28 to 32 weeks of pregnancy. We strongly advise that you choose a course that will finish at least two weeks before your baby is due. For multiple births we advise you to consider your due date as 36 weeks.

WHEN TO REGISTER

We recommend that you book when you are three or four months pregnant in order to be assured of a course for first-time parents. However, places can still become available at the last minute so even if your pregnancy is more advanced, please do contact us.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

We have put together some practical information you might find helpful when booking a course with us.

They provide answers to the most frequently asked questions.

"We found the course to be helpful, informative, and fun. We have already employed some of the practical information and feel confident that we are well equipped as we move forward towards the birth which will be slightly sooner than we expected. Alison's approach was personable and friendly and we appreciated the opportunity to form a support group of English-speaking people who are going through the same thing as us. The resource of information on the padlet given to us is invaluable. Thanks from all four of us big and small.”

Online course - In progress

For babies due in August 2022: I22OG

  • Tuesday, 7 June 18:30 - 21:00
  • Saturday, 11 June 10:00 - 13:00
  • Tuesday, 14 June 18:30 - 21:00
  • Saturday, 18 June 10:00 - 13:00
  • Tuesday, 21 June 18:30 - 21:00
  • Saturday, 25 June 10:00 - 13:00

In-person course - In progress

For babies due in August/September 2022: J22AC

  • Saturday, 11 June 10:00 - 13:00
  • Wednesday, 15 June 19:30 - 21:30
  • Saturday, 18 June 10:00 - 13:00
  • Wednesday, 22 June 19:30 - 21:30
  • Wednesday, 29 June 19:30 - 21:30
  • Saturday, 2 July 10:00 - 13:00

Our courses are popular and usually fill up quickly.

If you would like to register your interest in a future course (online or in-person) that's not yet scheduled, please select the future course option for both your choices on our online form.

We will get in touch with you as soon as a course is published.

Book a Birth & Parenting course

Before you book your course, please have a look at our practical information page to make sure you pick the right one.
Select the course most suitable for your due date from the list of courses.

Please note that there is no central office for prenatal course bookings - all of our booking team are volunteers working from home.

Thank you for being patient and allowing a few days for a response.
Important: Paying the fee for a prenatal course gives you the right to attend one of our courses. The prenatal team might contact you to move you to a course other than the one you picked as your first choice if that course is better suited to your due date.

Contact: If you have any questions, you can contact us at prenatal@bctbelgium.org.