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Personalised Preparation for Childbirth

Childbirth is a significant moment in life. Many women and couples want to be prepared for it. Whether giving birth in hospital, at home or by caesarean section, it is important that you make the right choice for you.

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What birth preparation options are available?

Antenatal classes

Many hospitals, midwife practices and birth centres offer a variety of antenatal classes. It is best to ask for such a service at the facility where you are planning to give birth.

There is usually also a service available in your area, for example through a midwife or parent-child centre. Birth preparation can take place as an individual class, for couples or in a group.

In a classic antenatal class, for example, you will learn:

  • the stages of childbirth
  • relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises or affirmations 
    Affirmations are positive statements for positive thoughts in relation to childbirth.
  • options for pain relief
  • preparing for a caesarean section
  • birthing positions
  • breastfeeding and baby care
  • and much more

Where can you find antenatal classes?

You can search for midwives who offer such classes on the website of the Austrian Board of Midwives. Here you can filter for 'Geburtsvorbereitung' (birth preparation) and enter your place of residence to find services in your area. You will also find more detailed information on birth preparation by midwives on the website.

How much does an antenatal class cost? 

You must pay for antenatal classes yourself. The health insurance scheme does not cover any costs.  In Vienna, there are free classes organised by the MA15 family midwives.

Mental preparation

Mental training helps you to develop positive thoughts and ideas about childbirth. Techniques such as meditation or mindfulness training can help to deal with worries around childbirth. You can learn and practise these techniques. With the hypnobirthing method, you will learn techniques to cope with childbirth as painlessly as possible. Ask a midwife or search online for a service in your area.

Talk about your fears and wishes with your partner, friends or midwife.

Physical preparation

Lifestyle also plays an important role in childbirth. Regular exercise strengthens your muscles and improves your stamina. Physical fitness can make childbirth easier. If you were not regularly physically active before pregnancy, take every opportunity to change this. Just a little more exercise can make a big difference. Prepare your pelvic floor for childbirth through targeted pelvic floor training.

You will find more detailed information on sport during pregnancy and [JP6] general information on birth preparation on the Austrian Health Portal.