Classes for parents-to-be return to North Coast town

AFTER about a two year absence, ante-natal classes for mums and dads-to-be have been reborn in Ballina.

Jackie Hinrichsen, the NSW regional co-ordinator for the social welfare organisation, FSG Australia (Freedom, Social justice and Growth), said the classes have returned because of community demand.

She said funding was withdrawn from previous classes held in Ballina through community health, forcing new mums and their partners to travel to Lismore to learn what to expect during childbirth, and the options available.

FSG has a Ballina action group, formed two years ago, which takes advice from representatives of various community organisations and government departments on the gaps in social services in Ballina.

Ms Hinrichsen said the issues of the lack of ante-natal classes was brought up just two months ago, and, true to the group's name, action was taken.

FSG secured a midwife, Theresa Duncombe, to run the current weekly classes which started last week, and FSG is funding them.

Ms Hinrichsen said there were more than 300 pregnant women in Ballina, but many didn't want to travel to Lismore for ante-natal classes.

She said the classes, held over four weeks, provided information on childbirth to both future mums and dads, while male staff of The Family Centre give the blokes some particular tips.

Four women signed up to the current class.

The cost is $10 per session, and group meets at FSG's office at 88 Tamar St, Ballina.

Ms Hinrichsen said it was planned that more classes would be held next year, but dates have not been set.


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