Pregnancy and the birth of a child bring a lot of changes and challenges for expectant mothers and fathers. So it's no wonder that the feeling of anticipation and happiness is sometimes mixed with questions, uncertainty and worry. Fortunately, in addition to the classic childbirth preparation courses, the early help counselling centres, and partnership counselling, there are many other counselling services and courses that can help you to prepare well for the birth and for life with a child.

Even as a pregnant person you don't have to give up exercise and sport. On the contrary. Physical activity is good for you and for your baby. You can get fit for the birth and make sure the placenta is well supplied with blood so nutrients reach the baby better. Besides, sufficient exercise lifts your spirits, protects you from gaining too much weight and can even prevent problems like water retention and back pain. Ideal sport options are gymnastics, swimming, jogging or walking. There are also many other types of sport classes specifically for pregnant people, including yoga or belly dancing. What matters is that you feel comfortable doing it. The courses are offered by family centres, swimming pools, adult education centres, fitness centres, birth centres and midwives, among others. Sometimes health insurance companies cover part of the cost for such courses. If you were already quite active before your pregnancy, you can continue to exercise if your pregnancy is unproblematic. However, you should not do any competitive sports and you should reduce your training starting from the second trimester onwards. Fast-paced and physically demanding team sports or martial arts are unsuitable. The risk of colliding with other athletes is too great.

Many mothers and fathers wonder how best to deal with their child after birth. How can I best care for my baby without spoiling them? What do I do when I reach my limits because my baby may be crying a lot and I barely get to sleep for days or weeks? You can get answers to these and many other questions in parenting courses. There are many choices available and it is worth taking a closer look to see which course really suits your own ideas. Good courses have two main goals. They help you learn how to be loving and supportive of your child. At the same time, they foster your ability to guide children, set boundaries, and teach them rules for interacting well with others without hurting them emotionally or physically. Well-known parenting course programmes are called SPIN, SAFE, STEP, TAFF and Strong Parents. They have different focuses. SAFE, for example, stands for the German words that translate to ‘Safe Education for Parents’. SPIN was developed to treat families with parenting difficulties. Family centres and midwifery practices can tell you what services are available locally. You can find out about the different courses even before the baby is born.

More and more fathers today want to be more involved in their child's development and create an intimate relationship with them. And rightly so, because the father also plays an important role for the child. For many men, this brings with it not only anticipation and curiosity, but also uncertainty. How can I be a good father and partner? How can I best support my partner? What's expected of me? How can I build a healthy relationship with my child? In special courses for fathers, men can find answers to these and other questions. There you will also learn how to hold the baby properly, how to prepare a bottle for the baby and how to change the baby properly. Fathers' courses are usually offered by hospitals or fathers' associations. The costs of courses for fathers are also partly covered by health insurance. It's best to check with your insurance company first.