AIBU to think NCT classes are a waste of time & money?

(237 Posts)
LittlePeaPod Thu 17-Oct-13 08:18:32

Am I been unreasonable to think NCT classes are a waste of time and money after only attending the first session and the only reason I should go back is to get to know the other new mums to be because they all seem like a really nice bunch of ladies.

Attended our first NCT session last night and I have to say I was really disappointed in the class. The two and a half hour session was boring and verging on condescending. The activities can only be compared to those crappy training activities you get in crappy work based training sessions. The MW is clearly pro natural birth with no intervention what's so ever including any form of pain relief and her method of trying to scare the new mums into following her path was crap IMHO. For example she proclaimed swaddling new borns has been linked to cot deaths! When I asked her to give us some facts so we could understand what exactly the risk associated to swaddling is, she couldn't. [Hmm] The breast feeding guilt trip started last night please don't got me wrong i understand the benefits of breast feeding a new born She clearly hasn't considered that there may be mums in the group that will struggle with breast feeding and they way she went on anyone that does struggle will feel like a failure and like they are letting their baby down this goes for anything other than a VB with no pain relief too

I am a logical person and it frustrated me that the MW didn't seem able to back her statements up with actual facts. She just blubbed scary shit and there was no opportunity for real discussion. Either she is not used to people asking questions or she was just trying to frighten us into following the path that she did when she had her children. So much for giving new mums to be the relevant unbiased information so we can prepare for the birth / post birth including what could go wrong and god forbid anything does go wrong we can at least be informed so we can make decisions quickly. If last nights session is a sign of things to come I think the MW is going to get a shock because I won't be able to sit there and just nod!

I understand at 29 weeks pregnant I can be a bit unreasonable sometimes. So please ladies AIBU?

AnythingNotEverything Thu 17-Oct-13 08:26:06

I think it depends on your facilitator. Ours was brilliant - very open, no agenda to push.

Re: swaddling and cot death - overheating is a risk factor in cot death, so you can see how they could be linked. It depends how that message was delivered of course.

You'll get the opportunity to feed back after the course, but speak to your facilitator in the meantime.

hermioneweasley Thu 17-Oct-13 08:29:19

Swaddling is not recommended any more, so that is the right advice.

I know many people who made lifelong friends through NCT.

Our classes were brilliant,I dn't think we woukd have been able to have a water birth without them.

NotYoMomma Thu 17-Oct-13 08:30:53

I think in these clesses if the mw or who runs it is totally pro bf and pro natural all it does is contribute to mothers feeling guilty and terrible if things dont go to plan sad

the best classes are informative and unjudgemental imo

NotYoMomma Thu 17-Oct-13 08:31:38

but of course a lot of them are great iyswim, some are very much agenda pushing

Happypiglet Thu 17-Oct-13 08:32:21

Clearly it depends on the facilitator...yours sounds slightly 'agendarised'...she probably isn't a midwife by the way.
But can I say that after nearly 10 years I am still firm friends with 4 of those mums and their partners and children. That was the single biggest benefit to me... the support post natally from the NCT and those friends.

bigkidsdidit Thu 17-Oct-13 08:35:06

I didn't care about the classes but meeting five other mums in my area was invaluable . That's the benefit IMO

Yep, most people go for the friendships, I meet weekly usually with our nct group 2 yrs on.

Incidentally, our nct classes covered c sections and who would be likely to be in the room, surgeon, anaesthestist, paeds, midwife etc. My NHS class wouldn't touch c sections because, in her words, most of you won't experience a section. She did say she would answer questions afterward on sections but not in the class.

Rach8341 Thu 17-Oct-13 08:39:58

I have mixed feelings here..

Totally worth it for the friends we made.

Totally unprepared for scenarios that did not involve a natural birth - 5 out of 7 ladies had assisted deliveries or EMCS and being one of them I felt a total failure after the birth, even though at the time and of course now I know that in my case at least, the intervention was totally necessary to get my baby out safely. I understand the NCT encourage you to ask questions re interventions etc but for a long time after the birth I felt somehow I had failed in not challenging the situation enough when frankly there was nothing else for it (had to be induced as meconium in waters).

I also felt a horrific failure when breast feeding did not work out, they did rather give the impression giving formula was was like giving your baby a McDonalds breast is best and "SO easy and convenient!" Not the case for everyone.

pudseypie Thu 17-Oct-13 08:40:20

Err you don't have to do the NCT one to make friends. I did the free nhs one as it was being delivered by my actual community midwife and it was free! The course was brilliant, as my midwife was obviously still practising and as she regularly also delivered babies at the hospital as well as being in the community she could answer everything. I made great friends and now have a group of 7 of us who meet up regularly still and our dc's are now 2 years old. NCT isn't the only way.

ErrolTheDragon Thu 17-Oct-13 08:42:00

I found them useful - the relaxation techniques were helpful to me. I think so long as you know that this is just one source of information and that they may have a bias, its fine.

And definitely worth it if you hook up with some other nice mums.

Serialdrinker Thu 17-Oct-13 08:43:11

My biggest issue with NCT is why in the world of wank buggery does every single person who has ever been and made friends through it have to talk about their 'NCT Girls'?! Never just 'friends' always 'my NCT Girls'. Ahhh.

(Flops onto bed in despair)

Pobblewhohasnotoes Thu 17-Oct-13 08:48:29

I think yabu as it totally depends who teaches it (although it shouldn't).

Our teacher (she wasn't a mw) discussed all birth options plus pain relief, epidurals etc.

To be honest I found the bf one (run by a different person) the worst as it was all, put the baby on your tummy and they'll find their own way. No comfort to me when I failed at bf for having no milk but that's another story! It wasn't very realistic.

Apart from that I enjoyed Nct and made friends that I still see regularly. It was nice to be in a small group. My nhs classes had about 100 people in so there wasn't a chance in meeting anyone.

It was also really useful for DH.

Swaddling can be linked to cot death if the baby overheats.

TheHouseCleaner Thu 17-Oct-13 08:50:55

Some of us consider any classes, paid for with an agenda and a particular target market or NHS free to and for every woman, a waste of time.

Yanbu.

If it's not for you cut your losses and either find an alternative or dispense with classes altogether, unless of course you fancy challenging the MW at every opportunity. That could be rather fun.

ErrolTheDragon Thu 17-Oct-13 08:55:08

serial - um, I've never heard the phrase 'NCT girls' let alone used it... you only notice the ones that do it.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Thu 17-Oct-13 08:57:05

You should challenge her.

Out of my group all but one had interventions during birth. Although they did go through ways to try and avoid it, sometimes it's just the way things go and to push natural birth with no information about interventions or pain relief is unrealistic. You need to be aware of the choices.

MarlenaGru Thu 17-Oct-13 08:57:36

I have never called any of my friends girls? hmm
My NCT friends are some of my closest friends and nearly 6 years on they are always there for me and we see each other regularly despite having busy lives and living in different areas.
The classes for me were no help but I had read every book going. They were invaluable for dh who hadn't listened to a word I had said about things along the way!

jammiedonut Thu 17-Oct-13 08:58:42

Yanbu, yours sounds awful. Where we live the free classes are few and far between so I've had to sign up to a few nct classes to get ds and I out and about. It's all been a bit hit and miss, I think it really depends on who the class leader is and the group you find yourself sharing the class with. I didnt bf, but didnt find myself judged at all, something i was really worried about. Completely understand your frustration though.

fluffyraggies Thu 17-Oct-13 08:59:00

I was really disappointed to miss my 2nd NCT last night due to an horrendous cold (didn't want to spread germs). There's only 7 classes and now i've missed one angry

I was quite surprised by the 1st class, last week. It was much more like a work training programe where they asses your character through willingness to write on A3 paper for the group, split up into teams and read things out. Bit odd. I was actually wary of the old hippy 'hushed breathing class' cliche, but now find myself wishing it was more like that in fact. The leader told us that the course would be mainly discussion led, without slide shows or 'breathing routines' and said cheerfully how she intended to make us 'work hard'. Ugh. 7.30 till 9.30pm is not when i want to be working hard.

I hope i make some friends form the group. The 7 other ladies seemed v. nice.

Polyethyl Thu 17-Oct-13 08:59:41

The friendship of other mothers with babies the same age as yours is invaluable.
Sounds as though you've got a poor instructor. Bad luck - mine was excellent so it sounds as though you've been unlucky there.
I suggest you keep going to build those friendships.

hackmum Thu 17-Oct-13 09:01:39

Well, obviously it depends. My NCT teacher (several years ago) was brilliant. The classes were very informative, non-judgemental and lots of fun. In an organisation the size of NCT, it's hard for the central office to make sure that everyone is teaching to the same high standard. However, if you have any issues with what the teacher told you, then it's worth getting in touch the head office and letting them know.

LittlePeaPod Thu 17-Oct-13 09:04:13

So clearly the best aspect of NCT is to meet some lovely ladies which they all seemed to be

Our facilitator who said she was a MW is definetly biased and frankly it pissed me off and I also have to add I wasn't the only one that was clearly pissed off.

I agree with the poster that said that these sessions should be informative and people should have the opportunity to discuss the points raised.

In my case so far NCT is directly a waste of £250.

Goldenbear Thu 17-Oct-13 09:07:42

It is the 'Natural Childbirth Trust' though, I therefore don't think its purpose is to provide much information on the reality for a lot of Mothers during childbirth. I attended NCT classes but from what I recall the instructor did not touch upon cesareans. I was induced after 11 days with my first, it was a disaster- the heart rate of DS kept dipping and it was nearly an emergency cesarean. NCT didn't prepare me for any of that. With DD I read up on hypno birthing and although I was induced again, I was a lot more in control-armed with my own knowledge on childbirth.

I did make friends at NCT which was great for the first few years when you really need that support. Although obviously it is possible to attend groups to make friends, I found that hard work in the early months. I was glad of the opportunities to chat with others whilst my baby was feeding in the comfort of homes, not church halls. Plus, the babies were all the same age.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Thu 17-Oct-13 09:08:41

Sometimes birth doesnt go to plan so you have to be aware of what might happen, regardless of what you've planned.

threepiecesuite Thu 17-Oct-13 09:08:43

oh god yes, I know 3 women who refer to 'my NCT girls'. angry

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