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antenatal / NCT classes

(19 Posts)
Squidstirfry Fri 08-Aug-14 15:43:23

Hello,

I am nearly third trimester and am researching classes. I always thought antenatal classes, where groups of pregnant ladies and their partners learn about birthing, breathing etc were automatically NHS provided.

I am surprised to learn it's around £350 to go to these classes!

Am I missing something, is there a 'free' version that's part of the normal antenatal care/preparation?

I have only seen a midwife twice so far (different ladies) I have an appt coming up though. Do I talk about this with the midwife or directly with the provider such as NCT?

Thx

Izzy82 Fri 08-Aug-14 15:48:21

There is a free NHS one. I was told to book mine when I was 20 weeks- they fill up pretty quickly (or at least they do in my area).
The NCT ones also book up quickly so I would investigate soon. I only paid £200 for it though. I think there are cheaper ante natal courses than NCT though- eg 'birth matters' but I don't know of that's just south east

WhyOWhyWouldYou Fri 08-Aug-14 16:04:49

If you want them on nhs i think it generally falls on you to ask. Give the community midwives office a call and ask them.

Tbh i do not think they would ever be worth paying 350 for!

squizita Fri 08-Aug-14 16:19:22

Yes there is a free one. If you are going to a hospital to give birth ring their midwifery team and ask for 'parent education classes' or 'ante natal classes'. Best done at the hospital you'll be going to because they show you round etc'. I'm going to mine on Sunday (35 weeks) because I'm mixed care across 2 trusts and I realised late the importance of going to the right venue.

I'm in a really expensive bit of London and my NCT cost £170 - you only need the 'essentials' one TBH (slightly larger group, in a hall not someone's house),

Heatherbell1978 Fri 08-Aug-14 16:33:08

A lot depends on the area you're in. I automatically received a letter about the NHS ones without even mentioning it to mw. I opted for NCT instead which is £175 for the 'premium' one in my area (Scotland). I found it great but a lot depends on the person taking the course.

Annbag Fri 08-Aug-14 17:19:01

If you call the midwife booking appointments number they should be able to tell you about the free NHS one.

NCT is 350ish in my area too, I couldn't believe it! So I can't afford that. I was amazed by the price especially as it's kind of assumed by people that you'll go on it.

I think it very much depends on the teacher, but have heard from friends that nct can be a bit anti c-section, and as that's looking likely for me due to medical reasons that was another vote against paying the £350!

Annbag Fri 08-Aug-14 17:21:04

My local hospital also does free parenting and breast feeding classes too, so might be worth asking about those too if of interest

Redling Fri 08-Aug-14 17:33:27

My hospital does Labour workshop antenatal course, Hypnobirthing and Waterbirth classes as well as breastfeeding classes. I booked these directly with the hospital, if you check your maternity notes you may have a leaflet or something similar, and contact numbers. At mine they recommended booking by 20 weeks but it's a massive town and a busy maternity unit. NCT is seperate and not provided by the NHS. I decided not to do NCT as I felt should I end up with a birth needing intervention etc then most of what they seem to focus on and teach would be irrelevant, and also the social aspect people mention a lot worried me in the sense of I hate being in situations where I HAVE to make friends with people smile I'm not anti social I just don't want to end up hanging round with people I'm not too find of just because I met them at NCT and that's what you do!

Acorncat Fri 08-Aug-14 17:46:21

I'm doing the nhs ones, though mine are run by the community midwives and not the hospital ones. Varies so much from area to area clearly! I was told about them at my booking in appointment then it was mentioned again at 31w. I considered nct but there's none locally which seemed a bit pointless if it's mostly to make friends.

curiousgeorgie Fri 08-Aug-14 17:49:56

I really regret not doing NCT, it's worth thinking about.

Not strictly for the antenatal info but lots of my friends still meet up with theirs years on and their DC have ready made friends of the same age.

KitKat1985 Fri 08-Aug-14 18:18:44

It depends on the area you are in to be honest, so you need to check with your midwife. My local NHs trust (East Sussex) has pulled funding for all it's free antenatal classes so the choices are now to pay for private ones (e.g. NCT) or not have any at all. hmm Me and DH opted to do the NCT course as we are first time parents and quite anxious. To be honest I was slightly disappointed in the sense that it was £140 for 5 sessions, and I don't think covered a lot more than what was in my pregnancy book. Having said that it was good to meet other expectant parents and I'm hoping to try and keep in touch with people from the classes, so it was worth it in that sense if you see what I mean. I would seriously be concerned about spending £350 though and be clear on what you were getting for that kind of money.

Squidstirfry Fri 08-Aug-14 19:49:16

Thanks for replies! I will inquire with the midwifes on Monday, I hope I'm not too late... Def think £350 is rather steep.

OneLittleToddleTerror Fri 08-Aug-14 19:52:54

Whether it's free depends on your area. In mine there is a cheap NHS class. But it is not free. Iirc it's like £20 or £50. Your midwife should have given you information about them on booking in. But the problem with them is they are during working hours.

I'm pregnant with my second. So I wasn't given Information in antenatal classes. But I got one for breastfeeding. It is on a Friday afternoon again. It is all well and good it says we are entitled to get free time off for antenatal classes. But in reality it is not so simple.

OneLittleToddleTerror Fri 08-Aug-14 19:54:12

And yes I have heard there are areas with no free ones at all. It is pretty low on the funding priority.

frankiebuns Fri 08-Aug-14 20:58:00

My area there is one for the whole county with 16 places on I only got told to phone them up when I was 30 weeks there were no places left until after my dd is born! Which is great thankfully my friend runs a bf class in town so she's offered to help

CatFaceCrayola Fri 08-Aug-14 21:21:18

I'm booked on to a free one. Round here they offer free courses from the Sure Start Children's Centres

HermioneWeasley Fri 08-Aug-14 21:25:00

Have you checked that the £350 doesn't include membership of NCT as well? It's worth checking that you've been quotd the prices for classes only.

My local NHS doesn't offer any antenatal classes or a tour of the delivery suite do there's not available everywhere

mrsgembles Fri 08-Aug-14 21:27:45

I was happy to pay the NCT fee, more to put me in touch with local mums (as I was new to the area) than to teach me how to push!

I am quite shy and antisocial myself but am finding the support of my NCT ladies utterly invaluable as I near my due date. I consider it money well spent!

alliemarg Sat 09-Aug-14 11:41:51

I paid £180 for a signature NCT course which was a weekend and a breastfeeding evening, all for me and my partner. I felt it was money well spent - they've also arranged a series of postnatal coffee mornings and a reunion night around the tutor's house once everyone has had their baby included in the price.

The beauty of it is they really try and help you make friends - they encouraged us to set up a Facebook group and get together in the weeks leading up until birth. Hopefully we'll make friends - they were a really nice group

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