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NCT or hospital antenatal classes?

(18 Posts)
SaltedCaramelEverything Mon 10-Oct-16 20:03:10

So I had always thought we'd do NCT classes as friends have done them and recommended them. However my midwife has recommended the NHS classes at the local hospital. She said her patients say they felt the NCT classes mainly focused on preparing them for a "normal" birth but not for various situations if things don't quite go to plan.

Any recommendations/tips welcome. Thank you x

welshweasel Mon 10-Oct-16 20:04:08

Depends why you're doing them. If you want to make friends then nct wins hands down.

Dixiechick17 Mon 10-Oct-16 20:06:44

It depends on the instructor, ours went through some complications but not all, our main reason for joining was to make friends, and we have made some lovey friends from doing it.

SaltedCaramelEverything Mon 10-Oct-16 20:08:52

Thank you both.

How come people don't make friends on the hospital courses?

Daffydil Mon 10-Oct-16 20:10:08

My NCT classes went into c-sections in a lot of detail, even though none of us planned to have one (I think 6 of 9 had them in the end). A few people locally did both, and said not to bother with the NHS ones.

I think it hugely depends on the NCT instructor and the NHS classes though.

YorkieDorkie Mon 10-Oct-16 20:11:53

In York it's a series of 9 YouTube videos. I didn't take any classes and have had no problem with the support from midwives and HVs.

I read a couple of pregnancy books, watched the videos, talked to my MW and was more than prepared.

My friend did NCT with her DH and she was constantly asking me for advice. I don't think she was any better prepared for taking the classes.

welshweasel Mon 10-Oct-16 20:55:38

From what I've heard the hospital classes have more people in them and less time to chat. Also a wider catchment. My nct classes were 8 couples, nearly all of whom live within walking distance/5 minute drive and were all there primarily to make friends. We were lucky with our group, we all got on and I spent most days with them on mat leave. Now I'm back at work we still meet up for girlie nights out and meals at the weekends with the boys too. I'm not sure that any antenatal classes really prepare you for the reality of childbirth and looking after a baby.

Ariel03 Mon 10-Oct-16 21:20:34

I would say do both if you can! NCT ones to make friends (if that's what you want) and NHS ones to give your more information specific to your local maternity unit (this may well include a look around the unit, which some people find helpful).

LomboDePorco Mon 10-Oct-16 21:26:10

Yes to Ariel, NCT to make local friends, NHS to find out more specifics of your hospital and birth centres. We went just to figure out the convoluted car parking situation!

LomboDePorco Mon 10-Oct-16 21:32:29

And we didn't make friends on the NHS one as it was just two sessions, 40 people, and no time set aside for introductions/ice breakers. Or biscuits.
And there was one chap who dominated the Q&A for about 10 minutes trying to decide if he should circumcise his unborn baby.

Oysterbabe Mon 10-Oct-16 21:40:18

Our NCT classes covered cesarean births, forceps, ventous, episiotomy, all possible pain relief options. I mostly went to make friends though and we still meet weekly and our babies are 9 months.

RosieBdy Mon 10-Oct-16 21:59:26

Another vote for NCT here too.
I had DS 10 years ago and for the first 4 years before he started school, we all met up at least once a week, carried on every week when lots of us went on to have a second child and still continue to meet up now when we can. We now have 'girls' nights out' to catch up on gossip too...
Without the support and friendship of this group, I can't imagine how I'd have coped, particularly those first few months.
Whatever you decide - good luck!

SaltedCaramelEverything Wed 12-Oct-16 07:04:21

welshweasel - the idea of making friends nearby does appeal. Glad to hear you're still in touch with yours. And I agree - can still imagine not having a clue what to do when baby is actually here!

Ariel and Lombo - thanks I was going to ask if doing both was ok or too much repeated info, but I like the idea of visiting the hospital wards too** (note to self: take own biscuits)

SaltedCaramelEverything Wed 12-Oct-16 07:05:06

Thanks for all the replies - I think I'll definitely stick with NCT as a priority but see what the hospital offer in terms of visits smile

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Wed 12-Oct-16 07:08:46

Yes to NCT for friends and NHS for info. 13 years later and I still see most of my NCT classmates most weeks. NHS classes were during the weekday so DH couldn't go, bigger group and no time for chat, we were booted out of the room the minute the midwife stopped talking.

Mouthfulofquiz Wed 12-Oct-16 07:11:45

I think the making friends nearby thing with NCT depends on where you live. Where I am; there is only one group run for the whole city.

mypropertea Wed 12-Oct-16 07:19:12

Do both. You wouldn't expect to make "life long friends" based on sharing most life events (weddings, jobs, buying a house) why do people assume it will happen with the 8 couples in their nct group? (I really didn't like mine, can you tell?!)

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Wed 12-Oct-16 08:17:33

You just never know. My NCT class just clicked, the poor teacher could hardly get a word in edgeways. I do find having children the same age is a great bond, but we talk about work, holidays, parents, current affairs, just like any other group of friends. Same with friends at the school gate later on.

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