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To consider complaining about this -Antenatal classes

(34 Posts)
dannid Wed 27-Jul-11 15:21:00

I am 26 wks pregnant with my second child and have today been told by my midwife that I am not allowed to attend Nhs antenatal classes. My DS is going to be nearly 4 by the time this LO arrives so I feel like it's been a while and was really hoping to attend them. I also found the support from the other mums last time really valuable and am still in regular contact with most of them. I explained all this to my MW and her answer was that if I am that concerned then she'll let me attend the class on labour but to not let any of the other mums know that I already have a child!!! When I asked her why she said that they don't like mums who already have children to attend as they spoil the experience for the first time which I said that we scare them with our stories and she said YES!!! It's really annoyed me that I'm missing out on this ...I could understand if she said spaces were short!!! I'm considering contacting the PCT in charge of our area to put in a I being unreasonable as it's my second child?!?

KatieMiddleton Wed 27-Jul-11 15:23:45

YANBU. You are entitled to same care. I know it's not the same but NCT run specific refresher classes for second/third/fourth timers. Round my way (SW London) the course is about £110. Less further out and rest of UK I think. Visit for details.

bubblesincoffee Wed 27-Jul-11 15:27:43

YAB a little U, although I can see why. Putting in a complaint would be taking it way too far imo.

But the NHS is just that, a health service, it is not there to provide you with a little group of friends to have coffee with.

She has said you can go to the class about labour if what you are actually interested in is the up to date information, so that is fair enough.

It would be a very different experience for first time Mums if half the class were on their second pregnancy, and as they are the ones that need the information more, having never done it before, then that's where the focus should be.

daimbardiva Wed 27-Jul-11 15:27:44

In my area, they offer a couple of "refresher" sessions for previous mums - I take it there's nothing similar where you are?

Insomnia11 Wed 27-Jul-11 15:28:06

I live in a rural area and booked a refresher course but because there weren't that many of us was put on a course with new mums.

The mums said afterwards they loved having me there to talk about my experiences first time round. We are still friends. And from my perspective I had forgotten so much (DD1 was 3) it was great to go over everything again.

Firawla Wed 27-Jul-11 15:35:47

I think yabu a bit, it seems standard that antenatal classes are only offered for first pregnancy. They can't offer for everyone probably due to costs etc? As people have mentioned there are refresher courses on things like NCT so if you really feel you need it then go for something like that, its a bit U to expect it all free on the nhs as it's not really 'vital' for your 2nd and subsequent pregnancies?

biddysmama Wed 27-Jul-11 15:38:48

yanbu, this my my 4 child and ive been invited :-s

razzlebathbone Wed 27-Jul-11 15:39:01

YABU. I'd rather the NHS money was spent elsewhere than for mothers to network. You don't need to go.

vj32 Wed 27-Jul-11 16:51:59

NHS antenatal classes are very short now - I got 6 hours, which was a lot compared to some areas. One session on labour, one on what can go wrong with labour/painrelief etc and one on breast feeding. To be honest I don't think you will need the information - it was quite basic. If you just want people to have coffee with contact the NCT - you can join one of their groups for free - you only have to pay for the courses.

IWantAnotherBaby Wed 27-Jul-11 16:57:05

YABU. In many areas funding for classes is being withdrawn entirely. They are there for first-timers, to give them some preparation for labour and early childcare. There is really no good reason for second-time mothers to attend; you have all the learned experiences of a baby and small child already. Find a decent book (eg 'What to expect when you're expecting'). If you really want to attend classes then stump up for NCT et el.

MrsBonkers Wed 27-Jul-11 16:58:55

There aren't enough spaces for all first timers to get on a couples course (My DH couldn't come with me) so I had to go on a women only course.
The information is no different from what is available online.
I'd rather the NHS spent their money elsewhere too.

As for networking, get in touch with your local Children's Centre. I met all my 'mummy friends' there. They may also have some anti-natal groups planned.

tigana Wed 27-Jul-11 17:00:01

not allowed!? wtf?

i'm off to antenatal classes at local childrens centre, free etc. this is my second child.

It might be fair enough for mw to ask you nicely to refrain from telling horror stories about torn bits, week long labours and minced nipples at the classes and be tolerant of first timer type questions (although...who's to say you wouldn't be? and that you don't have same q's yourself...?!)

oh and i susect the friends made are less about "nice peopel to have coffee with" hmm and more about a support system to help with issue sthat if un-helped-with could lead to or increase PND

tigana Wed 27-Jul-11 17:03:53

how about contacting the PCT PALS team rather than making it a complaint?

or just call your local childrens centre and see if they have any classes.

if the real reason for saying you aren't allowed if the daftness about scaring the other mums then that is not OK. If it down to resources, then that is pants, but probably fairish.
There are 6 yrs between ds and dc2... advice etc has moved on in that time, and I'd like to know what the current practice is rather than relying on (dodgy) memory.

InFlames Wed 27-Jul-11 17:24:09

YAB a tiny bit U - but only because as a first time Mum I got a whole 2 hours on the NHS. Husband, on the other hand, got 4 x 2 hour 'fathering' classes. He's 49 and this is his 3rd child (first with me).... It was a tad ironic.

Thankfully (in a really strange way) I had a complex and high risk pregnancy so the antenatal class was pretty irrelevant to my particular case, and I had at least 1 appt a week with consultant, various doctors or midwife - which meant I had AMPLE time to ask questions!

But round here, all they offer 1st time mums is 1 x 2 hour class. Which covered the basics of how the baby gets out, a brief bit on the downsides of any pain relief that isn't aromatherapy or gas and air, and the benefit of being fully mobile in labour...!

Good luck and hope all goes well with DC2 :-)

rogersmellyonthetelly Wed 27-Jul-11 17:27:03

It's a bit rubbish, but the nhs can barely afford midwives it seems, let alone antenatal classes. I dont think yabu to want to go to make some friends, as having a social network of women in a similar situation to yourself has been shown to reduce the incidence of pnd, so from a health point of view it is beneficial.

Letz Wed 27-Jul-11 17:31:30

YABU and I agree with bubbles. I could not attend ANY classes during my first (and only) pregnancy as there were no spaces. My MW told me to go to the NTC classes..well I couldn't afford to so those were out too. You really need a refresher course? push?

Cattleprod Wed 27-Jul-11 17:34:12

The NCT runs our free NHS antenatal classes. I filled in the application form, clearly stating it was my second baby, and as no refresher courses were available, I was offered a place on one of the first timer courses.

I'm not going with the intention to make friends, but it has been a few years since I gave birth and I've forgotten loads, also I've had a mmc in between and I'm hoping the classes will normalise birth and help with the resulting anxiety.

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Wed 27-Jul-11 17:34:54

I was offered a couple of refresher classes second time around aimed at non first timers rather than a full course of ante-natal classes (mind you I didn't get offered ante-natal classes first time around either hmm)

TheOriginalFAB Wed 27-Jul-11 17:37:06

I had my second baby in a different area from the first and wasn't allowed any ante natal classes at all.

Avantia Wed 27-Jul-11 17:51:54

YANBU given the explanation that the midwife has given you - i.e spoiling the experinece for first time mums or scaring them ! She should have been up front and said due to cut backs we are offering only to first time mums - so her excuses were pretty poor.

If she had said sorry 'no funding therefore no classes ' and you complained then YABU but that is not what she said.

Having child no 2 can be as daunting as having number one - how do I manage with two - what about feeding times when sibling about , sibling jealousy , how to introduce new baby etc - more practical issues with no 2.

Go to the labour class - how you can deny not being a first time Mum I dont know - really daft idea , you experince of your first birth with have an impact on your second .

Enquire about NCT refresher classes - you needn't had to attend one first time round - and if money is an issue explain to them and you may get a discount. Contact your local NCT branch.

The support you get post natal from 'friends' you meet at a class whether NCT or NHS can make a difference to your well being .I know funding is an issue but the bigger picture needs to be looked at.

Good luck .

stoatie Wed 27-Jul-11 17:52:36

Many areas (as others have said) have very limited resources, where I am for example courses only offered to first time mums (and their partner) and MWs also ask if you are attending NCT that you don't attend NHS ones as well (to free up spaces)

EricNorthmansMistressOfPotions Wed 27-Jul-11 18:14:09

you've done it before, it costs money, get over it.

DeWe Wed 27-Jul-11 18:26:07

I didn't do antenatal classes due to moving during pregnancy with dd1, but I did do them with dd2. There wasn't a problems with it at all, you just put your name down, there were two others who weren't on their first too, one has had a horrific experience in the US and the other was expecting twins (who only attended one).
Afterwards some of the first time mums said the two of us who did attend were really helpful to her because we had the parent side rather than the medical one. We managed not to laugh every time one of the others said they wanted a completely natural birth grin Actually they said it helped them look at painrelief without feeling embarrassed because there were some mums who were very strongly against.
It was also very helpful when one of the new mums who was a bit bulchy and had her child before anyone else decided to lecture the entire class as to the ONLY way to get your child to sleep through because her child was 2 weeks older than anyone elses so naturally she knew everything.

Lilithmoon Wed 27-Jul-11 18:46:52

There were no antenatel classes for anyone in my area when I had PFB, just a short 'hospital show' where we visited the labour ward.

dannid Wed 27-Jul-11 20:48:48

Thanks responses. I don't think the issue for me is that I'm not able to attend the course as such but the reasons that the midwife gave me. If she had said that funding was short and so cut backs were being made I would have totally understood the need to prioritise first time mums. This wasn't what she said to me tho...her exact words were 'we don't like second time mums attending as they ruin the experience for the others'. There were several second time (and even a 3rd time) mums on the classes I attended with DS and I found their opinions and experiences useful. I have contacted NCT about their refresher courses but tbh I am not sure that we will be able to afford for me to attend as money is tight and I'm not in receipt of any benefits so doubt I will b given a reduced rate!

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