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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?

badguider Thu 17-Oct-13 09:10:59

Are you sure that interventions aren't going to be covered another week?
My nhs class did problem free natural vaginal birth in week one then interventions and medical procedures the following week.

And swaddling is no longer recommended (though everybody does it)

Retropear Thu 17-Oct-13 09:11:49


Re swaddling that is utter tosh if you don't overheat the house or do it in fleecy blankets.

Mine were all swaddled in cotton sheets or cotton mesh blankets.They'd have had waaaay more chance overheating if co- sleeping.I found swaddling far safer in their own cot too as less chance of getting chance of getting tanged up in sheets or blankets.

None of mine would have slept without swaddling.

gutzgutz Thu 17-Oct-13 09:12:17

Well for me the NHS classes were on weekdays and I would have had to have taken even more time off work than I already was due to complications. I know that legally I am entitled to the time off but the NCT classes were spread over 2 weekends so DH would come too. Our leader covered all pain relief and c-sections without any agenda. there was plenty of time for discussion.

The breastfeeding was encouraged but that is also government policy. Several of the mums FF after problems and I don't think any of them had 'extra guilt'. And yes, 3 years later most of us are on our second babies and still firm friends. We also have a joint birthday party for them every year which is fun.

I believe NCT will subsidise the classes if you are on low income.

NoComet Thu 17-Oct-13 09:13:15

I was told if you want to make friends with brains join the NCT.

I'm a confident, book reading person, I probably didn't learn much, but the friends I made kept me sane and that was worth every penny!

First time actually the friends were at the NCT coffee group, my class were very scattered and didn't gel.

Second time (we'd moved) our group became great friends for years and we had a great 10y meet up with people returning from the other end of the country. I was great to see all the siblings.

If you have a support network, local friends with DCs and family. I wouldn't worry unless you want the lessons.

If like so many people you've moved for work, commute, and know no one with small DCs in your area they can be great. Far better than play groups where you have established cliques of locals who all know each other.

girlywhirly Thu 17-Oct-13 09:13:59

YANBU. My experience of NCT classes wasn't that good. The couples were drawn from such a wide radius that distance would have made it difficult to socialise on a regular basis. There was a very heavy emphasis on natural birth (which I was prepared for) but didn't help me much during my labour or birth when it eventually happened.

I found the midwives free classes at the hospital much more honest about how to cope, they were clear about pain relief available; and also we had a class led by a physiotherapist who had a special interest in pregnancy and birth who did all the relaxation exercises and birth positions (also free.) She taught us exercises to do for getting ready for labour and getting out of bed without doing your back in, and ones to help prevent swollen ankles.

You can learn a lot of what you need to know from books and internet and classes, but nobody can tell you what your labour and birth are going to be like. You don't get any medals for putting up with the pain because it's what you think you should do or be a 'failure'. If you don't want to go back to the classes, don't; and look at getting a refund if you've paid for several sessions upfront.

Tryharder Thu 17-Oct-13 09:14:29

I have had 3 children and have never attended an NCT class.

Does it really cost £250????

Perhaps I am being unfair but to me, it seems like a rather expensive way to meet 'mummy friends' whom otherwise you might meet for free at NHS classes, sure start centres etc

I suspect that many middle class ladies join the NCT because they want to meet other like minded, equally middle class mummies and the £250 fee separates the goats from the sheep.

cogitosum Thu 17-Oct-13 09:14:32

I think it's the national childbirth trust rather than natural childbirth trust.

Ours was great. Agree with poster upthread who said in terms of content her dh got more out of it. I knew everything we were taught from here and books etc but the friends are great.

LittlePeaPod Thu 17-Oct-13 09:15:20

Do people really label their friends as the NCT Girls?confused

Pobble exactly... In My SILs NCT class with her first, of the 9 couples their, 6 of them ended up with a CS and all the others had some form f intervention.. It's utterly unfair to set unrealistic expectations! I don't think it's much to ask for unbiased informative discussions.

I fully intend on questioning and raising concerns but I get the sense our facilitator will not be happy. Hopefully I won't be the only one.

Loopylala7 Thu 17-Oct-13 09:15:40

I never really got the whole NCT business. It's a charity, but you pay quite a bit if money to join, as one friend put it, that money will allow me an extra week or so of maternity leave. What does the charity money go towards?

There are other ways of meeting new mums. Our local health visitors get together and invite new mums to a series of talks with their newborns, then get you to swap numbers. I've met some lovely mums that way. Also play groups and music groups.

As for the pushy ness, how irritating. I always say to my expectant friends, just don't plan, you can't. Nobody can foresee what kind of labour you're going to have, and when the time comes a professional team will advise you as best they can. I've heard soo many stories where the mums were disappointed at the birth not being as was written in their plan, so why have expectations at all. They won't force an epidural/ c section on you without good cause. And as for bf, just do what feels right for you and your baby. If a mum is struggling to bf, the last thing she wants to feel like is a failure. I bloody hate the pushy attitude of you must keep trying, I'm sure it leads to post natal depression and a stressed baby.

dozily Thu 17-Oct-13 09:16:53

Your classes don't sound great. Mine were really good. I was booked in for an induction and the advice my nct teacher gave me genuinely transformed my birth experience and made me feel in control and able to stand up for my rights.

EssexGurl Thu 17-Oct-13 09:17:43

There weren't any NHS run ante natal classes when I had my DS. So for us it was NCT or nothing. So we did the NCT classes but went with an open mind. Yes, meeting new mums and getting a network started is one of the main reasons people go. G with the right attitude and you will be fine.

AnythingNotEverything Thu 17-Oct-13 09:18:51

GoldenBear - NCT doesn't stand for the Natural Childbirth Trust, it's the National Childbirth Trust. Significant difference.

LittlePeaPod Thu 17-Oct-13 09:19:30

Also with regards co sleeping. She basically said that none of us will ever sleep again unless we co sleep. She said having the baby in a cot/Moses basket would mean that the baby will just cry and cry and cry. Seriously, surely not all babies hate cots/Moses baskets that much?

hackmum Thu 17-Oct-13 09:20:09

cogitosum: "I think it's the national childbirth trust rather than natural childbirth trust."

Yes, it is, or was - these days it's just plain old NCT, and they no longer refer to themselves as the National Childbirth Trust.

TheHouseCleaner Thu 17-Oct-13 09:20:25

"I suspect that many middle class ladies join the NCT because they want to meet other like minded, equally middle class mummies and the £250 fee separates the goats from the sheep."

Oh, you too? grin

vladthedisorganised Thu 17-Oct-13 09:21:35

It does really depend. Our instructor had a lot to push (excuse the expression) including her 'complementary' natural birth classes (£8 a pop), pre- and post-natal Pilates classes, homeopathic remedies and baby yoga classes she ran.

Looking back it was quite funny in a way. We were given a long lecture on the dangers of having any artificial pain relief at all during birth and how a C-section could cause all sorts of complications, lower your child's IQ and be as traumatic as the experience in Alien - while a natural birth would be a beautiful experience from which you would emerge with a warm glow. hmm It was all very one-sided.

OTOH, it does give you something to do, and our group were all highly amused at the fact we were dropped like lead balloons after we all had EMCSs. The friendship aspect was nice, but I made closer friends through nursery later.

Loopylala7 Thu 17-Oct-13 09:22:27

My baby slept fine in their Moses basket. Isn't considered dangerous to co sleep with a newborn? Very strange advice.

Gooseysgirl Thu 17-Oct-13 09:23:03

It's the National not Natural!!! My NCT classes would have been over £300 shock so I cancelled the booking... went and did ante natal yoga classes instead and made great friends through that. We also did NHS free ante natal classes which were great and covered all aspects of childbirth, including pain relief in a 'here's the info, make your own decision' kind of way!

hackmum Thu 17-Oct-13 09:23:06

LittlePeaPod - if she really said that, then you ought to contact the head office. The teachers are not supposed to tell you what to do, they are there to help you make informed decisions.

Gooseysgirl Thu 17-Oct-13 09:24:24

Whoops! Cross posted with others re natural/national

vladthedisorganised Thu 17-Oct-13 09:24:27

Oh, and it does depend a lot on whether there are any NHS-run classes in the area. There was a three-year waiting list for our NHS one unless you were referred by your GP or social worker - that's a lot of planning!

Makqueen2 Thu 17-Oct-13 09:27:03

I went to one class in my first pregnancy. I was having an elective section ( my choice, no Medical issues). The woman looked at me like shit on her shoe and talked about the risks of CS while giving me filthy looks. I never went back.

tiredandtiredandtired Thu 17-Oct-13 09:27:03

Swaddling isn't advised any more, that info is correct.

Go for the social aspect if nothing else, and please feedback to the NCT if you are still dissatisfied. They can't oversee every class so need to know if their classes aren't being run as they should

tiredandtiredandtired Thu 17-Oct-13 09:28:57

Co-sleeping is safe if done correctly too

Retropear Thu 17-Oct-13 09:30:13

Soooo she ignore the warnings re co- sleeping and demonises swaddling.hmm

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