to wonder if NCT is a bit too posh for me?(254 Posts)
Hia, first pregnancy, I'm 34 and relocated to live with partner about a year ago. I have made a few mates in new city, but none have children. I'm due in October and just considering NCT as a way to meet women to hang out with on Mat leave. Whilst I'm hardly a scumbag I'm not very organic and middle class either, wondering if anyone happy to share their experience of NCT, will it be full of the brown rice brigade and a waste of a few hundred quid, or is it a good way to meet others in same position? Thanks in advance.
I did the NCT classes. 5 of the women are now some of my best friends and their children are like siblings to DD. We all breastfed, coslept etc but I wouldn't say we're posh!
Nah it won't be too posh.
I did NCT and they were all just normal women like me. DD is 5 months and we still meet once or twice a week for a walk with the prams or a glass of wine. I'm really happy I did it, being able to talk to people going through the same thing has helped a lot. I was 34 when I did it too and the age range of people in my class was 28-38.
I did NCT. I wasn't taken with the idea of breast feeding, tried it, it didn't work, we formula fed so DS would actually eat something. We haven't co slept apart from when he has been poorly. He was in his own room at around 3.5 months. I hate brown rice. I live in jeans and hoodies. I dare to give my child processed food sometimes. I am as far from the idea of an earth mother as you could possibly get. But I really value the advice and information and support network I got from NCT. All of the parents in your class will have different approaches to parenting, so don't worry about it.
I did the classes and I'm not posh at all. And I didn't breastfeed or use reusable nappies. It was lovely to meet up at baby groups and go for walks with the other NCT mums while I was on maternity leave.
All you can do is try your own local group and see if it works for you. As with any voluntary or member based organisation, it will very much depend on the individuals using the group as to what it's like. Even in the same branch, there will be different types of groups, you're really just relying in the off chance that you might click with randoms who just happen to have conceived at a similar time to you.
If you can comfortably afford it, give it a go, you might meet people who become friends for life, or you might just meet people that are friends while you share the experience of pregnancy and young babies. There will always be other baby groups out there if it doesn't work out.
It won't necessarily be full of the brown rice brigade but it will likely be quite middle class. The classes cost about £300 where I am and that is prohibitively expensive to someone not on a decent income (though I know the NCT do reduce the costs for those on a very low income or students).
I enjoyed the classes and the group I was in gelled really well. The differences in age/income (I was the youngest and poorest!) didn't matter as we had the experience of small babies in common. We met up regularly while on mat leave. It was nice to have a group of people to walk round the park and eat cake with and to text in the middle of the night when you were feeding for the umpteenth time! 7 years on and I still see two of my group regularly and am in contact with the other two on FB.
So I would say that it was worth the cost for me. But it is a bit of a risk because not everyone will get on with their group or meet up with them. My sister, for example, didn't click with anyone in her group and didn't see any of them again once the classes ended.
Thanks ladies! I am swaying towards giving it a go based on your advice. I was just a bit concerned that it would be a load of earth mothers making me feel inadequate for being desperate to give birth so I can cram my face with gin and soft cheese and maybe even have the occasional crafty ciggy, but it seems like I have a weird stereotype of NCT based on nothing at all!
I did them and still great friends with the 5 other families several years later.
It is expensive so I guess it will be 'middle class' but we're all different, one is very wealthy but most of us are just normal.
There was a 50:50 split on how the babies were fed, one co-slept, none of us could be described as organic or 'brown rice brigade'.
I think you do, actually. Nobody in my class was an 'earth mother' type. Just normal women wanting to prepare for birth and have someone to hang around and eat cake with afterwards!
Yes to middle class, no organic lentil attitudes in ours though. We were all around 36 at the time and have stuck together like glue despite some going back to work and some not, all DCs ending up at different schools ftom one another etc. We still meet most weeks and the oldest DCs are 12 now, so we've been through a lot together. No guarantees though, other friends have drifted away from their groups
I did NCT and was lucky with the group I met up with. Of the seven original families I am still in regular contact with five of them eight years later. Our children are in the midst of their eighth birthdays and we have recently returned from our annual group holiday (already planning the next one!). The mums still meet about once a month without the children and the kids catch up about every six weeks. The kids really look forward to catching up with their 'little friends' next for them is a giant sleepover!
We were really lucky with our group, made up of teachers, legal secretaries, post sixteen educators, nurses and engineers; to find people with similar outlooks. Some breastfed, some didn't, I don't think anyone did come sleeping and we definitely feed them processed foods!
I guess you'll find out quite quickly if they are people you're likely to keep in contact with, and even if it only lasts for as long as you're on maternity leave it'll be useful.
Depends on the area. Mine was so posh that I was the only one having a baby on the NHS (admittedly a couple of others in the group wouldn't have been entitled to NHS care as they were expats here working for US banks). Not very earth mother, more designer cashmere blankets.
It was a waste of £200 for us, but I've got friends who made really good connections and are still in touch with their NCT group years later, even though the children are close to grown up.
NCT definitely attracts a certain type. I didn't really enjoy it, though I did make one lasting friend there. Everyone was nice so it's not that I think they would have said anything mean about not breastfeeding, but there was just this assumption that everyone was breastfeeding. And that everyone would do baby-led weaning, etc etc. I much preferred going to local children's centres were there was a cross-section of people from the neighbourhood.
Depends on what area the classes are run.
At mine, of the eight couples we all fit the middle class stereotype: married, mid 30s, all high level professional jobs, home owners, financially stable etc.
If there had been say a young single mum I think we would have struggled to find conversation out with babies.
I don't think it'd earth mothers at all, but it's very middle class and I found one up man ship. Looking down on people who get child benefit while their husbands evade tax. Or my favourite one who talked constantly about the environment and recycling, but drove a massive 4x4. But there not all like that, so it might be ok
OP, gawd, reading your posts is like reading something I've read, you sound in exactly the same situation as I was end of last year.
My experience was of NCT was okkkkk: my group are nice but it seems other groups have gelled better and I'm aware that other NCT groups are much tighter knit than mine. Whilst it's good to meet people in the same boat if I could turn back the clock if have just stuck to the NHS ones.
IME, I forked out £300 for something which did not help me prepare for my birth experience one iota and has been quite frankly shit since my LO was born. Disinterested teacher, no follow up, massive push for BFing. V v v unsupportive overall.
Hey: maybe I just set my expectations too high. But I can't help but think the NCT's a bit of a con. The friends you make will be at stuff like Rhyme Time, Bizzy Lizzys (buggy exercise class), even your local Sure Start centre. It doesn't start and end with the NCT.
Ps: Osolea nails it much more articulately than I!
Another good NCT experience here. Most in their 30's, but the younger ones are just as much part of the group. Varying degrees of poshness, but nobody who'd look down on others. It was really interesting to see all the different parenting approaches, I learned about things that wouldn't have occurred to me, like baby-led weaning etc. The general consensus was, whatever works for you is right for you. A lovely support network to have.
One thing that wasn't mentioned is how helpful it is to know a group of babies all around the same age, it really puts things into perspective and makes one less paranoid about what's "normal"! One will not sleep no matter what method is tried, another will be sleeping through from 3 weeks. One will be tiny at first but the biggest within a year. One will talk at one year but not walk until 2 and vice versa...
If there had been say a young single mum I think we would have struggled to find conversation out with babies. why can she not be a home owner or a professional high earner? Is her worth only achieved by having a husband?
I met one friend at the hospital ante natal class but made most of my friends at the local mother and toddler group . We are a mixed bunch but remain friends even though our children are in their thirties now. We used to do child friendly things but now we have nice meals, gin and weekends away!
Drawing Life this is true. But if you have even one irrational worrier in there you're getting a constant feed of OMG this/that that can be somewhat draining
Our lot were/are middle class but not posh. We were all in our 30s when we did the course.
All of us tried breastfeeding but only 2 or 3 of us really did well with it, and another 2 or 3 only tried for a day or two.
I wouldn't worry about it being "posh".
We were all mc stereotypes though as pp said - professional jobs, homeowners etc. Not all married, but no single mothers either.
I had a fantastic experience and wouldn't say it was a group of middle class couples for ours. The info you get is good, yes, wish there'd been more about caring for your baby once it's born (I found it mostly to be about labour and breastfeeding), but the networking it provided was invaluable. A friend of mine in another area recommended it for that alone, and I'm glad I listened to her.
Having a support network there straight after you have your first baby, when everyone is going through the same things at roughly the same time is brilliant. We still meet up regularly, over 3 years later.
Having said that, my dh and I were asked to take our DD in to see two groups and speak about the birth and they weren't nearly as awesome as our group (maybe slightly biased), so it's the luck of the draw who you get I suppose.
Im pregnant and decided against nct due to various things ive heard. Luckily theres a local company that seems to provide classes in my area. Had several recommendations from friends and been to one class so far. Someone seems lovely and tbh im shocked how little i knew....😳 Luckily the person teaches us is lovely and doesnt mind any silly questions!
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