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to consider giving NCT antenatal classes a miss and go on a spa day instead??

(59 Posts)
pinkfizzle Sun 30-Aug-09 21:52:31

ok I am pregnant with first baby.

I think I have left it too late to book nct classes, a few weeks into trimester 3.

I have also been a bit shocked at the price.

I am thinking that I could just put the money towards a lovely spa treatment or two? Or a weekend away with DH to relax?

A lengthy period of time sitting listening and learning seems a great deal of effort. Moving from my living room to my bedroom sometimes seems like a great deal of effort.

I am also considering a post birth doula or breast feeding counsellor instead.

I am pretty chilled out about everything and have a very supportive Dh who suggested I put this question to you lot.

I have been physically sick throughout this pregnancy - so don't want to exert too much effort outside work.

I have been to a birth type work shop which I found good. I might also try hospital classes, if they are not cancelled due to swine flu fears.

Any feedback welcome, either positive or negative on antenatal classes. Did they help? With the benefit of hindsight what would you do? smile

hester Sun 30-Aug-09 21:55:34

It really depends what you go to the classes for. I went to the NCT and learned all the huffing and puffing - nearly all of us had emergency caesareans! BUT it was very useful to learn about epidurals, caesarean etc (yes, NCT classes do cover this).

Most of all, though, the NCT class was where I met the women who are still my best mummy friends. Four years on, I'm in touch with them all and we meet up frequently. They're a class bunch of women.

That doesn't happen for everyone, of course, and you can always join a postnatal class or a mother and baby group, but I wouldn't have missed my NCT class for the world.

preciouslillywhite Sun 30-Aug-09 21:55:58

IME a lot of folk go to NTC classes to meet the "right" sort of people...

To me they always seemed expensive and not v inclusive and I swerved them. Hospital classes were fine for me!

hester Sun 30-Aug-09 21:56:43

I should add that I don't see anything wrong with going to a spa instead, if that's what you fancy. No rights or wrongs here, just go for what feels right for you.

And best of luck with the birth!

preciouslillywhite Sun 30-Aug-09 21:57:10

x post with hester- I didn't mean you, of course wink

LovelyTinOfSpam Sun 30-Aug-09 21:59:51

Deffo go to spa.

Do NHS classes if available.

TBH they don't tell you any more than you could learn from what to expect type books though.

Apart from, with the NHS ones you get a tour of the delivery suites, which is useful, as you're on familiar ground come the big push, IYSWIM grin

Wonderstuff Sun 30-Aug-09 22:03:06

I didn't do NCT and regret it. I had a fab birth and felt well prepared, but I found meeting mummy friends hard work, I still only have a few, I really think I would have benefitted from meeting people through NCT.

pinkfizzle Sun 30-Aug-09 22:08:00

Thanks precious and hester

Although I do really want to meet other local mums to be or mums for support, but perhaps this can be covered in a mum type group.

lovelytinofspam interestingly I did get a heap of books, which thankfully I devoured early on.

Thanks all for the feedback thus far, think I might be veering towards the spa, or a weekend with dh grin so that I have some before children chilled memories to get me through the first few months post birth.

preciouslillywhite Sun 30-Aug-09 22:12:46

pinkfizzle if you can get yourself to baby/toddler groups you shouldn't have any problems on the making friends front- IMO there's something a bit hmm about big gangs of middle class women who meet up all the time with their same aged babies!- but then that's why I never went to NCT!

hester Sun 30-Aug-09 22:15:36

I looooove big gangs of middle class women who meet up all the time with their same aged babies - that's why I'm on Mumsnet grin

Grendle Sun 30-Aug-09 22:16:33


Spa days sound lovely grin. Pregnancy massages are fabulous too. Do some selected reading (Ina May Gaskin, Michel Odent, Marie Mongan etc) and get out and join a group to meet new mums after the baby arrives.

Grendle Sun 30-Aug-09 22:17:12

Oh yes, postnatal doula is an excellent plan too smile.

KateMess Sun 30-Aug-09 22:17:23

I just wanted to say I booked my NCT classes at 36 weeks, when we got back to this country, so I don't think you're too late.

Maybe I was lucky with our teacher, but I found I learned loads about birth. Also, perhaps more importantly, and more than being the 'right sort' of people, you are in a group of people at exactly the same stage in pregnancy as you. This is more important after the babies come, and you are all going through the same developmental things together.

spongebrainmaternitypants Sun 30-Aug-09 22:18:56

pinkfizzle, if you're in your 3rd trimester already then I would say (depending on where you live) that you haven't got a cat in hell's chance of getting on an NCT class now anyway!

Enjoy your spa smile.

preciouslillywhite Sun 30-Aug-09 22:20:00

hester- I loooooove big gangs of middle class women who bait poly trolls, ask what's French for chick peas and talk about larder porn- that's why I'm on Mumsnet grin

pinkfizzle Sun 30-Aug-09 22:47:38

preciouslillywhite what is a poly troll?

Larder Porn - god help me blush as I'm no domestic goddess.

SarfEasticated Sun 30-Aug-09 23:11:04

I met two really cool girls who live up the road from me through NCT, and they are the kind of people I would probably meet and like if I met them through work, or at the pub.
We wouldn't have met at baby groups as we come under different health centres, and live far enough apart to use different parks.
I'd give NCT a go to be honest, it's not very easy swapping phone nos at toddler groups. It'll be useful just so you have a group you can share birth stories with, and get you out of the house in the early days.

Bumpinthenight Mon 31-Aug-09 07:59:22

I did NHS classes. TBH I wish I hadn't bothered, they were on a Friday afternoon, after a week at work all I wanted/needed to do was sleep!

I ended up with a CS so could have missed the pain relief and labour ones! The bfeeding one was crap too!!

Ask your MW if she does a parentcraft evening - this covered everything that my classes did, but in one evening and with DH.

I met my "baby" friends at baby massage group. We still meet 21 months later and go out as a group without the babies too.

Go for the spa day!

girlsyearapart Mon 31-Aug-09 08:09:22

I went to NHS thing which was one morning at the hospital where I was having DD1 it was fine just talked about paon relief etc. Didn't swap phone numbers or anything. Mainly was sitting there thinking about how cross I was with DH as he sat down took one look at the group of people went outside to "answer his phone" and never came back!!

I already had friends and family with similar aged dcs and I went to the locally organised postnatal group where I met some Mummy friends.

From what I can work out NCT classes can be great for meeting people but can also be very cliquey.

I'd go for Spa Day. I went to Champneys when pg was lovely x

Bathsheba Mon 31-Aug-09 08:17:49

Do these people not do something that combines the 2..

From what I've heard they combine a luxury weekend away with Ante Natal classes...

MamaGoblin Mon 31-Aug-09 08:21:57

Yes, of course YABU - did you not realise that NCT antenatal classes are compulsory? grin

Of course you can miss them and go to a spa instead! But as others have said, you might find it hard to meet other mums later on. Some baby groups can be very quichey, particularly if there's a hardcore made up of ... an NCT antenatal group! Not always unpleasantly cliquey, but these things just happen. And often the NHS classes are over in a morning or couple of sessions, so you don't have the longer timespan to get to know people.

My NCT antenatal group bonded very well and 18 months on, we still do a lot together, and I've made, I think, some lifelong friends. I know not all antenatal groups gell, but when they do, it's fab. I don't know what I'd have done without them.

FWIW, I didn't learn anything in the groups that I hadn't already found out under my own steam, and the learning component was pretty thin, I think. Could have done with a whole lot more about what to do with the baby after the birth. It was the social life I signed up for! grin

daxibaby Mon 31-Aug-09 09:29:42

Why not hire a birth doula as well as a post natal doula? They are quite informed too and definitely worth their weight in gold!!!!

EleanoraBuntingCupcake Mon 31-Aug-09 09:33:15

another vote for spa day here! i went to one nct class and it was horrific. i went to a mother and baby group and met lots of nice people.

cfc Mon 31-Aug-09 09:42:05

I loved our NCT class although I'd found out everything I needed to beforehand or during the term of the classes as I am an avid reader and researcher and watched a lot of birthing programs on Sky Discovery Home and Health so I was really prepared.

A friend from the class said she wishes she'd done that too as the classes to her made it sound like a wonderful magical experience and she wasn't really prepared, or so she felt. Of course, birth can be, but with your first, it seldom is.

We gelled really well and we all still meet up at least 2 times a week and are heading off soon without babies. Also important is the fact that the boys gelled too and have been out to the footy, poker at each other's houses etc.

I also signed up for the social life - I got all the learning bit from elsewhere. Oh, and another good thing about NCT was the helplines and websites etc they give you towards the end of it - really useful.

saltyseadog Mon 31-Aug-09 09:44:33

Another vote for a spa day. I really got absolutely nothing out of the NCT classes (mets lots of irritating parents to be though ) - I thought the NHS classes were just as good and they were FREE.

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