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Whether to bother with NCT?

(77 Posts)
Plumbridge Sat 19-Aug-06 18:08:39

As a new member of mumsnet I was wondering if anyone had any view on whether I should bother joining an NCT class at all? I'm 35 weeks with my third and have never seemed to have got around to joining before! Is it worth it this time?

WigWamBam Sat 19-Aug-06 18:18:20

You're probably too late if you're after their ante-natal classes, they tend to start at around (from memory) 28 weeks and go on for 8 weeks.

Plumbridge Sat 19-Aug-06 18:22:05

Suppose I was really looking for a fresh group of friends away from the school run rather than the actual ante natal care............but thanks. Maybe I'll lurk at some of the NCT events locally!

WigWamBam Sat 19-Aug-06 18:26:31

My experience was that the group stuck together for a couple of years afterwards, so from that point of view you could be OK - but if the classes are already underway, they will probably be full.

Some areas do "Bumps and Babies" coffee mornings, which you might meet new people at - it would be worth giving them a ring to see if your local NCT do anything like that near you.

Plumbridge Sat 19-Aug-06 18:31:48

Cool, thanks. That was my first bit of mumsnetting! (Don't really know what I'm doing at the moment but hey!) Kind of done all that baby class thing with my older two, not a problem to go back and do it again, only feel the need for something new and a bit more exciting....s'pose will just have to search out the different things to do with him (baby number three)

34MetresOfElastic Sat 19-Aug-06 18:46:06

Oh - and welcome to MN, by the way

(Still WWB ... despite the ridiculous name change)

Plumbridge Sat 19-Aug-06 18:48:06

Do we ask why the change at this point?!

clairemow Sat 19-Aug-06 18:57:32

hi Plumbridge, does your doctor's surgery run any post natal groups? I moved to a new area after DS was born, and now have a great group of friends from post natal classes. Could ask your health visitor about that?

I tried to get in touch with our local NCT but they never even rang me back... .

Plumbridge Sat 19-Aug-06 19:02:01

Good idea clairemow it's kinda taken for granted that you know what you're doing with regards to giving birth and raising a child when it's number three! Thing is I feel as though I've never had any as there is a six year age gap between this and the last. Really must be reminded of the obvious and will start with the health visitors!

chestnutter Sat 19-Aug-06 19:08:32

Hi Plumbridge, I did the NCT training course but didn't click with the others in terms of wanting to keep in touch. However I really enjoyed my local NCT coffee morning group, although it was mainly first time mums like myself (at that stage). There was one person who had an older child and we really appreciated the benefit of her experience! So I guess if you don't mind perhaps being the only one bringing an older child (or 2, if your eldest isn't at school), I would definitely recommend it.

thesatinepimpernel Sat 19-Aug-06 19:23:16

A friend is very keen on her NCT group but they are all first time mums. Don't know if that's typical!

samnbabes Sat 19-Aug-06 19:29:54

Don't know whereabouts you are, and different local NCT branches do different things, but our branch does coffee mornings/park/farm visits etc at least once/twice a month, for anyone with a kid of any age who just wants to meet some new mums/get out of the house, as well as more organised kids parties once a year.
It took me a year and a half to actually get round to going along to anything - not least b/cos I was nervous that they would all have kids in organic cotton nappies , but am now on my local committee, and it has given me a new network, often with mums I wouldn't have talked to otherwise ... and only one of them has kids in cotton nappies ! Obviously, I'm biased, but I reckon you can't loose anything by giving it a go - if your local branch is a bit pants, then you don't go again!

pointydog Sat 19-Aug-06 19:57:15

I never did any of the NCT ante-natal classes. Part of me reacts against NCT - don't ask me why. But I did go to a bumps and babies groups when I moved house. It wasn't all first time mums and it was quite good for getting to know new people.

So I'd give a bumps and babies group a go. All you want is to find a couple of people nearby in the same boat, don't you.

grumpyfrumpy Sat 19-Aug-06 20:17:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fatfox Tue 22-Aug-06 19:07:04

I didn't do the NCT classes but gatecrashed the coffee mornings. They were a really nice bunch (very middle class though) and saw them regularly until the point where all our babies started various schools. The NHS post natal group was great as well and made some friends from that. The NCT do great nearly new sales as well and we bought some lovely things from them . Also, if you do breastfeed, NCT groups are very handy if you want to go out and feel nervous about feeding in public, we used to take over cafes with our "feed ins" and it made me a lot more confident about feeding.

scotchick Tue 22-Aug-06 19:12:52

Pointydog, why did you react against NCT?

pointydog Tue 22-Aug-06 19:30:40

ooh, just on a private, personal level. Nothing at all against the organisation. The first time (post-baby), I just found myself amongst people who held quite different views which is always a bit isolating.

magicfarawaytree Tue 22-Aug-06 19:48:16

i would do the coffee morning if you want to broaden your social circle and meet people with similar age children. if you make one really good friend then thats got to be worth it. its proably a bit less daunting then than going solo at some mother and baby groups.

canadianmum Tue 22-Aug-06 19:53:12

our local NCT does refresher courses for Mums who are having their second or third. You could enquire about that.

Some of my best mum-mates now are people I met through NCT.

Agree that it is a pretty middle class organisation but still very pleasant (we Canadians are classless of course ). I didn't meet anyone who knitted their own knickers.

scotchick Tue 22-Aug-06 20:08:57

I'm with you there Pointydog, I felt the same re NCT.

scotchick Tue 22-Aug-06 20:09:47

Oh, just re-read your post and I see it wasn't anything to do with organisation, just the people! Sorry.

Scrub that.

pointydog Tue 22-Aug-06 20:48:46


You mean you have problems with the views of the organisation, scotchick?

I must admit, I know very little about the org. I was desperate to meet other mums after dd1 was born and I heard they organised local groups so I found out about that.

scotchick Wed 23-Aug-06 08:25:38

Could go on and on, but admit that I didn't agree with the way they conducted themselves. To me, really out of reach middle class, reasonably wealthy people with OPINIONS. I found it too much and had to leave. Eg, one thing our branch discussed was ways to bring women in from the more deprived areas and I thought that was hysterical. It was never going to happen, they were so out of touch with what non organic buying,non gap/next kids clothes buying people were like.

Also. their policy on breastfeeding hacked me off. I breastfed and would never have considered anything else. To me breast is best. However, some people do not agree with that and would rather not breastfeed. I agree that women should be given as much information about breastfeeding as poss, but then it's up to them. To me the NCT seemed almost exclusively breastfeeders, in a smug way. The ones who choose not to would feel totally excluded from that clique.

scotchick Wed 23-Aug-06 08:26:25

Even the ante-natal classes were so bloody expensive it would put them out of reach of many. What signal does that send out?

fatfox Wed 23-Aug-06 08:37:44


I totally agree about NCT prices. When I last joined 3 years ago it was £36 per. year. That's more than twice the price of joining a political party, or Amnesty, for example. The cost excludes most women, which is why its so exclusively middle class. I welcomed the support my group gave when I had trouble breastfeeding (mastitis and breast thrush) but I did find the endless conversations about skiiing holidays, nannies and city bonus's alienating. I'm a manager in the public sector so have average wage (i.e. not "deprived") and the conversations made me feel very deprived - like I couldn't keep up somehow with all the tales of trips to posh restaurants etc.

I think the NCT really has to sort this issue out if it wants to represent all women.

Actually my group had both bottle and breast feeders, so that aspect was fine and I made one friend who I still see now, some six years on, so it was worth it. I wonder if all NCT groups are the same or whether it varies according to where you live?

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