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Is NCT worth it?(24 Posts)
I'd like to do some NCT classes not only because I'm a first time mum but I'd like to
Make friends with other mum's - I'm the first of my friends to be pregnant and when I'm on mat leave I'd love to hang out with some friends who are in the same boat.
An NCT course is £300 - is it worth it? Would love to know about other people's experiences.
Personally I didn't find the content useful but the group of friends I made have been invaluable. The kids are 15/16 months now and we still chat via WhatsApp every day and meet up regularly. When on mat leave I saw them pretty much every day. I was new to the area and didn't know anyone else though.
I agree with @welshweasel. Content was fairly useless as it focussed on labour which for me was super quick and nothing like the course prepared me for!
On the other hand it gave me a brilliant network for the first year when we met every week and meant I always had a group of people who were going through the same thing at the same time with their babies.
I made great friends on the NHS antenatal and at the NHS postnatal classes. I would have done nct but I was having a c section and so didn't think I would fit in.
Same- doing Daisy birthing this time round and content is a lot more useful. For making friends it's pretty good
NCT isn't anti c section. I had a planned section and didn't feel unwelcome. It was actually far more balanced than I was expecting. The only thing they didn't discuss in detail was formula feeding but the leader was happy to answer questions and provide more info by email. 4 out of 8 of us ended up with c sections and 5 of 8 exclusively breastfed, despite all hoping to at the start.
The not discussing formula would seriously piss me off. Ffs
Do bear in mind op that the NHS classes are run by midwives who are delivering babies daily. Nct classes are run by enthusiastic amateurs with limited training and most will never have delivered a baby nor attended birth other than their own.so go to make friends but pinch of salt needed for their 'advice'
The lack of availability of any information prior to birth regarding formula feeding pissed me off when I unexpectedly found myself having to use it. I totally get the whole breast is best thing, but not to the detriment of formula fed babies (for whatever reason) whose parents haven't got a clue how to make up bottles safely.
I went into labour before finishing the course, I managed perfectly well 😂
Didn't have anything in common with any of the other parents so didn't stay in contact long, I found more friends through local toddler groups.
Thanks for the advice all.
What did put me off booking it just yet was the fact that I put one enquiry in and they haven't stopped hounding me. So I had about three follow up emails, and even a phone call in the middle of the day at work after which they left a voicemail. I get they are a charity but it felt pushy. Having said that, I have a friend who's kids are primary school age who met a lot of her close friends through it.
I think from an information point of view, you can probably get as much from a nhs ante natal course, we found a day thing at our local hospital and it was very informative and better factually than our nct course. We did nct to meet people and whilst it sort of helped, we haven't stayed in touch, but I know other people who have. Our local nct branch regularly hosts free coffee mornings in local cafes, you don't need to me a member of have attended a nct course to attend. there are loads of different organisations (nct, la leche league, children's centres or health visitor groups) who host breastfeeding support, so plenty of information available should you need it.
I don't think nct course is essential, but if you have £300 spare, then you might make some great friends.
If your nhs trust does antinatal classes it's much the same thing. TBH I didn't make friends at mine
because DH was with me and he's an anti social git but after ds was born I did the nhs postnatal course and made some lovely friends who I still see regularly now nearly 3 years later.
I definitely found the information I got from a four hour NHS-run session more useful than what I learned from NCT, not least because out of six sessions five of them were about birth plans, pain relief in birth, water births and general delivery stuff (including a whale music and deep breathing session which saw my DH eyes roll so much I thought they were going to pop out). There was very little about actually parenting a baby in our course, it was all about the physical process of having it. For me I had a lot more
daft questions about having a baby - how many layers of clothes should she be wearing, how should I bath her, what should go in her Moses basket / cot to keep her warm but not overheat her at night, how to wind her effectively etc. All seems daft and a bit simple now but then these were things they kept me awake at night worrying I'd get them 'wrong'.
I know lots of people who made lifelong friends at NCT but our group was quite geographically diverse and there was no one close I got on with to stay in touch with - I made friends with people with similar ages kids once DD was born, through baby swim classes and stay and play sessions at my local children's centre.
My DH said at the time that rather than spending £300 on the course we could buy a book and stacks of DVD box sets for night feeds. In hindsight he was right (although maybe we should have gone Netflix subscription!)
The alternative option is to join the NCT and attend some of their other events - our branch has welcome evening and get togethers which are aimed at connecting people who are expecting babies around the same time
YES without a doubt for the ready made support group of people who are going through exactly the same thing at the same time. 2yrs later and we still chat daily and meet up at least once a month. They are invaluable. Any mums I have met at baby groups or NCT events after having my son haven't had the same connection or depth of relationship. With my NCT group we learnt about everything for the first time together, we chatted to each other during labour, we chatted during night feeds, there was no line that couldn't be crossed. You need that in the early days. Any beyond! With other course e.g. Nhs that are only 6hrs I don't think you have enough time to really get to know people and create that support. That's why NCT was so great for me.
I also did a postnatal group and in all honesty without that structure of going once a week for 6 weeks to see those girls and chat about life after baby I think I would have broken. If you don't do antenatal, do sign up for postnatal if there's one near you as that is equally good and costs about £75 so much less,
Also maybe I was lucky with my group but formula wasn't poo poo'd in my classes, but we were just told about breastfeeding rather than how to make up formula bottles. Some of our group mix fed. And one of ours had a caesarean. In fact one was going to have elective c section due to placenta when we started classes, placenta then ended up moving so natural birth on tables but actually ended up as emergency section!
Either way I would thoroughly recommend NCT, worth every penny imo
Oh! Another point...
We did the signature course (rather than essential) and that covered baby care including sleep safety, nappy changing, bathing etc. I don't think essential course does think that's just about giving birth
Yes absolutely. I met a lot of lovely people and genuinely learned a lot even though I read every baby book going! But, our leader wouldn't entertain any discussions on formula feeding....bf went fine for me but half the group couldn't and were very confused and mis-informed about how bottle feeding worked after. One woman took her Irish mums advice and would crumble rusks into the bottle to fill baby up before bed time...
It's a lot of money (£400) here to make friends which is all I seem to read and hear when people ask this.
I didn't do any antenatal classes at all so can't say from personal experience re the content. One thing I can say from personal experience is that when I had my DC, there were NCT cliques that were impenetrable. They obviously had shared experiences and had known each other longer than anyone else at the new parent groups and they stuck together.
I didn't feel it helped at all. Mine was a weekend course (and the information just scared me!) and the group was composed of very different individuals and as a result there were no lasting friendships.
I think I was unlucky though as friends (in London) found it more bonding over the 8 weeks or however long their course lasted.
I personally found the information to be lacking (I learnt much more from reading books) and unfortunately had nothing in common with the other couples so a colossal waste of money in my opinion. My husband and I would dread going every week!
Definitely! Might depend on the teacher but mine was fab! She covered all aspects of feeding, not just breast. I also made some great friends there
For me, yes. We live in a densely populated area so all lived pretty close to each other. Content was fine, but it was worth it for the friends. The friends I made have been invaluable, particularly as I went back to work at 7 months so didn't get as much baby group/toddler group opportunities.
We are now nearly 6 years on and 6 of the 7 families are still in regular touch. One amazing friend had DS1 when DS2 was being born, and has happily offered for us to drop him off at 6am on the way to DS2's very early surgery. Fantastic people, especially as few of us had any local support - we built our own.
Can't comment on the content of the sessions as I only managed to get to the first class before my baby was born. But I can say that although I didn't miss not having the information it would have provided as this was learned along the way, I did very much miss out on the group of friends others made. I found it very hard to find a group of mum friends as everyone would go to baby classes with several NCT friends so weren't really interested in meeting new people. I'd highly recommend getting to classes purely for the friendships.
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