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NCT antenatal classes - are they good?

(18 Posts)
ManhattanBabe Tue 01-Jan-13 22:15:55

Evening all

Just wondering if anyone has taken the above classes? My husband and I are deciding whether it is worth the money to take these classes instead of the NHS antenatal.

Thanks and wow the baby is kicking well I am watching sex and the city! grin

gingercats Tue 01-Jan-13 22:22:03

Hi + congrats. We did NCT classes as have most of my friends expecting their 1st baby. We found the info useful, but for us the best thing is the friends we've made through them. I think most people do them to meet others having babies. Some people I know also did the NHS ones + they found the info useful.

ManhattanBabe Tue 01-Jan-13 22:25:54

Thanks gingercats! Appreciate that. My best friend had been saying how good they were.

We may be moving before birth difficult to know whether I should go near my current home or new home.

EddieIzzardIsOrange Tue 01-Jan-13 22:37:14

They are very good, classes tend to be smaller than the nhs ones so more opportunity to ask questions etc

There also tends to be more 'activities' at nct (split into groups and discuss...type things)

Lots of information, all bases covered although with it being the natural childbirth trust there is quite a bit of emphasis on meditation/breastfeeding/reuseable nappies etc (although it isnt rammed down your throat, I felt comfortable there as a formula feeding, disposable nappy using mother who had pethidine in labour!)

I would go to the one close to your new house too, focus on making friends/meeting up post-birth so a support network close to where you and the baby will be I think would be better....

gingercats Tue 01-Jan-13 23:25:48

Agreed that going to classes near ur new home will be beneficial & help u settle in there as you'll have some ready made new friends. All the best

ManhattanBabe Wed 02-Jan-13 21:40:36

Thanks both of you...will look at new areas now.

EddieIzzardIsOrange I appreciate your feedback too.

Dromedary Wed 02-Jan-13 21:45:39

It was good fun going to the classes, but once it came to the actual birth all the info turned out to be irrelevant. The midwife at the hospital when handed the carefully drafted birthplan glanced at it as if she'd never seen one before and cast it aside. Then it all came down to extreme pain and any kind of pain relief, especially the epidural, turning out to be a very good idea. They don't talk about things like epidurals at NCT classes - just how to breathe (which you completely forget about when in extreme pain).

blondietinsellyminx Wed 02-Jan-13 21:49:14

I loved NCT classes and nowadays volunteer for the branch smile I met some fab friends and we are all still meeting up each week even though our babies are now turning 3!

Best £175 I've spent on parenting wink

PuffPants Wed 02-Jan-13 21:53:27

Great for meeting people. Average for teaching you anything. In fact, I found the NHS ante-natal class more informative and relevant.

The support network it gave me was invaluable, for the first year anyway. 3 yrs on, I'm only really in touch with 2 of them.

TheGreatGatsby Wed 02-Jan-13 22:01:32

Hit and miss I would think. As other posters have said, the main point of them are meeting other new parents in your area. Once you go on maternity leave you may find that you don't know anyone in your new area who is around in the daytime, so if you are the sociable type it's good to get to know other expectant ladies. But the NHS classes are likely to be just as good if not better. It all depends on the particular midwife and the other participants.

BartletForTeamGB Thu 03-Jan-13 09:33:00

"They don't talk about things like epidurals at NCT classes - just how to breathe (which you completely forget about when in extreme pain)."

We were taught about all sorts of pain relief at our NCT classes, so it sounds like your teacher might have been a bit odd.

I enjoyed ours but particularly appreciated meeting others in the same position. We haven't ended up as best friends but the mutual support in those early days was invaluable. I'd advise finding a class nearer your new address for that reason.

Also, for you and for others, there are lots of discounts available:

Dromedary Thu 03-Jan-13 12:58:45

In my day there was a strong emphasis in the NCT on "natural childbirth". I still don't get why some people think that childbirth is somehow superior / more moral when you don't receive any kind of pain relief.

tiktok Thu 03-Jan-13 14:08:20

NCT has not been 'natural childbirth trust' for 40 odd years smile

'N' stands for 'national'.

High level of satisfaction from audit - follow @MaryNewburn1 on Twitter for today's tweets showing results of recent survey. 25,000 plus responses, with 93 per cent 'excellent' or 'good', 6 per cent 'fair', 1 per cent 'poor'.

Classes certainly do cover pain relief including epidurals. A teacher who only taught breathing would be very odd indeed - I wonder if this was a different course?

(A midwife who casts aside a birth plan so rudely and dismissively needs a complaint made about her, IMO!).

Dromedary Thu 03-Jan-13 15:34:45

Tiktok, as I said, I enjoyed the classes, and they are a good way of meeting people about to have baby 1 too, and in our area there were then lots of social events for parents with preschool children, and good jumble sales. So it's a very worthwhile organisation.
On preparing for the birth itself I found the free NHS or whatever they are classes at least as useful, and less PC on things like bottle feeding. At the end of the day, loads of women I knew (and I) had unexpected problems with the birth. The classes certainly don't prepare you for that. They are I think designed to be reassuring, but the reality can be very different from what you are then expecting.

tiktok Thu 03-Jan-13 16:23:45

If you could prepare for the unexpected, it wouldn't be unexpected smile

NCT classes will not be able to predict the sort of birth you or any other individual will have. But you can learn about the process of birth, what your options are, and how to express your choices when the time comes.

I don't think they are designed to be 'reassuring', on the whole. No antenatal teacher I have met would say that, anyway. They are designed to raise your awareness and your confidence, and to enable you to take your place at the centre of any decision-making that arises during labour and birth.

NCT don't do group teaching of formula feeding in the breastfeeding session (the clue is in the name smile ) for ethical and practical reasons, nothing to do with being PC. But there is plenty of NCT-badged information about formula.

ManhattanBabe Sat 05-Jan-13 20:05:32

Thank you all....I've booked the NCT classes and we are making efforts to go to the area in the evening even though we live an hour away at the moment.....

Wish we had time for the NHS classes too...but I am working and still working up to almost 2 weeks before the due date...of course will have to see how I go


aufaniae Sat 05-Jan-13 20:20:48

I went to the NHS classes too and they were pretty useless in comparison. They were massive (at least 40 people there) the info was very basic compared to the NCT class, prob not worth it if you're already doing NCT.

It is worth going on the hospital tour of the delivery suite though if you can (if they do it at yours) At least you'll know where you're meant to be going and what to expect (if you're having the baby at hospital that is!)

GnTmummy Sat 05-Jan-13 20:34:45

Dear all,

I hope you won't mind me posting here, but as this is a discussion about antenatal classes, I wanted to draw your attention to a new thread I've started on here regarding a class that I run. Please could you have a look and give me your opinion?

Many thanks!

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