NCT / hypnobirthing / NHS classes in Cambridge - any recommendations?

(17 Posts)
seekingDIYhelp Sat 03-Dec-16 15:37:05


I've posted before about being pregnant with first child and totally clueless. Has anyone done NCT classes in Cambridge? Were they worth the time or money? What did you gain that you didn't get from the NHS Rosie classes?

Also, has anyone done the hypnobirthing classes? I can't afford to do both NCT and hypnobirthing. DH would rather we did neither (because he is an introvert and cynical about 'hippy birthing woo'). I think we know nothing, and I'm not sure if the NHS classes will teach us enough!

Namechange30 Sat 03-Dec-16 17:20:19

First things first, you are the one giving birth, not your DH, so his opinion about "hippy birthing woo" is not relevant - your approach to birth is your decision!

I hesitated between NCT and a hypnobirthing course with Birth Sense, and in the end decided to book with Birth Sense because I've heard such good things about hypnobirthing. I'm hoping the techniques will help me to keep calm whichever type of birth I end up having, "natural" or not.

Birth Sense are doing a hypnobirthing taster session on 16th December so maybe you could do that to help you make up your mind?

I've also noticed that they sometimes offer free last minute places on their courses on the Facebook page:

seekingDIYhelp Sat 03-Dec-16 21:47:47

Thank you for the quick reply. Although I'd seen their website, I hadn't spent much time on their FB page - the reviews are really helpful. I hadn't realised that it was a complete antenatal course covering a lot of the NCT-type stuff. I think I'm sold!

I probably gave the wrong impression earlier - DH is really laid back and happy to go with whatever I want/need. However he is also a scientist and so likes to evidence check everything, including my suggestions. The course leaders say they encourage sceptics to attend, so I think DH will fit in fine ;)

NameChange30 Sun 04-Dec-16 16:31:00

You're welcome! Hope you find the course helpful. I'm starting it very soon so I'll let you know how it goes!

ItsNiceItsDifferentItsUnusual Sun 04-Dec-16 16:41:51

Are you actually in Cambridge or the surrounding areas? I did a hypnobirthing type course with Daisy Birthing which I'd recommend. The teacher was based more in villages/towns around Camb than within, although it's a franchise I believe so you might have one near you.

Daisy Birthing

If you're also looking to make friends though, I'd personally give NCT a go if it's one or the other. Friendships not guaranteed obvs but more chance to talk etc than at Daisy Birthing.

Cakestop Sun 04-Dec-16 18:31:35

Hey, I remember - we are due around the same date. I did hypnobirthing in London with my first and found it great. The way I looked at it is it is essentially just a distraction technique that helps get your body into a relaxed state, which in turn makes you and your muscles more relaxed so you have a much more comfortable, often quicker (some say enjoyable) labour. But don't ask me if it works as I went 16 days over, with no sign of labour ever happening and ended up having to have an ecs.

Anyway, I've signed up to NCT this time (which I gather is a bit unusual for your 2nd), but I felt like I missed out a little, so will give it a go. Plus we are new to Cambridge. Like you, DH doesn't care that much about classes, but he's not the one on maternity leave! I'd like to do hypnobirthing again, but it's expensive doing both, and having a toddler makes going to these classes harder!

doctorgeek Mon 05-Dec-16 12:19:38

I did Birth Sence three years ago and all it left me with was an abject sense of failure. The group wasn't socialble, so we didn't make any friends out of it. I ended up having a somewhat complicated end of pregnancy and Birth Sense offered no support. I didn't find the methods in any way useful at all (and I lived and breathed hypbobirthing for both my pregnancies). There was supposed to be a post birth meet up which either never happened or I wasn't invited to (had EMCS).

Did Wise Hippo method for DS (VBAC) which was more flexible than Birth Sense but again the techniques did absolutely nothing. In both cases an epidural was magic, instant relief, despite not being encouraged (or mentioned at all) by the hypbobirthing crew.

So if you only have cash for one, I'd do NCT.

That said, the staff at the Rosie are absolutely second to none and were extremely respectful of everything I wanted. The Rosie is fab!

ellemme Tue 06-Dec-16 12:13:06

I've no experience of the NHS classes.

I did NCT classes for my first baby and a hypnobirthing course for my 2nd. I made better connections from the NCT classes, but that may have been partly because I was the only 2nd timer on my hypnobirthing course, so slightly the 'odd one out', and it was a smaller group. Our NCT group is still meeting up 2 years on. smile

In terms of what they covered, I think the NCT one had everything the hypnobirthing one had except the actual relaxation methods and audio tracks (NCT did cover the physiology/psychology of birth and the body/brain interaction and why you would want to stay relaxed via e.g. hypnobirthing). So, my advice would be to do an NCT course, and then to cover the hypnobirthing by using a book and CD (I'd recommend Maggie Howell's Natal Hypnotherapy)....unless you can afford to go on both! smile And if you can, then consider hiring a doula as well!

seekingDIYhelp Tue 13-Dec-16 20:11:17

Thanks so much for all your advice - it is so helpful! As I'm entirely clueless I went with the majority of you and booked NCT. (Also, the NCT classes are closer to home and on better dates than hypnobirthing. Convenience rules.)

Cakestop I'm going to an NCT in March/April - you? I hope your pregnancy is going smoothly.

seekingDIYhelp Tue 13-Dec-16 20:12:04

Please may I ask one more question - do I need to do a baby first aid course or is it included in NCT?

Partiallycloudy Tue 13-Dec-16 20:21:07

I did both nct and hypnobirthing. The only thing I got from nct was a good bunch of ladies to met up once the course was finished.
Hypnobiryhing was brilliant and even though my birth was not what I planned I think hypnobirthing was a great help to let me know more about what to expect. Nct is a bit wish washy on this!
If you husband is a scientist then hypnobirthing should be right up his street! It explains the science behind how your hormones work and how your uterus works during labour. All very scientific!!

But I think you need to find the right hypnobirthing course for you. My teacher was lovely and very supportive but very intense! I have since trained to teach hypnobirthing and will be setting up next year that's how impressed I was with it.
There are some online courses that maybe cheaper then doing a home based course. But if not I recommend you read the following books:
Kg hypnobirthing
The calm birth school
Ina may gaskin guide to childbirth
The new experience of child birth ( can't remember the author)

Good luck

NameChange30 Tue 13-Dec-16 21:46:57

Interesting mix of opinions on this thread!

I think it depends whether your priority is making friends or preparing for labour. The consensus seems to be that NCT is best for making friends. I've chosen hypnobirthing because I feel it will be the best way for me to prepare (mentally and practically) for labour. Note for me - I realise it's not the same for everyone.

I went to my first Birth Sense class last week and it was very good. My only criticism is that the class was too long (2.5 hours and it overran!) especially as it was in the evening. But I guess every course and teacher is different, and some might do shorter sessions but more of them.

Cakestop Wed 14-Dec-16 12:42:23

Hey, yes. 30th March is the first date. Might even be on the same course as our due dates are quite similar?

terrifictoddlers Wed 14-Dec-16 23:15:23

Congratulations on your pregnancy seekingDIYhelp!!

I did the NHS ante natal classes with my first child. I thought they were quite interesting, but to be honest, nothing really prepares you for labour! or having a little baby about the place!! I wish I had done the nct classes as I could have done with some friends with babies of the same age when I was on Mat leave. I joined the nct post natal group in the end which was ok, but with the benefit of Hindsight, I think nct antenatal is a good idea! so you have others in the same boat you can call on on your down days! (and celebrate with on the ups!!)

Whatever you chose, enjoy it! and good luck with everything!!!! such a special time! (and whatever you do - sleep as much as you can before labour day!!! Savour those lie-ins!!! There won't be anymore for many years!!!) wink

NameChange30 Fri 23-Dec-16 10:12:41

Just posting again to say that I've done two more sessions of the Birth Sense course (so three so far, out of five) and I'm finding it really good. Not "hippy" at all, the course leader is very focused on evidence, research, and giving us information so that we can make our own decisions (rather than pushing us for/against a certain option). The most useful thing IMO is the encouragement and tools to think positively about birth, both acknowledge and calm your fears, stay relaxed and trust your instincts.

seekingDIYhelp Fri 23-Dec-16 16:27:24

Cakestop mine starts on 21st March, so not the same one unfortunately.

Partially thank you very much, I'll have a look at those books.

Namechange that's really good to hear. I've booked NCT but will pass your comments to my friend who is doing Birth Sense.

Terrific thank you grin.

BluntiMum Fri 23-Dec-16 22:21:22

Imo Nct (which we did with our first 8.5 years ago) is for making friends. You will need others who have babies the same age as you WAY more than you need to learn how to 'relax' when giving birth. I am still in touch with some of my NCT crowd and for the first year met with most of them once a week - this was a lifeline.

If you can only afford one then it has to be NCT. For birthing techniques that will really help you remain calm then buy "Birth Skills" by Ju Ju Sundin. This book is amazing. More practical than hypnobirthing but still very much about your own ability to use your mind and body to have the best experience possible, in whatever circumstances eg it also covers cesarean, back to back, other difficulties.

Hope everything goes the way you want.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now