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NCT Classes - really?

(29 Posts)
Colabottle10 Fri 26-Feb-16 11:26:49

So everyone and their goldfish has told me that we should enrol on the NCT course 'if only to make friends' etc. I have just been online and found that the nearest one to me is in the local city (which I'm 30mins away from and never go to and don't 'hang out' with people from there). Looked at booking and it's going to be £200 for 6 sessions. They wanted payment upfront too.

When I emailed to ask about paying in instalments I was told they would split it in 2 now and one in a month. I'm only 15+3, we aren't buying any baby stuff until after the 20w scan just in case. So I have politely declined.

I live in a remote place which has a lovey small town around 20mins away. It's in this town that I'll be going to mother and baby groups and meeting friends for coffee etc etc....

Are the NCT classes REALLY worth it if the only positive is making friends.....but these would be people I have nothing in common with and won't ever see again as they are in the city and I never go there? Seems daft...

Colabottle10 Fri 26-Feb-16 11:27:18

Sorry - this should have been in Pregnancy.

LastOneDancing Fri 26-Feb-16 11:33:00

Personally - No I don't think they're worth it if you're not bothered about making friends. I met 4 fantastic women who made the course worth every penny, but the practical info was nothing I hadn't already read. The NCT breastfeeding contact was fabulous but you can still access support (I think) if you don't do the classes; or from other sources like La Leche or the national BF helpline.

IME your midwife will offer you a free course/workshop if you want to know about the practicalities of birth.

Fourormore Fri 26-Feb-16 11:34:18

I don't think so. Most places have bumps and babies groups now - like toddler groups but for pregnant women and babies that aren't crawling yet. See what's around in your area.

Rodent01 Fri 26-Feb-16 11:42:30

Going against the grain here, but I was so thankful of doing NCT. We used to email in the middle of the night to each other and that was a great support, we met up every week etc so could get out of the house to share experiences etc.

There are other ways to do this and I have made other friends from other places, but this was a great starting point.

If you are 1/2 hour drive away from it, I can see this making it not so helpful though.

Rodent01 Fri 26-Feb-16 11:45:03

(but yes, the actual info was pretty useless - could read everything we were told. The breastfeeding session was the helpful as she made the DH come to it so they understood how hard it could actually be, and how to help!!)

cornishglos Fri 26-Feb-16 11:51:37

It sounds like you don't want to go, so don't. I met my best friend there so it was worth it for me.

MintyBojingles Fri 26-Feb-16 13:00:38

I looked at the price and couldn't be bothered. I made some great friends at baby & toddler groups, for a fraction of the price ;)

heritagewarrior Fri 26-Feb-16 13:17:36

I'm sure lots of people will say this, but for me NCT was worth it because I am still friends with a core group of mums from my group and my boys are now 7. However, the thing that really cemented our friendship was doing the 'early days' course once all the babies were born. We had a few new joiners who didn't do the ante-natal course and there really was no difference between those who did both and though who only did the second.

I agree with the PP who said you can read lots of the ante-natal stuff, but the bond and solidarity offered by the 'early days' was invaluable. Maybe think about doing something post- rather than ante-natal with NCT, and researching what your local maternity unit offer for pregnancy?

onemouseplace Fri 26-Feb-16 13:26:05

I managed to give birth without doing NCT - DD1 arrived the day I was supposed to be doing the first class! I don't think any of the information can't be found anywhere else.

Initially I was sad that I didn't do it as NCT is the thing to do round here and I did feel a bit isolated at baby groups as a lot of people would arrange to meet up with the people they knew through NCT there and already be in preformed groups.

But, I made the effort to get out and about and do local events and groups and got to know people and - x years on - some of my friends who did NCT are still close friends with one or more of their group, and some were part of groups that grew apart.

Littlef00t Fri 26-Feb-16 14:13:45

I did nct and didn't keep in touch with anyone. I did find the info useful but if I hadn't been spoon fed it I'm sure I'd have found it elsewhere. Personally in your position I wouldn't bother.

Felyne Fri 26-Feb-16 14:42:04

I was so glad I did mine, but I had to join one in the next town from me so it did mean quite a schlep to see everyone once the babies arrived and we were all meeting at each other's houses.
However, just to have a group of like-minded people experiencing the same thing as me who could read my emails and reply to let me know I was not alone, to let me know that someone else GOT IT, meant so much. (A bit like mumsnet, really, except I'd met them...)

Bishybishybarnabee Fri 26-Feb-16 17:10:32

I found it useful. The course itself isn't really anything you couldn't find elsewhere (although I was grateful for the information we covered about c sections when it came to my emcs, things like the number of people there'd be in theatre etc). The biggest pull though was the friends I've made. I've not replicated that through mum and baby groups, but everyone is different. That all said, there were 6 in our group, 5 living very close to each other and one about half an hour out. She has mostly lost contact with the group as obviously she doesn't really venture in for short meet ups, we don't 'bump into' her etc. So unless you think you'd make the point of continuing to do the travel it may not be worth it.

Bythepath Fri 26-Feb-16 17:17:25

I also found it useful for friends. Can't remember anything that we talked about regarding child birth really. 6 years on we still meet regularly and have all had 2nd and some 3rd children at similar times which was nice. Worth it for me, but I am pretty shy and find baby groups hard to make friends at so depends on your personality. Also mine was only 10 mins away and all of us live close.

geekaMaxima Fri 26-Feb-16 17:57:43

Well just to go against the grain, I didn't find NCT classes great for making friends. They were a nice bunch, and we met up a few times after the classes, but it all sort of fizzled out when the babies were around 6 months old and people started returning to work.

I did find the classes really useful for going through the pros and cons of different types of pain relief, what to expect if you're called into an EMC, what a 24 hour schedule with a newborn might look like, how to tell what stage of labour you're likely to be in and when to call the hospital/birth centre, different positions for managing pain in labour depending how the baby is lying, etc. It was also useful for DP to have his first experience of changing a nappy grin

Maybe the NHS classes would have covered the same stuff but they were much shorter so it would have been rushed, and my DP wouldn't have been able to attend them.

So despite not coming away with an army of lifelong friends, I'm glad I went to NCT classes!

DontKillMyVibe Fri 26-Feb-16 18:01:27

It's £260 for the classes in my area - am still debating it. For those that went, did your partner go with you? Have the option of adding him at no additional cost - just wondering if most attendees go on their own or bring their DP/DH with them?

BertieBotts Fri 26-Feb-16 18:07:46

I was really glad I went. If you're on a low income you can ask them to reduce the cost - they told us to pay what we liked, I think we paid £80. I know that there was one lady who was booked onto our course but whose baby was born 3 months early and she got a refund IIRC, so it's not too risky to pay out upfront.

XP did come with me - all the dads did. I echo the fact that it was invaluable to just have a ready made support group. Especially if none of your friends have babies, it can just be really unexpectedly isolating and baffling and your non-parent friends don't get it or get fed up of your main topic of conversation.

Are the classes actually located in the city or is the branch just there? I don't think it would be much use if you can't get there easily after birth to meet up with others since this was the main point for me. That said the classes themselves were helpful in terms of pain management and expectations.

One thing worth checking is that the teacher I had set up her own business offering classes after she finished teaching NCT and I tend to recommend local people to her directly now. It's worth checking to see if you have any local independent birth classes near you.

geekaMaxima Fri 26-Feb-16 18:07:47

All couples at my one - I think it's fairly standard for NCT.

frikadela01 Fri 26-Feb-16 18:15:59

I'm in the same positon in that my nearest nct class is 30 minutes away. Its just not worth it for me. I also work with several people who've done the class in this area and the majority haven't kept in touch with anyone once they returned to work.

lilypadpod Sat 27-Feb-16 17:38:23

My NCT group saved my sanity with a newborn. It's a ready made support group and we really gelled. It helps we all live within 20mins drive. They are still my lifeline!

We have a group chat where we share worries, questions, offer support day and night. We meet every couple of days and joined lots of classes and groups- it's easier going to groups if you have friends to go with and we share lifts to save petrol costs.

They have got me through PND and held my screaming refluxy baby while I rested. We're all on call to each other. In the early days we helped each other get out with the prams, navigate the difficulties of new parenthood. I feel like I've known them for 10years not 6months! Our husbands go for boys nights out and to see movies.

If you can afford it, do it. I nearly didn't sign up but I'm so glad I did!

weffles Sat 27-Feb-16 20:58:35

I signed up and paid for the classes but missed them all as my baby was born 3 weeks early. I came along to the last class with newborn in tow and made friends with the other parents, it was a great support in the early days. But NCT and other organisations do some fantastic baby groups which are also great ways to meet other parents and get BF support.

DontKillMyVibe Sat 27-Feb-16 22:18:54

For those that have been, what was the average age at your NCT classes? Am 37 - is it likely I'll be the oldest there by quite a bit?

Salene Sat 27-Feb-16 22:20:50

No their crap we were bored stupid after 1 session and never returned

Total waste of money

dinodiva Sun 28-Feb-16 08:45:25

In my NCT group the ages range from 28-36. I'm the oldest (prob by about a year). Age really doesn't matter though - it's more that we're going through the same things at the same time. For me it's been totally worth it. The support we give each other has been a lifeline really, being able to whatsapp each other in the middle of the night when you're up for the 13th time and at the end of your wick has been so helpful.
I am in London though so we all live within a half hour walk of each other - I can imagine if you have to travel to meet ups it mightn't be so easy.

sallykins123 Sun 28-Feb-16 11:11:03

I never went to NCT either, awkward hours for me and too far away.

I gave birth without listening to hours of how to breathe 'properly'. When it comes to it, the midwife tells you to breathe deep breaths and you just do it, you don't need A class to teach you that. Also watching birthing and breastfeeding videos are pointless as you can do that on your iPad in bed! I've heard they are a waste of time. You will make mummy friends and baby groups. X

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