Nct courses? Worth it?(33 Posts)
I'm looking at booking a NCT evening course for my DS. Has any one done one of these And if you have was it worth doing?
I was booked onto an NCT course as new in my area and wanted to make some friends. However DD arrived 7 weeks early and I missed the sessions!
I ended up making friends at various baby groups and don't feel like I missed out.
Only for making friends. Course content is pretty bad I found.
I didn't do them and have made tonnes of friends through baby groups. Probably still worth it if you're keen to meet people though.
For me it was a waste of money. Got better guidance at the NHS ones and met far nicer people.
I was too niave, possibly. It cost a lot., nearly £300. I think on reflection my mistake was doing the class in a posh neighbouring area which sadly marked me out as different (poorer). I wasnt worth befriending as I wasn't given diamonds for giving birth! Or interested in trips with my newborn to Maldives etc.
Therefore I wa shunned but a bunch of total bitches, it made me very depressed at the time but looking back I was so trusting and innocent., I actually blamed myself 🙁
Thank god for the NHS.
I found it absolutely worth it for making friends who are in the same boat - particularly as we hadn't lived in the area long and most of my existing friends didn't have children yet. Content-wise, you have to take it all with a pinch of salt. I think the mums who had nice straightforward births found the stuff on breathing and relaxation etc helpful, but you do have to bear in mind not all births end up being like that.
As others have said, great for making friends. I've become very good friends with three of the others in my group, less so with the other two but that's normal, you can't expect to gel with everyone.
Course content and style is very practitioner dependent so hit and miss. Mine was good, our leader was very down to earth and not the stereotypical "just hypnobirth your way through it" type. She covered all the things that can go wrong, inductions, epidurals, forceps, c-sections, the lot. I found it extremely useful.
I just couldn't stomach spending the £360 they wanted I know some find it good for making friends but also imagine paying that much and not clicking with anyone!!
Did the free NHS sessions which were fantastic and a lovely bunch of people, we may keep in touch and will see who I meet at the different local baby groups...
Potentially worth it for making some Mum friends, but an expensive way to do it. I was unlucky and my group didn't really gel so 12 months on we are barely in touch any more. The content wasn't great, the free NHS class in my area was just as good.
I didn't get much out of it TBH and DH hated every minute of it.
@Marvellousmarg I could have written that myself except our classes were in a really crappy part of town. No bugaboo, no diamond push present, no night nanny and certainly no recovery/parents only holiday when dc was barely 10 weeks old 😂
It does seem to have been hit and miss for my friends. Some loved it and are still close with their groups, others haven't seen them since.
We have signed up for the essentials (was £130) knowing a lot won't apply as we are expecting twins, however for us it is about the social side too.
My friends raved about it and they've all made such good friends through it. I was excited because I thought it was a chance to make some friends locally as all our friends live miles away and it's difficult to make spontaneous "weather is gorgeous anyone fancy meeting up for a picnic" type things.
We weren't so lucky. two couples moved overseas within 2 months of the babies being born, one couple just vanished and one couple were lovely but so super busy it was impossible to pin either of them down to meet. The last couple and us tried to meet up but we just didn't really gel and you can't force a friendship.
I've made a few friends through the baby groups I went to with DD and I kind of wish I'd just done that. As I've been left feeling a bit of a failure for not having a really close knit nct group. That's just my experience though - the rest of my friends rave about it and really are close with their group!
10 years on and 4 of our "babies" are having a joint birthday party this weekend. May have paid £200 for the course, but saved that much many, many times over in babysitting, taxi services, joint parties, borrowed skills (plumbing, accountancy, HR advice) and shared equipment (extra Brownie uniform for camp, roof boxes and bike carriers ... the list goes on).
Mine was brilliant for making friends. All 8 of us meet up every week (we are all still on Mat leave) and several of us do classes together. We set up a whatsapp group and it's great for middle of the night advice as someone is always up feeding!
For me it was definitely worth the money. Made some great friends and we now have a whatsapp group and are in contact most days. It was invaluable at the start when we were all stressing about what was happening in that crazy newborn stage and we all felt a bit better that everyone else was finding it rough too! Some of us go to a few baby groups together and we meet up for coffee and lunches. Having that support from others becoming parents around the same time as you has been so helpful.
I don't think I learnt much on the course that I hadn't already read up on, but my husband found the content really useful and he felt a lot more involved because he had a much better knowledge of the birth, pain relief, how to bath a baby etc. They even took the men off in their own group to teach them about the signs of post natal depression which I think is such a great idea.
I've been recommending it to any of my newly pregnant friends, we really found it to be worth the money.
I did with my first and have recently done a refresher course as I'm expecting again shortly. It was a great way to meet friends who will have similar aged babies. I'm still in contact with my first group even though I've moved away. Their support and understanding was invaluable in those hazy early weeks as first time parents.
To be honest it was a waste of money for us - also I found it patronising and preachy. The other parents were nice but had nothing in common with them except the babies. The course definitely didn't prepare me for the birth, but I didn't have an amazing "in the zone no painkiller natural" birth lol . However that said I know people who've attended and loved it. It's luck of the draw with NCT I reckon.
We must have been lucky with our course leader as I thought it was excellent- course content really useful and helped me get my head around preparing for childbirth. Met some friends too although we're quite spread out and don't meet as a whole group very often
Spiralblanket I'm g,ad you had a good experience, I think from what people say a lot depends on the tutor and the other people on the course. It's such a lot of money though!
12 years after my first not meeting and I'm nursing a slight hangover after a lovely dinner last night with everyone. Can't remember anything about the course, but made lifelong friends!
It's a gamble.
We didn't gel as a group, and some couples moved away soon afterwards so no use on the social side. I found it really easy to make new friends at baby groups later on anyway.
The information varies a lot between different tutors - we really got the impression that breastfeeding was easy, and that a whale music water birth sort of experience was by the far the best. I think that overwhelming message actually contributed to my PND when I couldn't deliver without painkillers and forceps, then couldn't breastfeed - I felt like I'd failed somehow.
Having said all that, its obviously great for a lot of people.
If you know anybody locally who did NCT you could try to find out what the local tutors are like to see if they'll be a good fit for you.
We disliked every pompous jerk on our course and my labour was completely opposite to what our instructor insisted it would be, so it didn't really prepare us properly. Also, I found it amusing that the instructor thought I would want scented candles and melted chocolate while being in labour?!?
Worth it for me to make friends. 4 years on and were on to 2nd and 3rd children and were all close. I would have paid 10 times the course fees for the friendships. It's just there are no guarantees and friends can be made in other ways.
Definitely find a course in your local area where you're likely to be neighbours with your new friends. I can't see much point otherwise.
The content was ok. It was enjoyable to spend that time focussing on the baby, the birth and motherhood.
I thought the course was rubbish - almost the whole course on childbirth (much of which ended up being irrelevant to me as I was induced), and a cursory part on what to do once you had the baby. That bit itself was terrible anyway as we were told that newborn babies feed every 3 hours (haha), breastfeeding is easy you just let them get on with it, if they are crying just do these things and they'll stop etc, which made me feel crap when it wasn't like that at all! As others have said the only good thing is to meet people but it's a very expensive way to do that when you can just use Mush or similar.
I'm exceptionally antisocial & id rather spend £360 on something for my baby than classes if I'm honest.
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