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NCT Classes

(27 Posts)
bananarama05 Sun 12-Dec-10 22:18:34

Sorry I know this has been done to death a million times before. I've just had a read through previous threads and still feel I could do with some here and now opinions.

I have reserved a place on my local NCT antenatal course in March and have to confirm my reservation by the end of the week.

I'm really hesitating and I'm not sure why. I think maybe I'm worried I won't fit in and my main reason for wanting to go is the social side of things.

By not fitting in, I worry because I'm 24 and I imagine it will be mainly be ladies 10 or so years older than me who will wonder why I'm there and not at the NHS classes...there's a lot of stereotypes and stigma around NCT classes and don't know if I'm just being silly? DP also works shifts so may not be able to come every week which makes me nervous people will judge us for this as well?

It's a lot of money and I currently work late on the evening the classes are on so will have to sort out trying to swap this around so it's not even 100% I'll be able to go yet, I just want someone to tell me to stop being so bloody stupid and get on with it really....any takers? grin

salvadory Sun 12-Dec-10 22:39:20

Are there nhs classes that you can do also? I ask because the only reason I signed up for the nct course was for the social aspect as I was due to move to the area(where the nct group was) after the birth of my child.
The course was pants in terms of preparing for birth but invaluable for the network of nice women with which to have coffee and compare (how to cope with baby ) notes. I was the oldest in my group, most women were early 30's.
However a couple of the nct women also signed up to their nhs course and have also maintained a good social network with this group too. Had I been staying in the area I gave birth to mychild I definitely wouldve considered this as it's free and from what I've heard the info was more relevant if planning on a hospital birth. Hope this helps.

bananarama05 Sun 12-Dec-10 22:47:42

There are local NHS classes as well but I have heard mixed reviews which was what made me consider NCT in the first place.

Hmm the more I read on here the more I think I probably will be absolutely fine with NHS classes, sounds like it's the same info and in all honesty I have a good group of friends who have recently had their first or second children so it seems like an awful lot of money. I'm keen to get involved in baby massage/yoga classes etc after birth as well so I guess I'll meet people there too.

Thanks Salvadory. Am leaning towards the local midwife led unit and want to discuss this with my midwife at my 17 week appt next week. I saw a stand in mw for my booking appointment and she just put me down for a hospital birth without talking anything through with me so I still have lots of questions before I make a decision.

hazchem Mon 13-Dec-10 10:39:43

I've only attend one NCT class so far and have found it fantastic! I can't wait for our next session tomorrow.
I think what i found most useful was even though there were 8 couples I really felt like I and everyone else has lots of time to talk and ask questions.

I will still attend my NHS one but it is only a 2 hours session so i can't see we will be able to go into depth about everyhing.

Part of the reason we chose to pay out for the class which aren't cheap. Is that i believe the more information i have and the more my partner and I understand about the birthing process the calmer I'll be.

Your worried about your age too and your partner not being able to attend all the classes. There was a good range of ages at my class also one woman's husband couldn't attend and no body minded so it's not an issues.

Also when i signed up to class i joined so i get a newsletter every couple of months and have foudn it really helpful. Lots of postive stories and heaps of information about local services ect.

Opps i've rabbited on a bit sorry about that. Hoped this has helped.

bananarama05 Mon 13-Dec-10 13:20:23

hazchem thank you, rabbiting is good!

Your post has made me feel a lot more positive, I've no idea how long the NHS classes are here but assume they will be similar and like you I would like as much info I can get.

I guess it is a lot of money, but if we can afford it is worth it.

I'm contemplating joining up as well, already had an invite to an evening get together, but again it's an evening I work so am going to have to try and swap things around but sounds like a fab chance to meet people.

yellowflowers Mon 13-Dec-10 13:29:40

I found mine really helpful mainly in terms of getting my dh up to the level of knowledge I am at because I read all the books and he doesn't. The people were friendly too - we were all in our 30s but would not have been an issue to have older or younger.

BeanInMyBelly Mon 13-Dec-10 20:06:03

Can't offer much advice as in what will actually happen, but just to let you know that I am also 24 and have booked NCT classes in January - and my dh can't make them all either. I was a little worried too but emailed the organiser and she seemed really lovely, and put my mind at ease. So i've gone ahead and booked. x

Icoulddoitbetter Mon 13-Dec-10 20:16:19

Apart from being extortionately overpriced (ours were £270!!!!) I have nothing but praise for my NCT classes. The NHS ones near me weren't great, too many people, and pretty basic info with little room for questions and no discussions at all. Because there was so many people there were no social opportunities either.

I didn't have any friends with babies at the time though, so the NCT was mainly for the social aspect (although the content was fab, and that is from someone who was hospital pain relief epidurals all the way!). But, I have made lots of friends through my Children's centre once DS was a few months old, so NCT is not the be-all and end all smile

bananarama05 Tue 14-Dec-10 22:46:45

Thanks for all the advice everyone.

I've managed to sort out swapping around work for a month so don't have that to worry about anymore.

So it really just comes down to if I think it will be worth it....which from what everyones said I do. I have the day off work on Friday so looks like I'll be sorting out my installment payments then

Thanks again!

ReshapeWhileDamp Tue 14-Dec-10 23:21:53

There was a 24 year old at our antenatal classes who went on to become virtually our social secretary and a completely indispensible member of our post-baby group! The age range of our classes was between her and someone who was 38, 39, I think. We all got on like a house on fire and I honestly can't say age made any difference in the way things gelled.

Some NCT groups hit it off and become inseperable buddies for life (or at least several years) and some don't. Even if the group as a whole doesn't gel that well, you will almost certainly find that there will be someone there you get on with, and you'll be mutually supportive when you both need it the most. smile

NCT teaching is generally pretty good - far more detail than what you'll get at the NHS classes. But if you get wibbly about it (it costs a lot, apart from anything else) there are always the cheaper post-natal NCT groups run in some areas, where you bring your babies and pool your tiredness and confusion at being parents! grin

babynelly2010 Tue 14-Dec-10 23:37:39

I just took NHS class in my hospital this week. I am 30, may be I am fooling myself but I looked the youngest/felt in there, even my husband said that when he arrived to pick me and was able to get the very end of it. All the other ladies appeared in their mid 30ths. I got some looks, I think some might of thought I was a single mother at first as I can't fit my rings now and as mentioned earlier my husband could not attend. Anyhow, I asked ten thousand questions and ignored anything else. It was great for me as I got answers to many questions that I had.

I would not worry about what other people think, just do what benefits you and your.
good luck

babynelly2010 Tue 14-Dec-10 23:38:39

I mean to say... you and your baby

TheNextMrsClaus Tue 14-Dec-10 23:47:24

I attended NCT classes 11 years ago. Last night I had dinner out with three of the five other girls in the class (the other two moved away) - we are still firm friends after all this time, and the NCT became the centre of my social life for a couple of years.

I found the classes excellent and informative. Our HV once told us the NHS classes were adequate, but catered for the "lowest common denominator", in other words you won't get much in-depth stuff.

It is true to say that, of the six couples in my class, four were in their 30s, but the other two were younger, and it really made no difference anyway.

I would say go for it.

berrycravings Wed 15-Dec-10 11:55:36

Just to say its worth checking what sort of classes your NHS run, compared to many on here it sounds like mine are fantastic. We get 4 2 hour sessions at the hospital, I had the first one last night which was brilliant about preparation for birth, the class was bigger than nct i think as 15 couples, but we split into groups for group work. I have another birth preparation class again 2hrs, then a women's only 2hrs and finally a 2hr life after birth.

My first class was so informative, i've done alot of reading but still found it so useful and not too natural or hospital focused, its balanced and for everyone.

Incidently mine are actually run by the NCT as they have been outsourced by the hospital. So its worth checking what your NHS classes actually are. best of luck.

thelizard Wed 15-Dec-10 12:07:40

A slightly different spin on things here... I did nhs classes with my first son when I was 28. Which were fine, but we didn't stay in contact with anyone from that group. In terms of preparing us for the birth though, they were great. Did not do nct classes as had not booked early enough! However I then booked onto the nct postnatal course which is once your baby is 6 weeks old and is every week for about8 weeks I think. It was brilliant for getting us all up and out by 9.30am! And an invaluable opportunity for chatting and eating cake! The girls I met there (I am the youngest up to a couple of 40 year olds, they are 8 of us) met up once or twice every week since then and our first children have just gone to school! We are off out for our Christmas night out on Friday, and I can honestly say I don't know how I would have gotten through the years of motherhood with my first, then my second and now with my third on the way, without these girls.

Oops have really gone on a bit here, sorry! Whatever you choose, you will end up knowing people, but some groups do gel better than others.... Good luck!

RunningKatie Wed 15-Dec-10 16:06:44

I'm currently doing the NCT classes, I also went to our NHS ones. The NHS ones were in total of 3 hours long and I personally feel I'd have been under-prepared if that's all I'd done.

The NCT group are lovely, and I did partly decide to do it as I don't know anyone locally with small babies so hoping it'll continue to be a social group once our babies start appearing - all due in Jan.

Adair Wed 15-Dec-10 16:15:44

I met my group of mum friends via a free NCT post-natal meet-up in the park.

Not sure whether to do a refresher this time as I the only one in my circle due the third, plus am in a different area and could do with some friends who are going through the baby bit again... (though I guess you meet people through groups and that too)

reikizen Wed 15-Dec-10 16:26:26

The NCT classes I wen to (at 30) were in a very middle class area and had couples who were far more middle class than we were. This wasn't a problem but made socialising a bit forced iyswim. Apart from babies we had nothing in common. There was plenty of time to ask and answer questions but the focus on the normal in retrospect was completely out of proportion (I was the only normal delivery & that was an induction with epidural). I struggle with NCT classes as a midwife as many women who have attended them write lovely birth plans about how they don't want intervention/episiotomy/epidural/want to breast feed for years and end up with a section/instrumental delivery/massive PPH and are so exhausted breastfeeding seems like a horrendous chore. As a result they feel let down, inadequate and as though they have somehow failed. (I have seem it many times). My own NCT classes did not prepare me in any way for labour, delivery or life with a new baby but I don't know whether NHS classes would do any better.

Cyclebump Wed 15-Dec-10 16:44:12

The classes nearest to me are £300 and a bit of a trek, with one at least half an hour away. I decided not to go and will instead visit the bumps and babies coffee mornings when I'm on maternity leave.

Many of my friends say you're paying for the friends you make, rather than the classes and at least one whose baby was premature regretted going as her body stopped producing milk when her baby was in special care and her NCT teacher had referred to formula as 'poison'. She felt horrendously guilty about her 'failure' to breastfeed as a result.

Adair Wed 15-Dec-10 18:46:19

£300! shock

<scrubs out ideas of going to any kind of refresher. Actually, am due in 6 weeks, have left it way too late>

Interesting what you say about birth plans/guilt over bfing etc. I did a couple of half-hearted NHS ones the first time, didn't really have a birth plan (apart from epidural, please) and was v pleased with how it all went. Second time around I had a few more ideas but really not that much more. I did however have some lovely online support from a doula (MarsLady - you can google her or she is on here sometimes) without whom I don't know whether I would have continued bf to when I did (3 weeks first time, 14mths second. No guilt though!).

thefurryone Wed 15-Dec-10 19:56:39

sorry to hijack slightly but where are you all based? Just wondering because I know my london friends with babies have done these and found them useful, but where i live now most people seem to have very established groups of friends so i`m not sure they'd be used in the same way.

spud28 Wed 15-Dec-10 20:58:15

Hi sorry to add to this ( this is my first post, please don't shout ) but how do you find out about local classes or your NHS ones ? Im 17 weeks, with my first and nothing has been said at any of my appointments with my midwife, im based in Weybridge Surrey, thanks.

melwood Wed 15-Dec-10 23:01:34

I say just go for it! You have to back yourself! So what if you do turn out to be a bit younger, I'm sure you can hold your own in a conversation and can find great benefit from those the same age, younger and older than you. No need to stress, just go along with a positive outlook and I'm sure it will go swimmingly!! xx

Megletitsnow Wed 15-Dec-10 23:09:43

I found them useful. IIRC the age range in our class must have been 27 - 39. Lots of info on birth, some earth mother breathing (the dads were sent to the pub) and almost a whole class on c-sections.

4 years on we still meet up regularly, well, I work so only see them once a month or so but the rest of them get together. They still talk to me even though I am now the token single mum grin.

TheNextMrsClaus Wed 15-Dec-10 23:29:56

spud28 - your midwife should tell you about the NHS classes, but they are quite late on in the pregnancy (6-7 months at the earliest), so she probably hasn't got onto it yet.

NCT classes - just look on their website here.

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