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Would you do ante-natal classes if you were having a scheduled C-section?

(30 Posts)
emeraldgirl1 Mon 05-Nov-12 09:43:05

Just wondering if it is worth paying for the classes (only NCT in my area and they are not cheap!) or if it just makes more sense to book up a class for after the birth instead?

I won't need all the info on birth and labour etc and tbh the main reason for doing the class is to meet other mums to be in the area (though even that is complicated as we MIGHT be moving area in which case it would be silly to make friends and then bugger off to somewhere where I know nobody!) The bf-ing info could be helpful although I don't particularly want the guilt-trip that a friend experienced with her NCT class about the evil that will happen if you can't bf...

The other thing I guess I need to know is what the hell to do with a newborn - I am clueless at the mo and don't even know when they need feeding, what they wear, how to change a nappy, how to bath them (Oh God I am going to screw up this motherhood thing, aren't I?) sad So do the NCT ante-natal classes help much with that or can I/should I just buy a good book?

Any opinions and advice very welcome, thank you v much!!

LoveInAColdClimate Mon 05-Nov-12 09:47:37

I don't know what I would have done without my NCT friends - they have been amazing. Maybe not as relevant if you might be moving, though. The BF info was great and I still see my NCT tutor (who is also a BF counsellor) about once a fortnight if I have any queries and my DS is 7 months! The advice on dealing with a newborn was also ok, but probably the least good thing TBH.

LoveInAColdClimate Mon 05-Nov-12 09:48:39

Ps - you won't screw it up! Newborns are easy - if they cry, pick them up, if they don't stop, feed them! You will be fine.

shelley72 Mon 05-Nov-12 09:48:58

Firstly, dont panic! You will not screw up, you will know when they need feeding (they will tell you) and you will learn to change a nappy and how to bathe them!

I couldnt get on to NCT class with my first (or second actually) but did have an NHS course run by local midwives which not only touched upon VB but also CS so that would be useful for you. My friend did NCT and they also looked at CS (allbeit with a kind of 'poor you having to miss out of birth' attitude from what i can gather). Also we (and my friend) covered the practicalities of a newborn - feeding, bathing, and how to spot the signs of PND. So if its your first I would say that a course will be worth it. If nothing else to make you realise that actually you will be fine!

good luck!

LoveInAColdClimate Mon 05-Nov-12 09:56:13

PPS - if you have a c section, you will (I assume) be in for a few days and the midwives will show you how to change a nappy (which is actually more self explanatory than you expect anyway). And bathing them is honestly loads easier than it sounds - as long as their head doesn't go under water (which it won't!) you can't really do it wrong, IYKWIM - basically they will be cleaner after contact with warm water than they were before, which is all you're looking for! You'll be fine.

emeraldgirl1 Mon 05-Nov-12 10:07:18

Thanks LoveinaColdClimate and shelley!

Do you have any experience of the NCT newborns/early days classes? As I was wondering if these might be a better investment. But I think maybe I would like the reassurance of having the ante-natal classes even if a lot of the info isn't strictly relevant for me.

The whole possibly-but-possibly-not-moving area and the fact that even if we do move it could be one of two different areas.... that is probably causing me the most anxiety though right now. I have an awful vision of moving to a new area and not being able to meet new mums as they will all already be established in groups. I am fairly shy with new people (though v gregarious once I know them) and I don't think DH appreciates that our will-they-won't-they thing about moving area is quite unsettling.

LoveInAColdClimate Mon 05-Nov-12 10:12:33

I don't have any experience of the early days classes but it would be a good way to meet people still, I should think. Although there was something surprisingly bonding about spending 2 hours on a Monday night with 7 couples angsting over tears v cuts, it was very birth focused. I know I was obsessed with the birth (totally unnecessarily as it was fine!). You might meet more people in the same boat at a newborn class?

emeraldgirl1 Mon 05-Nov-12 10:16:59

Thanks LoveInAColdClimate!
Did you find NCT people friendly and keen to chat (I assume so, as you said you are still friends with them!) I only ask as my only experience of meeting other pregnant women so far has been at ante-natal yoga and in all honesty most of them are either cliquey with people they already know or not remotely interested in swapping small talk!
Could be a London thing...

MerryMarigold Mon 05-Nov-12 10:18:17

I'd definitely do it before you have the baby. Several reasons:
1. It just makes you feel more prepared and confident. We learned how to bath a baby, deal with the first tar like poo, how to give yourself the best chance at breastfeeding (not guilt trip, but useful info).
2. It is really bonding to go through all this with the other parents. Once the baby comes you are tired, but to have ready made friends with same-age kids is a godsend. 3 of us used to spend a lot of time together and even though we've moved, we still keep in touch.
3. It is great to do with your partner. It's a specific time you spend talking through baby stuff. I found it really brought us close and helped us to be on the same page with early parenting.
I definitely felt it was well worth the money

iseenodust Mon 05-Nov-12 10:18:28

In your position I don't think I would pay. I went to about 3 of 6 NHS ante-natal classes as I didn't need info on pain relief etc. I definitely remember someone in hospital watching me do the first bath. Remember there will be other groups you can also join as a new mum such as baby massage. You will be fine because you are already concerned to do your best.

MerryMarigold Mon 05-Nov-12 10:20:08

emerald. I am in London too, and only 2 people in the class knew each other beforehand (there were 8 sets of parents). The people who did it were from very different walks of life, but we all got on really well.

DawnOfTheDee Mon 05-Nov-12 10:20:20

The girls I met at NCT were lovely and we still meet up regularly...I've found them a great sounding board as we all struggled through the early days together. The NCT tutor was a complete loon though.

MerryMarigold Mon 05-Nov-12 10:24:25

In terms of friends after you move, that will be fine. Most toddler groups don't kick in until the baby is around a year old, when you will meet people, so if you move around that time it will be fine. Before that, there are bound to be other people in the same boat as you as not that many people do NCT. I just found it really helped me to have the ready-made friends as I didn't have to try so hard when I was tired and all my focus was absorbed on adjusting to life with a baby!

SurreyWithAFringeOnTop Mon 05-Nov-12 10:25:44

I would do NCT classes. I did both antenatal and an Early Days course and I am still in very regular contact with my antenatal group four years later, as the bond was really strong, whereas the Early Days group fizzled out very quickly; mainly, I think, because everyone there had an NCT antenatal group!

If you mention to the tutor that you are having a planned c-section then she should cover that in the course. Out of my antenatal group of seven, only one was planning a c-section as her baby was breech, but four of us actually had one for one reason or another, so I think it would be valuable for the whole group to cover c-sections, whether they are planned or not, and the tutor should know this and be able to incorporate it pretty easily if she is any good as a tutor!

WaitingForMe Mon 05-Nov-12 10:51:29

I would. I'm hoping for a straightforward VB (as is everyone else on my course) but we covered what happens in a CS and I'm much calmer from knowing what happens should I need an emergency CS. It covered all the people who'll be in the room and what their role is.

I'd also add that my friend had a planned CS but two days before it her waters broke. She took an ambulance to hospital but still had an hour or so of labour despite it not being part of the plan so I don't think any of the information is completely irrelevant.

BettyandDon Mon 05-Nov-12 11:07:21

I think I said this on another thread about NCT, but tbh, it's a lottery with regards the other couples. Either you get on or you don't. We had 5 couples in our group including us, 1 of which moved away almost immediately. I see 2 of the other ladies every 2 months or so, we are not that close or life long friends, more like ships in the night.

If you are not rolling in cash, I wouldn't risk the money. I thought about doing a refresher course for DC2, but at £178, I couldn't afford to do it again and meet a few nobdies.

I have found it better to meet people at regular baby activities such as yoga, music groups etc. There is less pressure and you can focus on the people you think you have something in common with rather than force a friendship as you have paid £200 or such! You see people week in week out and let a friendship build.

A lot of the info at my antenatal NCT was how to avoid intervention like CS / induction and how wonderful BF was. I ended up in labour for 3 days ending with induction with every drug going and BF was a disaster for me, so in hindsight, that part of the course just made me feel bad...There was very little on raising babies - it seemed to stop at the birth (laughs horribly...).

I also did an Early Days course. It was ok, but again, no lasting friendships. The thing about those classes was that everyone was there with baby obviously and the babies were very young and tbh 90% of the attention of the mothers was on the babies (feeding, changing, burping, trying to get them to stop crying) and the conversation didn't flow that well because of that. The content was more useful though.

emeraldgirl1 Mon 05-Nov-12 12:26:44

God, yes, I had just thought the other day that there is of course chance I go into labour before planned section, so it probably would really help not to be completely clueless at that point...

I think I may go ahead and book; tbh if I weren't also having the uncertainty about moving I would definitely book so I think I had better just bite the bullet and do it. Seems to be such a mixed bag, literally 50% or women say NCT was great and/or they at least made great friends, and 50% say it was a bit of a waste of time as either the group didn't get on or the info wasn't geared up for what they wanted. I am aware there can be a very very non-interventionist, pro-bf at all costs approach from the NCT, which isn't my thing at all, but I'm also open-minded enough not to care if that's what other people think is important to discuss.

Fluffeh Mon 05-Nov-12 12:35:14

I'm booked on my local NCT antenatal course and I'll be having an ELCS. I'm hoping all the info on labour and birth will be useful if It does happen before the cs is scheduled.
I'm also hoping to learn more about breast feeding and baby care in general. Although I paid a lower amount because I'm on a low income, I would have paid the full amount if I had it as I think it should be quite useful smile.

DolomitesDonkey Mon 05-Nov-12 12:38:36

No, I wouldn't.

1. Wrongly or rightly I'd assume there would be LOTS of judgement about my elcs (ffs got enough of that from nurses in the hospital hmm) - especially from first-timers who think they're going to sneeze in a lavender field with Enya sat strumming a harp whilst their life partner massages their back and makes whale noises.

2. I have no desire to pay to feel obligated to be friends with people just because we managed to get pregnant at the same time.

emeraldgirl1 Mon 05-Nov-12 12:43:25

Dolomites your post made me laugh smile I too am encountering a lot of the Enya-harp-whale noise stuff, which doesn't bother me at all, each to their own, but then I wish other people could apply the same each-to-their-own attitude when it comes to my plans!!! I wish I had your strength of character tbh, part of me knows I shouldn't be worrying about making friends with people if I have nothing in common other than baby stuff, but I'm anxious about 'missing out' and sitting sadly on my own in Starbucks while all around me huge social groups seem to be having a fabulous time.
It's silly, I know; but none of my friends are having babies right now OR they live in other countries, damn them.

MoragG Mon 05-Nov-12 12:55:20

There are other ways of meeting new mums! I didn't do NCT as it seemed very expensive, and I knew my DH would flatly refuse smile We did the NHS classes (realise these are not on offer everywhere), which were ok for content, but not too much use for meeting people. However, after the birth the health visitors in our area organised a series of sessions for new mums, and we continued to met after the official sessions had ended (again a local thing which I imagine is not done everywhere).

But in terms of proactively meeting other mums I found the NetMums meet a mum facility very useful - after various 'blind dates' I met a girl who is now a good fried, and through her I met other mums. I also met people via activities such as BuggyFit, Bounce & Rhyme and baby swimming. There is now a group of six of us who meet pretty much every Friday and the DC are now nearly 3! None of us did NCT. It can seem daunting at first, especially if you don't know anyone having a baby at the same time, but you will meet people!

DolomitesDonkey Mon 05-Nov-12 13:06:02

emerald I only had the strength the second time, the first time I allowed myself to feel bad - the second time I called the nurses out on it - I wouldn't have made a whimper the first time. sad

I live overseas and there simply isn't the whole starbucks culture thing going on here - although I have met one mn-er who lives fairly closely with whom I have a lot in common aside babies! I have also been lucky enough to meet a lovely quiche via mn years ago when we were TTC and although we're spread all over the UK/Europe and even one in Hawaii - we've been able to give each other huge amounts of support over the last 3.5 years. Although obviously we don't all live down the road, we've attended each others weddings, spent special days with each other, some have been on spa breakst, blah blah. Don't rule out online or "non-easy" geographical friendships. Your friends are who they are even if they're not in the same street. smile

But tbh I'm a busy person and I never had time to just sit around drinking coffee all day, but you know your schedule better than me!

Fwiw, I don't feel I've missed out on anything.

CrackleMauve Mon 05-Nov-12 13:54:23

How about seeing if you can talk to the NCT teacher first to get a feel for them,before booking? I did NCT and there definitely wasn't any pressure around c-sections. One of the group was down for a planned due to placenta previa. And our teacher told us in I think the first class that 3 of us would most likely end up with c-sections because that's the statistics, we shouldn't feel bad if it happened to us, and we needed to know what would happen if it was us so we didn't freak out. She was also pretty positive about epidurals as well, said they were marvellous things and we shouldn't rule out any sort of pain relief, just be informed about it.

You should be able to get some sort of contact details for your teacher so you can quiz them a bit and see if you think it is for you.

I do know lots of teachers aren't like that, and she was very rubbish in other ways. I don't regret doing NCT and I did like meeting people. None of them have become my best friends but we do still meet up.

It is also worth having a dig around to see if anyone else is running antenatal classes in your area. There are other groups around and sometimes they're not very well known.

PinkFondantFancy Mon 05-Nov-12 14:01:53

I personally wouldn't bother with NCT - my experience was evening after evening about labour, and about 3 mins flat on anything else.

How about something like pregnancy yoga, or mum and baby yoga after the birth as a way or meeting people. Or a class like babycalm to give you actual tools for looking after a newborn?

LoveInAColdClimate Mon 05-Nov-12 16:26:00

I found my NCT group (outside London) really friendly and v accepting of everyone else's birth and parenting views. The general birth philosophy was getting a healthy baby out (although I'm afraid I did have a lovely lavender birth in a pool, albeit without whale music as I loathe it) and the parenting philosophy is that if they're still alive by bedtime you're doing ok. I have heard horror stories of other groups but my experience has been fab. Good luck!

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