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Ante natal classes - are they all they're cracked up to be?

(13 Posts)
Themilkyboobsareonme Thu 08-Nov-12 21:47:43

I am 35 weeks and was supposed to start antenatal or "parent craft" classes as they are called round here last week. Due to being booked in for flu jab I couldn't make it as I thought gettin protected was the more important if the two. Next week I can't make it as I have a scan for a low placenta booked slap bang in the middle of class and after that there are only 2 left. The next one DP is at work and after that we will be on a trip to London. They don't run in December for some reason or October so we couldn't have gone to them a bit early either. Looks like I will only make one by myself sad

I tried to book NCT classes but was told I left it too late and can't get on a course.

My question is, are they essential? Did you really benefit from them? My mum says she never went to a class and she coped fine.

Just don't like feeling like I've missed out. Although it has been for reasons beyond our control I would have liked me and DP to go to at least a couple.

Any thoughts much appreciated. YouTube a class maybe?????

stinkinseamonkey Thu 08-Nov-12 21:56:52

no, but hypnobirthing is definitely worth it (and covers stages of labour like antenatal but in a much more positive way)

did NCT with no 1 (useless) and hypnobirthing with no2 (should be available to everyone on NHS, absolutely brilliant!)

Themilkyboobsareonme Thu 08-Nov-12 22:06:31

I'm reading the Marie mongan hypnobirthing book too! I'm glad it's highly rated

Stacks Thu 08-Nov-12 22:15:07

The NHS provided classes are quite interesting, but what they cover is really quite basic. For us first class was 'normal' labour (which I missed), second was about induction and csections, third feeding baby, and forth taking baby home.

The induction class went over what treatments you might get, and what the drugs were called. I didn't learn anything new, and most of what was said the midwife said would be covered with you at the time.

Feeding workshop was about the pros and cons of breast and bottle, how big baby's tummy is (size if a small marble on day one, hence short feeds often) and what nappies to expect. This again we were told would be covered before leaving hospital, and on home visits.

Taking home baby class was about how to put them down to sleep, how many layers to dress baby in, and how to bath them. Again, covered when in hospital.

The most useful thing was an exercise where she passed around a doll, with her phone making sound effects of crying. Each person there had to gone up with a suggestion of what might help. It took 10 mins for someone in the class to suggest "let it cry". This was the answer she was looking for, and triggered a chat on stress, shaken baby syndrome, and the crysis helpline. If it all ever gets too much for you or your DP, put baby safe in crib and walk away. Make a cup of tea, phone a friend, get support. Don't struggle till you break.

It was sobering, but something I think new parents need to hear. Everyone gets stressed by a crying baby who just won't stop.

Themilkyboobsareonme Thu 08-Nov-12 22:42:37

I'm hopefully starting antenatal yoga class next week which I guess will cover breathing and relaxation but not practical advice re baby. I'm quite lucky that I've got mum and mil and gran nearby who are all lovely and who I am close to so will be there for help.

eagleray Thu 08-Nov-12 23:15:38

Grrr.. don't get me started on antenatal classes!

I was given a list of classes with 2011 dates by the midwife, but was told the details were unlikely to have changed much. Problem with them is that apart from one, they are all during the day and it is nigh-on impossible for me to get time off work as already have to take loads off for various appointments and always have to make the time up as I am self-employed. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one in this position...

The MW said to me that if I did any, to make sure I did the feeding course as this is the area where people struggle most after birth (and I think what the midwives get most calls about) so I am provisionally booked on this one later this month (although may struggle to attend)

I leave work just before xmas and have 4 weeks at home - of course, there is not a single class running during this time when I have all the time in the world to attend hmm

I am sure that you will be fine, especially if you have relatives nearby. My antenatal education (in the absence of classes) is made up of friends who live nearby (have no family locally), the Kate Evans book 'The Food of Love' (really useful for breastfeeding and other aspects of baby care and really easy to read) plus am doing hypnobirthing classes. Am hoping that's everything covered!

comeonbishbosh Fri 09-Nov-12 01:32:22

I suspect you've checked this, but do they do 1 day classes in your area? That was more practical for me with DC1 and DH could come as well. I wouldn't say it was essential, but there were a few good tips for labour and BF which I may not have picked up from books, and I just found it helpful to hear the basic information gone through with a chance for discussion.

mummybare Fri 09-Nov-12 06:58:07

Well, hypnobirthing and yoga should stand you in good stead for labour. I did NCT and, to be honest, the advice for what to do once baby's here was pretty non-existent. I think they covered how to bathe/wash them and put them to bed and the signs of PND. Actually, that's something you and, quite importantly, your partner should perhaps read up on. He may spot red flags before you do, helping you get diagnosed sooner if you do suffer with PND.

Other than that, the main benefit was meeting people in the same situation. It's good that you have a support network of family in place and you may well meet other mums at your yoga class. Once baby is a few weeks old you can also look into other classes in your area, such as mum and baby yoga, baby sensory, buggyfit, etc. A lot of libraries also do a rhyme time and children's centers often run play sessions etc. Actually, our local NHS ran a mum and baby group that was good for meeting people and covered stuff like baby first aid, baby massage etc., which was quite useful.

So don't worry, OP. What I'm trying to say with this essay is that there are other ways to get all the things you can get from the antenatal classes you'rer missing. Best of luck with everything!

ItsMyLastOne Fri 09-Nov-12 12:53:44

DP and I went to our parent craft classes when I was pg with DD 2 and a half years ago. There wasn't much, if anything actually, included in the classes that I didn't know already. The one part I was hoping to find useful was the feeding, but it was useless. It was along the lines of "you'll give birth, your baby will make their way to your nipple, latch on and then they'll feed lots until you choose to stop breast feeding" - this is a very rare situation and gave me unrealistic expectations. I was also annoyed that despite the classes taking place in the hospital I gave birth in, and by a mw, the details were inaccurate as to when to go in etc. We didn't bother going to the 'refresher' course for this baby!

I don't think these classes are really necessary as long as you read up on everything and ask your mw plenty of questions if necessary.

I always hear lots of positive stories about hypnobirthing though so give that a go if you can.

chroniclackofimagination Fri 09-Nov-12 13:03:43

No, there's nothing the NCT teach that you can't learn from reading, the Internet and your doctors. That said the best reason for doing the classes is to meet other people having babies around the same time as you.

I did a postnatal NCT course when DS was about 6 weeks old and it was great. I would highly recommend doing this after baby comes. For me it was a perfect introduction to getting back out and about, I could breastfeed without feeling self conscious and it was fantastic to speak to other Mothers about what we were going through (sleep/feeding/recovery) and helped me realise how normal my experience was. We all bonded very quickly as the shared experience is so consuming and two years we are still friends and regularly meet with the kids for playmates and parties.

PeshwariNaan Fri 09-Nov-12 16:40:06

If you have booked into these NHS classes, make sure you call and cancel your spot as there are probably people waiting to get on! Otherwise I agree with the others - if you've done a lot of reading they're probably not strictly necessary.

LilllyV Fri 09-Nov-12 17:05:19

All of my friends said not to bother and to just use the internet, but I'm quite looking forward to mine starting!
I always was a geek at school!

NatashaBee Fri 09-Nov-12 17:13:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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