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To NCT or not NCT?

(14 Posts)
gertrudestein Fri 29-Mar-13 16:24:28

We are meant to be moving house to an area about an hour away, but it doesn't look like it will happen before the baby is born in July. We are still planning to move in a few months' time - we can't afford to stay round here and need to be closer to family.

I have booked NCT classes in the new location. Is it worth me commuting to them (which would mean dragging DP out of bed at 7am on Saturday mornings, earlier than he gets up for work), in the hope that I will meet other new mums who I can hang out with in November/ December? Or should I try and get my money back because after the baby's born I won't want to commute (tube, train and bus) and so won't really be able to keep up any of those friendships?

Also, it's a f* of a lot of money which I could really do with right now.

It's our first kid and I won't know anyone else in the area.

Caitycat Fri 29-Mar-13 16:31:22

I didn't and didn't know anyone when I had dd, when she was 3 weeks old I joined local toddlers (£2 asession rather than £££ for NCT) and made loads of friends who I see regularly and do loads with. Some of them had joined NCT and have occasional meet ups but I don't think any would say it was essential!

ScienceRocks Fri 29-Mar-13 16:40:05

In your position, I would try and get your money back. Sounds like a lot of hassle and difficult to maintain new friendships given that you don't know when you are moving. You can always go to playgroups etc once you have actually moved, and if you are friendly and chatty to people, you will make friends.

gertrudestein Fri 29-Mar-13 17:32:50

Thanks both - I always hear that everyone makes friends for life through NCT, and that it's the one thing you should do if your pregnant. I hadn't thought about playgroups!

Camwombat Fri 29-Mar-13 20:02:42

We did NCT (as none of our friends had children) and have some amazing new friends as a result, who after almost two years since we first met still meet up regularly (some meet every week) and email daily.

However, I think we were lucky as I have plenty of friends who didn't have such good fortune.

DS and I go to numerous groups in our village and have met loads of people through that, who he will be at preschool and school with.

DaveMccave Fri 29-Mar-13 20:25:15

It can be harder at a wide age range play group as people already know each other or are at different stages. You sometimes have to try several, but don't let it put you off. Ones aimed at babies rater than all under 5's would be good. Things like baby sensory, baby massage, baby bounce and rhyme (free at libraries) breast feeding groups, swimming, music groups etc

CityDweller Fri 29-Mar-13 22:26:19

I chose not to do NCT as £300 was just too much to pay for the off-chance of making friends. I then freaked out at about 33 wks, thinking I was going to be Norma no-mates, so spent ages researching post-natal activities I can do once baby arrives. There's tons - from baby stay-and-plays and breast feeding groups and stuff at the library (free) to baby-and-mum yoga, etc. I'm just going to have to be proactive once baby comes. I also joined the (free) NCT email group for people due my month and have gone to a couple of pre-baby drinks meet-ups and I'm sure there'll be post-baby meet-ups too.

There seem to be lots of ways to meet other new mums beyond doing the nct course, so if I were you I'd cancel the class and look into post-natal groups and activities as a way of meeting people in your new location...

ScienceRocks Fri 29-Mar-13 22:53:57

I didn't do nct, but made a great group of friends at an nhs prenatal class (just one, not a course). Still friends, many years on. So NCT isn't the be all and end all, it's more about meeting the right people.

ButteryJam Fri 29-Mar-13 23:20:32

I'm not doing NCT - I don't think it's worth the £300! Ridiculous really ...

I'm going to the NHS classes and have got loads of books from the library which I'm reading, so I feel pretty clued up and confident.

I also go to pregnancy yoga classes where I've made friends and hope to go to post natal yoga classes too, which sounds like fun and more worthwhile in terms of cost (in fact ill probably end up spending less in total).

I would recommend you spend that money instead on yoga classes and going for a spa treatment smile

candr Sat 30-Mar-13 19:50:24

Don't bother. We did an NHS class which was fine then joined a newbies group at our sure start which has been fab. The people there are all local which you don't always get from NCT and there are lots of them but we had a lovely group of 9 all with babies the same age and other groups of same size with older babies. The chances of you getting on with people at NCT are as good as getting on with ones from local playgroup and costs a hell of a lot less. There are now 12 in our group and we meet once or twice a week at houses, park or other playgroups though not often all of us together but it meant DS 1st birthday he had friends he already had known for a year. Will be taking DC2 along to group and hope I am as lucky again with meeting some more lovely parents.

JumpHerWho Sat 30-Mar-13 20:20:07

NCT is a heap of bullshit IMO. I did te classes, which were taken by an old bat who was very judgemental about pain relief, and was so upset on my behalf about my planned c-section (although I was quite chuffed to avoid labour). Made lovely middle class friends though, so the £300 was worth it... I just fundamentally disagree with the whole thing though - people who need things like NCT rarely benefit from them, my local branch is full of smug twats who wonder why no-one bothers going to their meetups or unfriendly, poorly managed toddler group. There are shed loads of voluntary groups and there are still children's centres which run fantastic play sessions and courses for new mums, I've met loads of people through that and didn't have to pay hundreds of pounds for the privilege. I'd go as far as saying the NCT classes were actively harmful for how I and several others I know felt about birth afterwards, and failure to breastfeed etc. It's a very old fashioned, poorly run, rightwing organisation.

<end rant>

Beatrixpotty Sat 30-Mar-13 21:23:04

In your situation I probably wouldn't bother with NCT .I did do it myself,mainly to meet people as I was in a new area,but I also did loads of baby activities and would have met some of my NCT group there anyway as the same type of people seem to do similar things.I have made new friends through baby massage,local playgroups(especially ones with baby corners) post-natal aerobics,surestart breastfeeding support group etc etc.NCT gives you a head start socially in the first few weeks before you feel like going out & about because you have an instant group of mums all at the same stage, but you can soon make up for it if you haven't done NCT..lots of mums with new babies want to make friends,and you will meet them at all the other things.

tillyfernackerpants Sat 30-Mar-13 22:01:56

You could see if the area you're moving to has Early Day courses. These are also ran by NCT and cover the first few months with a child. You would still get a supportive, friendly group and the chance to talk about any worries/concerns you have.

You could contact the person you booked the course with and ask to speak to a postnatal leader. They can give you information about what's going on - bumps and babies groups etc.

I will say that sometimes it is the luck of the draw with an NCT group. Many groups do gel and form lasting friendships, but there are some that just do not connect for whatever reason.

Good luck

scriptbunny Sat 30-Mar-13 22:17:14

I did the NCT course in the place I was living when I gave birth and it was far, far, far better than anything offered by the NHS in our area. Birth would have been quite baffling/terrifying if I had left it to the NHS to inform me.

But put all that to one side. Whether you do the course or not, when you move you can join NCT meet-ups in your new area and make baby friends that way. You don't need to have done the course, you can just turn up. Officially you should be a member, but I know plenty who aren't. In retrospect I got more out of my coffee group friends because you meet people with a wider age range of babies so you get a bit more perspective on whatever stage you're going through.

Good luck and congratulations!

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