NCT classes - worth the money??(18 Posts)
I've just had rather a shock with the £ of NCT classes for myself and partner to attend. We don't get any discount as both work etc but £300 for a month of classes is not money we easily have available
I've already had a baby so main reason for going was to meet other mums - really worried I'm going to be all alone when on maternity leave. Also, DH hasn't had a baby before so it'd be food for him.
I found the whole 'membership fees' automatically added on thing confusing too?
What do you think? Has anyone done this - is it really worth £300 and are there any good cheaper alternatives? Advice much appreciated
I didn't go and don't feel I missed out. Ring your local maternity unit and ask about the free NHS ones (I had 2 sessions). Also look up your local children's centre as they run various classes from baby massage to coffee and a chat with other mums. I didn't feel the NCT classes justified the cost when there are free alternatives.
Thanks Worsester - thats sort of my gut feeling too. Got a nasty feeling any nhs ones will be whilst I'm working though but will ask midwife at my booking in appt
You are usually entitled to leave to attend antenatal classes. Your employer doesn't have to pay you for the leave, which may influence your decision, but they should grant you the time off if you request it.
We did Nct and I found the classes generally quite useful and the friends very useful! I know they're called "friends you pay for" but it was great to be part of a little group going through exactly the same thing at the same time. Now we are drifting apart but in the first year they were brilliant!
If you've already had a baby, then you probably know most of the stuff already. If you just want to make friends, then you can go an NCT baby group or coffee morning which is generally free or cost of room hire. Some areas also offer refresher courses or social events for people who already have a child, or refresher antenatal classes which are shorter and cheaper.
I agree with yawn, go on the NCT website and look at local events/groups, not antenatal classes. You'll find coffee mornings, playgroups, etc - all of which you could go to on maternity leave.
You will likely find the other mums in antenatal classes are first time mums so may not have much in common.
In my area there were lots of NCT coffee mornings. After DC2 I hosted one. Could you do that? The friends I had after DC1 worked part time so I could usually track someone down.
I agree, I think it's great for first time parents who have no one they know with kids. I am still friends with the NCT people 7 years later!
However, now I am creating no 2 after such a big gap, I think I will look to coffee morning and other groups. I would like to do a class like yoga or Pilates anyway so I may well meet some people there.
God is it 300 quid. I wouldn't, I made better friends after the birth at baby groups. I did do them and it was nice to meet up after but preferred chatting to preg mums at yoga class which does not cost as much. I didn't get membership, you can still access everything they offer, the only advantage I could see was getting in half an hour early at nct sales!
I've signed up and paid as NCT was recommended quite strongly by a couple of friends and then the hospital told us that their NHS classes are pretty much identical.
I did think about seeing if I could cancel, but the NCT classes are a mile from my house and I'm relatively new to where I live (and I'm certainly new to having babies) so for me it's part of sort of putting down roots if that makes sense.
In Cardiff I'm sure the classes were £180 including the annual membership though - not £300.
I found the classes very useful for my first pregnancy - I took off the membership cost. Did also meet a nice group of people, unfortunately though once babies arrived there was an awful lot of competitive parenting which made me anxious. Still friends with them on facebook but we don't meet up anymore.
So I would just caution that you might not necessarily make good friends, if that's your main reason for doing it.
Agree with balloffur - everyone says its a great way of making friends but tbh I think it depends entirely on who is in your group! The girls in my NCT class were nice enough but I didn't really click with any of them - we wouldn't have been friends in real life iykwim, nothing in common apart from the fact we've all had a baby.
Four months post-birth and I am slowly dropping out of the weekly meet-ups the girls do in various cafes etc because as well as nt really having much in common, there does also seem to be a bit of "mummy of the year" behaviour going on which really doesn't sit well with me. Plus I have had post natal anxiety/depression which means I have found it hard to sit through a weekly catch up with 8 other women who seem to be breezing through the experience.
So basically it depends very much on who's in your group - and it's up to you whether you wanna gamble your money on making some mates! On the flip side I also attended a £4 antenatal swimming class at my local leisure centre every week in the 2nd/3rd trimester and I met a couple of nice girls there who I really clicked with. I see them every week now with our DCs and find them a much nicer more sympathetic bunch. So I wouldn't do NCT if I had my time again. Would just explore other cheaper ways of meeting people before/after baby arrives.
Ps - are you sure it's £300?? I am in London and it was around £190 for the course, excluding the £30 membership fees which we decided not to bother with. £300 sounds v expensive to me...
Yeah we got an invoice through yesterday. For 2 of us (myself and partner) in Band B (London fringe) with no discount for salary / age etc it was £300. That included £40 membership which I can't even work out how to remove & don't really understand what it is.
I also emailed asking would we get the money back if god forbid we lose this baby as I've had mc before. They haven't replied which doesn't exactly fill me with confidence.
It would mainly be for making friends - I'm trying all the meet a mum boards etc but not finding many people in my town. & for coffee mornings etc my big problem is I don't drive (currently learning but unlikely to pass before baby arrives).
But also I want DH to be aware of what birthing involves as this is his first & he's adamant to be in the room. I think he has a bit of a romanticised notion about it all.
We do have NHS classes but they're in the day so id need to tell work to go to them...avoiding that as long as poss until I'm more confident wont mc.
It was £300 for us as well but agree with the others that its the luck of the draw who's in your group. I couldn't have done without mine (we didn't pay for the course content)- we are a very close group and really get on. Two years on and onto the second batch of babies, we still meet for breakfast at the weekend and have regular girls/boys nights out without babies. But I have friends whose groups didn't click at all, or even worse, didn't support each other, formed 'in groups' by excluding other mums or practised the competitive parenting mentioned earlier on here.
At other groups you're probably more able to 'choose' friends who are a better fit for you. The NCT group does force a group together, which can be great if you all get on, so yes, it is a bit of a gamble.
I don't see the people from my ante-natal classes, but the women I met at my local NCT coffee group are lovely and six years on are among closest friends.
We decided we couldn't afford the NCT classes first time round, instead I went to an active birth yoga course which was about £50 for about 6 hour long classes, the women there were lovely and 3 years later are all still in touch and meet up every now and again. Have moved away and trying to find the same kind of thing now am expecting Dc2.
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