I was under the impression once you got to 20wks you registered for the NHS classes with the midwife. im 25wks & asked yesterday about them only to be told I wouldn't be on them because she was giving me a dvd instead. the dvd consisted of a terrible 10min "tour" if the hosp which didnt really make us any the wiser & a 20min video about kinds of pain relief. I though the classes taught you how to breathe& manage in labour as well as baby classes & breastfeeding? the whole time I was with her she kept rambling on how she hadn't finished her lunch & how she couldn't do anything for me today & to go back in 2wks time & get bloods done. this whole pregnancy has not been very reassuring& I've been under the impression it's my own responsibility to figure it all out myself
It is different in every trust. Some have several sessions over a course of a few weeks, some have one off sessions, some don't do them at all, some have special breastfeeding sessions, some you have to book onto and some you just show up.
Honestly, if you really want classes, you can do some outside the nhs. NCT aren't the only ones who do them. daisy birthing classes are less expensive, I think.
In my hospital they do a drop in 2 hour session on a Saturday, during which we watch a similar DVD to the one you described, and I assume get some basics on labour and pain relief. To be honest, we are only doing it to get the video tour of the ward as we can't see what it's like in any other way.
I was told I 'must' get a face-to-face session and given the details of the nearest NHS one, also NCT and Daisy. Just goes to show eh how much it varies place to place!
I would certainly ask around. There are bound to be some (free or paid) in your area. Your midwife will have a 'supervisor of midwives' (like a boss midwife) - don't be afraid to call with these concerns!! You may well find there are classes and your MW sounds a bit lax.