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Antenatal Classes?????(21 Posts)
My midwife/local children's centre have booked me and my partner onto antenatal classes that start this Wednesday evening for 6 weeks. And we really can't decide whether it's worth it?!
I live in Lancashire - and looking online at the antenatal classes they put out in the area it will cover things such as labour, painkillers, delivery and looking after baby.
I've already ready quite a few books and online resources on this and tend to do all my research in my own time.
I'm deemed as a low risk pregnancy and opting for a water birth (but my baby is transverse at the moment) so I know I really can't control any situation about what happens when she finally wants to arrive! It's just being aware of all my options.
Me and my partner aren't very "sociable" so would rather leave the "bonding with other couples" stuff until once the baby arrives (We plan on booking onto all the baby classes in the centre when I am on maternity, my partner only works 4hrs a day so he can join me too).
I work 8am til 5:30pm and I am out of the house communiting on busses and walking from 7am and usually not home until about 6:30pm. The classes start at 6 so it would be making an already long and stressful day for me worse when I feel like shit.
So to get to the point. Did anyone find these classes beneficial, or did you find it was all information you could get from somewhere else??
(It's my first baby by the way)
I never went to any and we all did fine
It just didn't sound like my cup of tea
I found them very beneficial, but then I'm very sociable and found the support of others going through the same things at the same time as me invaluable. I went to NCT classes rather than NHS ones though as the timings/location were better for me. I'm sure you'll be absolutely fine without, but it can be nice to share your experiences with others in the same boat.
GotToBeInIt - That's the thing, me and my partner are pretty much in our own little world lol (Some may see that as a bad thing, we're happy) socialising with our actual friends makes us eyeroll haha so the idea of meeting strangers and talking about the birth of our child and family stuff really doesn't fit with us.
I know we won't be forced to say or do anything, but I just feel like it will be an uncomfortable experience for the both of us. And something that will just add extra strain to my already very busy and tiresome weeks :/
I sound like such a grump!
Obviously we'd go if we feel it would be providing us with invaluable information... but there's so many books and online resources now that we don't know if there is a need.
We've known we've been booked on for a while and kind of been ignoring it! I don't want to be a no-show so keep pondering ringing up and cancelling it but don't want a lecture from the children's centre. All the staff are a bit over the top! lol
HermitCrab you and your DP sound just like me and my DH in regards to the socialising bit!
I'm also a ftm and I got a bit over zealous for various reasons and ended up booking us on the freebie NHS classes and the NCT ones. Tbh, the NHS ones were fine - all we wanted was information and we got this through the NHS classes (think we attended about 5 different 2 hour classes in all).
The NCT ones were a different kettle of fish...definitely good for if you want to share / socialise etc and to be fair, they did go through some things in more detail. But we really are not into the socialising thing (which everyone else seemed to be) - like you, we tend to keep ourselves to ourselves.
I think we're both glad we went to the NHS ones (as we didn't know much about anything before going), but I wouldn't have to do the NCT ones again.
DH and I didn't go to any classes either. We have done ok so far we think I did a lot of online research like you say. Some friends of ours paid for NCT classes and said they were a huge waste of money, so that reinforced our decision not to go. Our friends also haven't kept in touch with anyone from their classes either.
They didn't cover anything in the classes that you could not read from books or internet. So it was mostly for socializing, yes.
Thanks mi ladies!
Definitely can't afford any paid classes, can't even afford to go on maternity leave so I'm dreading that haha!
I think we're going to end up wimping out, it does seem to be more for the sharing with others and social aspect of it.
The midwife approached it with "your coming to the classes yes??" We hadn't discussed it so both said "urm... yes" to avoid having to explain why we didn't want to go lol!
Ha! My midwife didn't even mention the NHS classes to me, and when I asked her (around 28 weeks pregnant at that stage) she said, oh they'll probably already be booked and they prioritise lower income families (quite right too) so if you can afford the NCT ones you should go to them. And that's all the info she gave me!
But then a different midwife said she didn't go to any as it wasn't her scene, which made me feel better.
Don't think I'm going to bother! I'll continue with the books
We did both NCT and the free ones (run for the NHS by another organisation) and found both useful. The free ones were taught by midwives so they were able to give us inside knowledge of the hospital that we couldn't have found out from books, etc (found out a lot more about active birthing than at the NCT classes as well). Is it worth speaking to your mw/children's centre to see if there's a plan of what's being done when and see if there's anything in particular you could get further info on. I'm sure if you explain the working situation they'll understand why you wouldn't want to do the whole course (although you could argue that as you've been booked on the mw is recommending the classes and let work know and maybe leave work early).
DH always said that NCT classes should be about turning up, being given a list of doula phone numbers and then straight to the pub for that and all subsequent classes.
Inside knowledge of the hospital and workings..etc
The Women's and Newborn Centre (The birthing centre) is literally two streets down from my house, I live next to the hospital. They give tours 3 times a week where they show you the birthing suites, where everything is, what happens when you go into labour..etc. We will definitely be going on that, as that is the only bit that worries me. What the hell I do when the time comes! Anything after that has to happen how it happens to some degree.
I am a planner and a worrier, but I'm really trying not to be with my pregnancy, because things not going to my plan will just send me potty! So I'm just trying to make myself aware of everything that could happen, and my preferences, but no commitments.
I don't think the midwife was recommending I go more than any other couple, just the whole place is a bit "you must do this and you should do this and you are going to breast feed aren't you?? and talking to my partner about skin-to-skin, to which he looks at them like they are speaking chinese!" haha. The whole place is like a bunch of pestering mums as soon as you walk in. Friendly... but a pain!
We did NCT classes and I loved it. For me one of the most beneficial things was that I was in group where people were asking questions I hadn't even considered!
Someone talked about having a general and what that might mean for bonding. Someone talked about monitoring and how much of it would stop you having a water birth. Someone else asked about forceps births and stats on that. None of those were things I'd considered in great detail but all were things that were hugely helpful to me before or during labour.
I know you've mentioned that yourself and your partner are insular socially but what are you hoping to do when he goes back to work? I absolutely don't mean this as a criticism at all but my girls from NCT were a total lifeline for me because when DP went back to work I'd have pretty much had nothing to do all day apart from go for walks... All my friends/family were working Monday-Friday 9-5 and being stuck in the house with a baby would have been the death of me. I genuinely thought I'd be a hermit with my little newborn but in hindsight could definitely not have done that.
Good luck with the birth and whatever you decide to do.
I have decided not to do the birthing classes, as I was under the impression that I would have to pay (my midwife has never mentioned classes on the NHS). But I have done a few pregnancy yoga classes online via you tube. I do them when I get a free half an hour and I don't have to travel across the city to get there!
I live in Lancashire and went to both nct and Nhs classes last year when I was expecting my first.
I have to say the Nhs ones were a bit pants! Room was way overcrowded so no chance to actually meet anyone and it was all fairly basic info if like me you read up a lot online.
I found the nct classes a lot better as there were only 8 couples and it was nice to hear about other peoples worries and fears and they asked questions I would never have thought of. Plus almost a year on we meet regularly so it's a great support network.
You really don't need to go to classes but make sure you clue yourself in on all the things that can happen...csections, pain relief, water births, instrumental deliveries, labour itself and what it entails and why, bathing baby, feeding, what happens to your body afterwards (the bleeding etc) aftercare for baby....etc etc. You'll find a lot of useful websites online (including nct website) so just do it that way.
Oh and ask on forums. Mumsnet has been my saviour at times when I couldn't find any real life stories.
And definitely tour both the hospital and birth centres and ask lots of questions so you can make an informed decision about where is right for you.
My husband and I are booked onto a 1 day course through the West Sussex NHS. I tend to work obscure shifts so week night ones are no good to me, and although we both work relatively well paid jobs I though the NCT one's were quite expensive. I would much rather spend the money on the baby!!
Sorry it's taken me so long to reply!
We didn't go last night, but we also forgot to cancel - feel like a bad person now! lol
weeblueberry " I absolutely don't mean this as a criticism at all but my girls from NCT were a total lifeline for me because when DP went back to work I'd have pretty much had nothing to do all day apart from go for walks" - I think I mentioned but probably not in much detail, I've got the calendar for all the classes that happen for after little un arrives, and I've already decided on some I'm going to go to. A water confidence course (the centre has a hydro therapy type pool) I need that myself, can't swim haha!, "baby bounce and rhyme" Was particularly interested in this because I feel like a bit of a tit talking and singing to children haha (I'm not maternal at all, my other half is amazing at all that) and lots of play groups for when I'm off work. So will deffo be throwing myself into it once I'm not working
There's a book i started from the library, which was brilliant, had literally everything from the delivery room up until 2 years old, so I need to remember what it was and find it again!
Will deffo be doing my research, just not the classes xx
Thanks all for your input it was really appreciated!!
Me and dh are just like you !! We wouldnt take any classes seriously so arent bothering !! I do pregnancy yoga and have met some lovely girls of this . When baby is here I intend on going to our local childrens centre/coffee morning etc . At this stage I just dont think know the stats of c sections at the hospital will be of anyuse !! What will be will be !
I didn't do antenatal classes. From what I could tell they seemed to be geared towards the birth, and I'm having an ELCS, so not really relevant from that angle. Plus dragging ourselves out for a couple of hours for 6 weeks after work seemed like a real chore. Plus I wasn't interested in making new friends - have plenty of friends with babies & small kids - so all things considered we thought it wasn't worth bothering.
Just to double check, I know you've said you've done reading and research but has your OH?
We did NHS classes (also in Lancs) and I don't think I learnt anything I didn't know from my own reading but they were really beneficial to my husband. I found it crucial to have a husband who knew what was going on too, and what he should be expecting.
I found the NHS ones to not really be a social affair, in fact they were a bit more like lectures with no time to interact with others.
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