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NCT classes - what sort of class schedule to go for?

(15 Posts)
Clarabell33 Wed 19-Nov-14 12:42:02

I've been looking at NCT classes in my area. Undecided as to whether we are going for them or not (not yet spoken to midwife about this) but wanted to be prepared...

I don't have many friends with children, and of those, only one attended NCT classes (she lives about 200 miles away though so no experience of my local area). She thought the classes were great for both the info and the opportunity to make friends. Her group was scheduled for 2hr sessions on a weekday evening over several weeks, which she recommended as it mattered less if you had to miss a class, it was less to take in in one go, and it meant the group met up more times so she felt they bonded well.

So far, so good. The problem is that all of the local courses available for periods covering my due date seem to involve two long all-day (6-7hr) sessions at the weekend (usually one day each on consecutive weekends, which I feel knackered even thinking about on top of fulltime work!), and one 2-3hr evening session on breastfeeding. These also seem to be very early - for some, I'd be barely 6 months along and I'm worried I'd forget most of it by the time I'm in labour/trying to bf, and other things might come up later in pregnancy, after the end of the classes, so with no opportunity to ask about them and share experiences, which I thought was part of the point of these classes.

Both DH and I would prefer a class scheduled over several weekday evenings as it fits in better with our work and other commitments/interests, and for the reasons my friend gave. The only option I have for this sort of schedule of classes is one that is for women with due dates roughly 2-3 weeks later than mine, but these still start at the same time as the longer session courses, and obviously run over a longer period (6-8 weeks) which surely is a bit better for sharing experiences/asking questions as they occur/making friends...

I know that I could run overdue and others in the class could be early, but the reverse is also a possibility so I might be several weeks out of sync with the other mums. Assuming the main reason for grouping the classes by a 2-3 week period around due dates is to end up with more chance of babies with similar birth dates so you can share and compare experiences as you go along, would I be missing out or am I being totally daft and overthinking it? Would it matter if I'm roughly 2-3 weeks ahead of the rest of the group, for info and for making friends that will last afterwards? Does it make as much difference as my friend suggests, going along to several short classes rather than a few long ones, again in terms both of gathering info and of making friends?

Thoughts and experiences appreciated! (and thanks for reading this epic!)

fishfingerSarnies Wed 19-Nov-14 12:51:35

I didn't do them because I couldn't really afford them but was really lucky at my dd 4 week weigh in to chat to a mum who invited me to meet up with her group who'd been meeting weekly for coffees. I have to say the friends were invaluable! 2 years on most of us see each other weekly still and any that have moved out of the area we still make arrangements to meet regularly, still now txt each other for advice etc and most of us have had or are pg with number 2.
They did it one night a week for 7 weeks or what ever it is and got to know each other through dinners after and coffees before etc.
I wouldn't worry about the due dates there's 6 weeks berween the oldest and youngest in our group and hasn't made a difference as baby's progress at different speeds any way.
Also wouldn't worry about forgetting stuff it's all stuff you can and will read in a book.
Good luck hope you meet nice people. X

Heels99 Wed 19-Nov-14 12:56:11

The nhs classes I did were great and I made lots of lovely friends. The post natal nhs ones wee also good. Check what is available free in your area first.

Heels99 Wed 19-Nov-14 12:58:04

Also my babies were six weeks premature and it matters not a jot that they are a few weeks earlier than some of the other babies in the group. Some people did the classes early anyway, you will find a range of due dates.

makeitabetterplace Wed 19-Nov-14 13:14:03

We've signed up for the longer weekend sessions because there was no choice. I think I'd prefer that anyway to get it out of the way in a shorter time. I'm only doing it to meet people really and I like the idea is sharing lunch with everyone on those days. Although I do feel it may be a rush to 'quickly bond with everyone here'!

espa Wed 19-Nov-14 15:14:50

I did evening ones over 5 weeks which was great. I am the last due date in my group, but the first baby has just been born and she was due 6 weeks before my date. Everyone else was in between but mostly early Dec. It doesn't matter at all and certainly not for a couple of weeks between dates.

Pumpkinnose Wed 19-Nov-14 18:34:27

2/3 weeks later is nothing in the scheme of things. In fact my NCT teacher said our group was v unusual in that everyone had their babies within 3 weeks of each other. This was also in an area where there is a high demand for NCT classes with lots running. Having said that I know lots of people who did weekend sessions it's not like being at work so shouldn't be too exhausting - and is good practice for life with a newborn being tired all the time!!shock

TinyMonkey Wed 19-Nov-14 22:00:29

We've just finished our course, it ran two evenings a week for 3.5 weeks (so seven sessions at 2hrs a time, with one 3hr session on breast feeding). Earliest due date is this coming Monday, and last due date 3rd January. The gap doesn't really matter. There were four couples and two women whose partners didn't come. Bit reserved for the first couple of sessions, probably because we were all knackered from work, but have all exchanged numbers and will be having official reunion in Feb with our tutor and all the babies.

Not convinced it was the best use of £250, but that might be because I'm having an ELCS as the baby is breech, and so a fair bit of it wasn't relevant to me - although our tutor was very positive and helpful about giving me information I needed, and didn't make me feel rubbish about it.

hotfuzzra Wed 19-Nov-14 23:11:28

I did these 6x evening classes. Of us 9 ladies three already have their babies, I'm due next week and two ladies are due late in December. We're already meeting up with/without babies (as applicable) so having some babies to coo over and some mums to tell us their birth stories is useful.
Good luck, enjoy!

Taura Wed 19-Nov-14 23:17:47

I've done the 2x full day + 1/2 day BF class (just finished last Saturday) - I'm the first due date in my group (13/12) and the latest is 9/1. I don't think that this will be a problem. We have set up a Facebook group and a Whatsapp chat list to keep in touch, and we also went around to one couple's house after the BF talk to get to know each other. (This was their ad-hoc offer and it worked very well).
I am also meeting up with some other ladies I met at a local antenatal yoga class - out of 9 of us who have got into the group, 6 have had their babies (oldest is now nearly 2 mo) and 3 still to go (I'm the last of this group) - so we will have about a 3 month spread but again, it seems to work. 6 of us met up today and the oldest baby was 7 weeks and youngest was 2 weeks, and the difference in ages was actually really interesting as those who had older babies could look at the new ones and see how far they'd come, and those with new babies could see how short a time it would take before babies were smiling, holding their heads up etc.

Cobo Wed 19-Nov-14 23:19:16

"Would it matter if I'm roughly 2-3 weeks ahead of the rest of the group, for info and for making friends that will last afterwards? "

It won't matter at all. In my class, my due date was the same as one of the other women, but she ended up giving birth 3 weeks early and I was 2 weeks late, so that's well over a month apart - made no difference whatsoever. If you do end up making friends with other mums, a few weeks age difference will soon be insignificant.

As for the info, they'll be telling you the same stuff no matter how far along you are. I'd go for the class later in your pregnancy if I were you. (I thought the NCT classes were great and would recommend them.)

Clarabell33 Thu 20-Nov-14 11:40:55

Thanks very much for all the replies! I think we are just going to book it and then I can stop humming and hawing about it and start on something else smile I am going to start yoga too and will do the NHS classes as well if I can fit them in... anything else I should be booking?

Heels99 Thu 20-Nov-14 12:31:05

Prioritise the nhs classes as they are run by qualified midwives who are currently working delivering babies both at home and in hospitals. These will be the people who deliver your baby and are with you at the birth. I didn't do nct so can't comment on whether the same applies to those classes. Can any random person run an nct class?

The post natal classes are run by health visitors and are more for social reason although still useful talks in weaning, play, relationships etc with external speakers sometimes and they will usually combine with weigh in and general advice session.

Elledouble Thu 20-Nov-14 19:55:26

We booked a series of classes for May and June babies - ours is due 24th April. The booking co-ordinator said it was fine as long as the course ended two or more weeks before our due date. We wanted this one because it was closer to home, the only one I could find for March and April babies was miles away.

Chatty987 Thu 20-Nov-14 20:53:09

If you email the local NCT contact ask them if there's another class near you running on a schedule/ date you prefer. I did this and the lady offered us a space which wasn't advertised online which suited us better (the only option coming up as available online was the intense weekend course which I wasn't keen on).

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