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NCT Classes

(20 Posts)
DropsofJupiter1980 Wed 26-Nov-14 10:37:52

Hello everyone. This is my first post so please be nice!! grin

I am 21 weeks pregnant and DH and I have been looking at attending our local NCT classes. This is our first and will be our only baby (long story). We don't really know anyone in our area (although we love where we live) and we are both keen to attend these classes to make some friends and become a bit more involved in the local community. I'd like to meet other mums and don't want to be isolated when I'm on maternity leave (and afterwards).

However, I contacted my local branch and have just received an email with the details, including the cost: £274!!! shock (This is for the signature course, and also includes the £40 membership fee which I understand is optional).

I wasn't expecting this! It seems very expensive, so I'd be really keen to hear your views on whether the classes are beneficial or whether, frankly, they are a bit of a rip-off....

Thanks! flowers

cantmakecarrotcake Wed 26-Nov-14 10:55:47

If you think about it the cost has to cover the room hire, paying the tutor, materials, refreshments etc. for 6 or so weeks.

I found it was £200 well spent as my group gelled really well and 4 years on are my closest friends who I still see on a regular basis - I'd have paid 10x more for the support of those friends. That said not all groups are like that so it could be pot luck.

From a learning perspective, there's lots of useful info but a definite slant towards the medical profession and all interventions being evil so go along with a pinch of salt.

The NHS early days classes are also a useful place to meet people with babies the same age.

dorasee Wed 26-Nov-14 10:57:40

As baby gets older (6-9 months) look around at local playgroups. Many are held in church halls. This is also a great way to get to know local mums. Good luck!

espa Wed 26-Nov-14 10:58:28

Personally I thought ours were great, although from reading on here I think a lot depends on your teacher. Could you ask anyone in your local area if they've done it to see what they thought? I know our local nhs classes have up to 20 couples in them, whereas we only had 7. Plus is really is so much easier to make friends at NCT as everyone is in the same boat and generally looking for the same thing out of it.

TinyMonkey Wed 26-Nov-14 10:58:42

I did enjoy the classes, but have no idea if we will end up being good friends with the other couples yet. First babies are due any day now, and I suppose, once Christmas is out of the way and we've all delivered, we'll probably meet up. I think we could have done the nhs parent craft classes for free and maybe just paid for nct membership and gone along to the events/nctea/bumps and babies meets that they run in the area instead. Nct is very active where I live though (N. London) not sure it would be the same everywhere.

HavingAnOffDAy Wed 26-Nov-14 11:05:33

Hi

I was in similar circumstances when I was pg with DC1 a few years ago.

I missed out on NCT classes as I was too late to book but the lady I spoke with sent me some really useful info about other things I could get involved with.

One of them was our local 'bumps & babes' group - open to all expectant mums & babies up to one year old. I went along when DD was a couple of weeks old & made some really lovely friends. We're still in touch now, almost 8 years later.

I also attended weekly meet ups at a local sure start centre, again for babies up to a year old. They were great too.

It's worth having a look on the NCT website for your local branch to see if they do anything similar, and also ask your midwife/health visitor if she knows of any classes

Good luck!

Shelduck Wed 26-Nov-14 11:24:02

Hello, and welcome! From what i remember when i looked into this first time round, people's experiences of NCT vary quite a lot. I think it depends who you get leading the class - some of them are a little bit more "silk-scarves-and-crystals" as DH puts it, and push natural childbirth quite a lot. However, our leader was really helpful and practical and just presented options. She went through what i'll describe as Why You Probably Want To Avoid Having An Induction, and i thought perhaps she was scaremongering, but i did end up having an induction, and frankly her information was much more accurate than what i got from the midwives. We did nhs classes too, and they covered lots of non-childbirth stuff like baby first aid, and they gave us a tour of the delivery suite. But the nct classes prepared me much better for the birth itself.

In terms of making friends, yes, a lot of people do NCT classes as a way of making friends, quite bluntly, with other middle class people. (I would think it's not totally unreasonable to guess that if you take a whole load of NCT class attendees, and a whole load of NHS class attendees, the people in the NCT class will be of a higher socio-economic group and will on average have a higher level of educational attainment. Ahem. Mostly because they're so expensive!)

But the only friends i actually made were from the NHS class. We live in an area where there's not such a big take-up of NCT, so the people in our group lived a long way from each other, and they did the classes as two intensive saturdays, rather than evening classes over a number of weeks, so much harder to form friendships in that way. But i know other people who are still really close to the friends they made at NCT.

Was it worth the money? It was cripplingly expensive, but i'm glad i did it in terms of preparing for the birth. I'm sure i would have managed without it though. It can be a good way to make friends, but you can't rely on it and i'm sure there are cheaper ways of befriending other parents once your baby has arrived!

DropsofJupiter1980 Wed 26-Nov-14 14:02:04

Thanks everyone!

I will definitely look into the local bumps & babies classes, I hadn't thought of that so thanks!

We are planning to attend the NHS class, but it is a one off one day course on a Saturday, and my midwife said that because of that people don't tend to mingle much.

I know it depends on the teacher and group as to how much you get out of the NCT classes, but I think that a lot of people go to meet others in the same boat as you say espa. I don't find it particularly easy to make friends so if we are all like minded people then it may be a bit easier! blush

The classes do sound informative - I'm not particularly interested in the "silk scarves and crystals brigade" (my DH would describe them in exactly the same way shelduck!) but I want to be as open-minded and prepared as I can. It is all a bit overwhelming!

So I think I'm leaning towards swallowing the cost and signing up. Just got to convince DH now...

GotToBeInItToWinIt Wed 26-Nov-14 14:24:20

To be honest it was the best £280 I've ever spent! Like you DH and I were new to the area (moved when I was 24 weeks pregnant due to DH's job, nearest friends and family 200 miles away). The people I met have been a massive support to me over the past 12 months. Even now most have gone back to work we all text regularly, meet up on days off and have evenings out together without the babies. The woman who ran our course is also still a huge support and always willing to help out with issues/ questions. I found it hard to get past the polite conversation stage with people I've met at other groups such as mother and baby groups, swimming, baby music classes etc.

MrsMarigold Wed 26-Nov-14 14:31:04

I did them and found it useful - they do have a scheme that if you are on a lower income it costs less (might even be free) - great friends. Second time around was crap from the social perspective but useful on having more than one child perspective.

Hoggle246 Wed 26-Nov-14 14:34:23

I did them and am still friends with everyone ... Babies all about to turn one now!

Agree they're pricey though. I didn't take the membership so that made it cheaper.

Chalalala Wed 26-Nov-14 14:36:55

Definitely depends on who teaches the class and whether or not you get along with the other parents.

In my case the NCT lady was lovely but very much into natural births and deep breathing, didn't really want to talk about the potentially bad parts because "it would make us unnecessarily anxious". Fat lot of good it did me when DD got stuck and needed forceps.

The other parents were perfectly nice, but it was a small group and somewhat lacking in a natural leader who would take it upon themselves to organize things, I saw the other mums a few times for coffee but then it died out.

I'll say this though, it was great for DH, made the whole "I'm having a baby" thing more real and concrete for him!

NickyEds Wed 26-Nov-14 15:16:44

If you can afford it, go. Even better, do what I did and pocket the cash but become really good friends with someone who did do them and become sort of their nct hanger on! I describe her nct classes as the best money I didn't have to spend!! They all seemed to enjoy the classes though although like pp have said some tended to lean to the no-epidural-breathe-through-the-pain side of things. I just did the nhs one (a 3 hour course) and it was crap.
If you don't want to spend the cash don't worry too much though, there are plenty of opportunities to meet other mums at Sure start centres, baby groups, classes etc. I suppose with nct you're pretty much sure that they'll be similar to you. As pp said the group I know are all middle class, uni educated etc.

MrsN1984 Wed 26-Nov-14 20:57:20

I've just started attending NCT classes and checked before that they will cover bottle feeding and interventions, not just breast and 'natural' births.
The tutor is lovely and it's been great for my husband to talk to other dads to be smile

twiglet2 Wed 26-Nov-14 21:41:13

It's been worth it for me already, we paid £170 for our classes and I have formed a great bond with the other ladies and we've already met up loads (only 2 of the 7 couples have had their babies so far) and those who've had their babies have been passing on tips.

LulusMiniEgg Thu 27-Nov-14 06:21:59

We paid £375 for ours (ouch, we're in London) but honestly the people I have met are fab. Our babies aren't due for a month yet but we are already a solid social group meeting up as couples and as men/women seperately. There are boys and girl whatsapp groups etc as well. It's especially nice for DH to meet some people in our position locally as we don't know anyone in our area except a couple of neighbours.

If you work it out it roughly costs £45 per couple of friends, That's a bargain for me if you don't know anyone.

I can't say I learnt loads from the classes as I have read a lot myself but the others seemed to feeling get a lot from them. Our instructor was great, gave us the official nct line but hinted at things she disagreed with. Again I think DH probably got more from these than me.

Do it and meet lots of lovely people, I'm so glad I did x

Pusspuss1 Thu 27-Nov-14 06:27:07

Although it costs a fortune, I'd say do it. We didn't learn much from the classes, but it's worth the cost just to meet local mummy friends, so you have people to hang out with to stop you going insane when you're at home with a new baby!

DropsofJupiter1980 Thu 27-Nov-14 14:34:58

Thanks everyone, this is all really helpful flowers

Looks like the general view is that the classes are worth it!

LovedandLoyal Thu 27-Nov-14 16:40:42

I found the NCT classes great for meeting people. The classes were ok and we did learn some stuff but mostly we gained friendships from it. We now meet up twice a week for a baby sensory class and coffee and it's great. I too didn't know that many people in my area. Without the new friends we have made I don't think I would of coped so well.

It's worth the money just for that smile

dannydyerismydad Thu 27-Nov-14 16:49:37

There were only 2 other couples on my class. Initially I felt a bit miffed by this as I was really expecting to be able to use the class to make friends. However one of the ladies has gone on to become an incredibly close friend.

What made the classes outstanding for me though was the support of my teacher. Going overdue meant my entire birth plan (including place of birth) went out the window. My actual NHS midwife bid me farewell and couldn't have given a hoot. My NCT teacher was the one constant. She outlined my options, checked on me by text a couple of times a day and gave me tactics for dealing with the consultants at the hospital who were incredibly overbearing and refused to listen to me. If it wasn't for my NCT teacher I would not have been in control of my birth choices at all and would have struggled to come to terms with the intrusions and interventions.

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