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NCT antenatal course still useful if having ELCS? (first baby)

(23 Posts)
helloworld19 Mon 05-Jan-15 10:30:35

Would you still take the full NCT antenatal course if you were scheduled for an ELCS? Or would you focus on shorter courses addressing BFing and other, non-delivery topics? Or no course at all?

Missmidden Mon 05-Jan-15 10:40:50

Yes, NCT one would be my choice. Much more about meeting other people in the same position than learning anything. We are still very close to 7 of 8 couples and their children nearly 5 years on.

minipie Mon 05-Jan-15 10:47:09

I never did NCT (planned to but baby arrived early) but from what I've heard the main benefit is meeting other mothers to hang out with in the early months, rather than in what they teach you.

So I guess it depends on whether you want/need that group of mothers, and if so, whether you have other ways of meeting a similar group?

Lazymummy2014 Mon 05-Jan-15 10:52:21

Agree that meeting people is good but our course was really almost entirely focused on birth with a particular push (excuse the pun!) towards a natural labour. I'd have found it pretty crap if I knew I was going to have a c section. The shorter non delivery courses you mention may be a better option - you'll still get to meet people and they may be in a similar situation.

Feelingverydishonest Mon 05-Jan-15 11:03:11

My class was all about the amazing natural labour and everything bad about an epidural! Although it was nice to meet people in the she same situation, you would essentially be spending allot of money to 'make friends' once I finished the course I told dp I was looking foward to seeing them, his response was 'I bloody hope so they are the most expensive friends I've ever bought' hmm

GotToBeInItToWinIt Mon 05-Jan-15 11:03:41

One of the women in our group was having an ELCS, she told our course leader on advance so all issues related to CS's were covered in as much detail as other types of birth. Our instructor was fantastic and didn't 'push' anything, she covered everything neutrally.

smogsville Mon 05-Jan-15 12:05:07

Defo. I did it to make friends knowing I was having a section. Don't remember there being an enormous focus on birth canal shenanigans. Might depend on the teacher, but even it they did bang on about labour for ages, making a group of local friends would be worth it. That's what I was paying for anyway!

Carrierpenguin Mon 05-Jan-15 12:46:44

Yes I'd do Nct. My Nct friends were wonderful during maternity leave, we met up at least one every week and still do years later. The babycare and breastfeeding sessions were really helpful too. Tell the instructor about your elcs prior to the course so she can cover it off as well as natural labour. It's likely some others in your class may end up with cs too!

PinkOboe Mon 05-Jan-15 12:58:21

Our class covered cs in the same depth as the other way (!)

We reinacted a cs with each of us 'playing' a part. Those who did eventually end up with a cs said it was invaluable in understanding what was going on / why each person was there in theatre and what they were doing which helped them relax

Also great feeding advice both breast and bottle as well as general stuff like how nappies can look and what not to worry about

We're still good friends 5 years on.

I'd say it was a very good thing to do

Christelle2207 Mon 05-Jan-15 13:01:19

Yes. Our tutor covered csection in case one of us had an EMCS though we were all planning natural births (not all of us had one!) If one of us had said we were having an ELCS she would have done a bit more on the topic I'm sure.

InsomniacDormouse Mon 05-Jan-15 13:08:42

It really depends on the teacher but I would probably still do the full NCT course. Our teacher asked if anyone had anything in particular they wanted to find out about during classes so I mentioned that I am being induced and she made sure to cover the induction process in plenty of detail. We did focus a lot on natural labour but we also covered CS in detail as well as general childcare, breastfeeding, depression and how to deal with relationship problems. In addition we made some good friends. You never know, the labour info may be handy if baby decides to come early.

caravela Mon 05-Jan-15 13:55:11

I hear so many different experiences of NCT - think so much depends on the teacher. Our class covered cs, did not have a bias towards natural birth or hostility to pain relief, and had a double session on post natal stuff including lots of time on breastfeeding, caring for newborns, relationship with your partner afterwards etc. And I have found the support network invaluable, but was lucky to have a group that gelled well. The groups are quite small so if the teacher is aware that you are having a cs that might make a difference too.

tiggy2610 Mon 05-Jan-15 16:01:17

We finished NCT on Saturday and after being initially apprehensive we found it to be really useful. Our teacher was brilliant and never pushed any views and made sure to cover all options available.

We had a couple who were choosing home birth, a couple going having an ELCS and my husband and I who are being induced. She made sure everything was covered and was really good at making us all feel comfortable and answering all questions.

HolyTerror Mon 05-Jan-15 16:11:54

I had an ELCS, though I didn't know I would be when I did the NCT weekend course. I wouldn't bother doing it if I had my time again. Even leaving aside the CS issue, if you've read books about birth, it won't tell you anything you don't already know, or that isn't covered in the free NHS classes. And the NCT teacher was one of the old school, focusing heavily on natural birth and the 'cascade of intervention' that would follow an epidural - CS was rather grudgingly covered in that she used Lego figurines to show us how many people would be in the room. (In the event, only one of the seven of us had a 'natural birth', and we agreed we were a bit hacked off retrospectively with the teacher's attitude.)

People do NCT for potential friends, primarily, and my group didn't particularly gel, and fell out of touch quickly - you could be lucky, obviously. But you can attend local NCT coffee mornings and events without doing the course or being a member.

Stubbed Mon 05-Jan-15 16:15:50

One point not mentioned so far is about your partner, if you have one. Mine found the course far more useful than me as he knew nothing about birth or c sections. It meant he knew more about how to support. And to spend some dedicated time thinking about the birth each week, I think it's a nice thing to do.

That being said, I'm still trying gently to loose touch with my NCT friends. I work full time, none of them do, and I find less and less in common with them especially as our children develop at different rates as they get older.

MrsMogginsMinge Mon 05-Jan-15 17:28:57

I'm midway through my NCT course at the moment. I can't say I'm learning very much on top of what I already knew from my frantic googling/MNing to date BUT (a) it's lovely to meet other expectant parents who, it turns out, are worried about the same things as you and (b) I think it's been much more educational for my OH, who hasn't done the aforesaid hours on the Internet. This is a bit of a sexist generalisation (and my OH is a cool and lovely feminist man) but I think it's different when you're not doing the growing yourself - I don't think the reality sinks in for many chaps until they're sitting in a room with a herbal tea talking about perineums...

ChocolateWombat Mon 05-Jan-15 17:35:03

The big advantage is to meet people t exactly the same stage as yourself. My DH called it 'rent a friend'
10 years later we are all you'll in touch and of course still have kids at exactly the same stage,mso can discuss those issues together.
The course itself is a tiny part of what it is all about.

NCTCharity Wed 07-Jan-15 11:44:25

Hi there, we often have other clients on our antenatal courses who have scheduled an ELCS. Consequently you may have the opportunity to meet others going through the same experience to share ideas and concerns, and discuss questions of common interest. Additionally your NCT antenatal teacher would be happy to answer any questions you have and support you on your journey. Hope this helps. Please get in touch if you need anything else: 0300 330 0700.

MuffinMcLay23 Wed 07-Jan-15 12:04:05

I think the only reason for doing NCT classes is to meet people who will have a new baby at the same time as you and be on maternity leave at the same time as you. We met nice friends doing the classes and they were well worth it from that perspective. Its really helpful to be able to share the experience in the early days with people who are going through exactly the same thing at the same time.
Content-wise, I have serious doubts about the classes! They are so anti-medical/anti-intervention/distrustful of the NHS that I think a lot of the content is very biased and some of it quite inappropriate. However, if you are having an ELCS anyway you can just ignore all of that and focus on making some like minded friends.
Our teacher went on and on and on about how safe homebirth is and how you can be spared the perils of the nasty doctors if you stay at home. Eventually one of the mums in the group put her hand up and said that she and her husband were expecting DC2, DC1 having died the previous year during a homebirth that went horribly wrong, and in circumstances where DC1 would likely have survived had they been in hospital, and asked her to please bear that in mind!

RunnerHasbeen Wed 07-Jan-15 12:08:19

Ask people who have done it in your area and find out how "natural" the teacher is, I was warned off by friends that our local teacher thought CS were a sort of failure. I also didn't see the point as my NHS group were very similar to me and I still see them regularly three years on, I also joined the post-natal NCT bumps and babies groups which don't cost anything and covered the social side. Depends on why you want to do the course and what else is offered in your area.

Ashwagandha Wed 07-Jan-15 12:24:40

I would do it in a heartbeat. It's actually just been brought home to me how important my NCT group was/is: my sister in Australia has just had a baby. I have JUST (two minutes ago) hung up the phone after listening to her sob about how hard it all is, how lonely she is, how she wishes she had someone just around the corner to meet up with. THIS is what I got from my NCT group. I'm medical myself, so I didn't do the course to learn about birth. I did it so that I had a group of friends going through the exact same thing at the exact same time. We immediately set up a Facebook group, and it was so reassuring to log on at 2am and see some of the others there too, all of us feeling better for knowing we were not alone with sitting in the dark with a screaming baby, feeling like we were doing everything wrong. My poor sister had a very traumatic birth ending in a section so she can't drive. The hospital run 'new parent' classes where apparently she can meet others, but she's too exhausted, in pain and distressed to attend, even if she could drive for 25 minutes with her baby screaming in the car.
My NCT mates were SO important in the first year of motherhood. Three and a half years later I'm still very close to two of them, and we're all still in touch despite most of the group having moved out of the area. Some of them were women I'd not normally have anything in common with, but I'm so grateful that I had them during what was an expectedly difficult time.

silverfishlondon Wed 07-Jan-15 20:21:41

I'd do it if you can afford it comfortably, I think your most likely to feel part of a group of friends that way , tho not guaranted!

. I'd done lots of reading so don't really feel I learnt loads, and tho it's nice to have a place to chat about everything and ask questions I'm sure u can seek out other places to do this. There's loads of alternative things like breastfeeding support groups and children's centres you can go to instead of NCT.

Email them in advance that your having c section and they should focus bit more on that. I Was theonly only one thinking of homebirth and she made sure to mention specific things to me. However I get the impression Nct is a bit biased towards natural/homebirth ect!
We had 2.5 days, one to focus on birth, one on baby stuff, half on breastfeeding.

Binglesplodge Wed 07-Jan-15 20:41:41

The content depends a lot on your course leader: ours was very pro "natural" birth and covered various pain relief methods and interventions with heavy emphasis on what she spun as the disadvantages. We covered breastfeeding but barely mentioned formula. We hardly touched on anything after delivery and were all shell shocked by the reality of life with our babies.

None of us had the all-natural birth we'd planned and in fact I ended up with EMCS. (Our course leader denies that anything other than a crash section under general anaesthetic is an emergency. That's a whole other rant...). The content of the course didn't end up matching the reality of most of our experiences BUT we are all fantastic friends and the support of my nct girls has been essential in the 3 months since DS was born.

Basically, you're buying an introduction to people doing the same as you: a support network. For our group, it was totally worth it. We worked it out as about £30 a friend!

(Our group didn't even arrange the final meeting with the course leader, which one of you has to host, because we were all so irritated with how little our experiences resembled what we had prepared for. Your mileage may well vary!)

Oh and good luck!

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