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To NCT or not to NCT.......

(50 Posts)
Normski79 Sat 13-Jun-15 09:55:23

Hi all, so although only 14 weeks a few people in the antenatal thread have started mentioning courses get pretty booked up. Are you going to book on and on which? Signature or essential?
Or are you attending and enjoying? / hating?
Appreciate your thoughts.

CuppaSarah Sat 13-Jun-15 10:17:32

I have never attended or wanted to, I found the prices very high, when our local NHS course was very good. May be worth looking into your local NHS course. If it's good you could save money, but have all the nct benefits. From what I've heard, the main nct benefits are social. So if you are looking for expectant mother friends it's ideal.

TinyMonkey Sat 13-Jun-15 12:28:22

You're basically paying £200 to buy some friends, as one of my group put it.

This is not a bad thing, I couldn't have got through the first six months of motherhood without our weekly meet ups.

The course content was of negligible use for me personally, as I knew a lot of it already, and by the time we started I was booked in for a c-section due to a breech baby anyway!

So, in conclusion, I'm glad I did it as most of my friends already have kids and aren't at the baby stage anymore. It's lovely to have a group of mums at exactly the same stage. I suspect that at least two of them will turn into long term friends even after we all go back to work.

FlappertyFlippers Sat 13-Jun-15 12:32:37

It's a lot of money, but the benefit is you can make good friends without too much effort. Some nct groups really click and remain firm friends for life, others don't.

I didn't do a course, the nhs one covered everything and I spent the money on antenatal yoga classes instead. This was far more helpful during labour.

JasperDamerel Sat 13-Jun-15 12:34:27

I'm the other way aound. I found the course really useful (the nhs classes were abysmal, and pretty much consisted of instructions on how to navigate the fiendishly complex entry system to the maternity unit, which was irrelevant as I was planning g a home birth). I only met up once or twice with the other parents, and made my friends through the NCT bumps and babes group and local coffee mornings, which didn't require NCT membership.

AnnieLewis Sat 13-Jun-15 12:48:10

It really depends what you're looking for? If you are looking for other Mums who are due same time as you the NHS ones are too quick to form friendships in my experience.

It also depends largely on the area you live and how likely you are to be able to get to know Mums at Bumps and Babies/ Coffee Mornings/Stay and Play etc.

I would check out those options forst to be honest, if theres not much on locally and you can afford the fee I would probably do it, but as PP's have said some groups don't really 'gel'.

Also be aware that often the NCT classes don't really cover bottle feeding or c sections (depends largely on the tutor but certainly old school ones often don't) so if you are planning on doing either of those things I would bear it in mind...

AnnieLewis Sat 13-Jun-15 12:49:13

PS my NHS classes were great in terms of information and covered all aspects including types of feeding and all types of birth, including c section..

Hophop987 Sat 13-Jun-15 13:02:28

It's great for making new friends. 2.5 years later we still see each other regularly and are always there for each other if need any extra help with childcare etc. The course was interesting too but I knew most of the info,however DH found it useful.

AbbeyRoadCrossing Sat 13-Jun-15 13:59:19

I didnt do them due to cost and I wasn't sure about being friends just because we're due at the same time if that makes sense, but made friends at other groups after DS arrived. Sure Start children's centres and NHS run free ones if that's of interest.
I hear mixed things about nct. It depends on who's on the course with you and also on the teacher. For those reasons I've got friends that couldn't have done without it and others that hated it

OliveCane Sat 13-Jun-15 14:02:39

To be brutally honest, if you are middle class and well dressed etc, it's worthwhile because you'll get a chance to make some yummy mummy friends.

If you don't fit in above, it's probably going to be a waste of money,

StoryOfMyLife Sat 13-Jun-15 14:06:41

As others have said have you looked into your NHS ones to see what's offered. I live in a small town that's full of young families and the NHS ones offered at the health centre are fantastic, plus all the women are from the same town so it was easy to make friends and keep relations going.

However if I lived in our nearest city I would probably consider the NCT, the NHS ones are held out of the maternity hospital and therefore the women come from all over so harder to make friends.

Sizzlesthedog Sat 13-Jun-15 14:56:34

Nct does offer reduced rates on antenatal courses to people on lower incomes.

Ring up or go to the website and find out what the reduced rates are. It's a charity for parents, it will support everyone.

All NCT baby/toddler groups and events are for all, buying NCT memebership doesn't give you exclusive entry to these things. It's for all parents, members or not.

JasperDamerel Sat 13-Jun-15 15:00:32

My NCT class covered c sections in detail. My nhs class didn't mention them.

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Sat 13-Jun-15 15:01:00

Best think I did. I had just moved to a new area and found the support invaluable. Having people at the same stage of having a baby as me was fantastic, there was always someone to talk to when I was unsure/when things were tough etc. The actual content was useful, and my instructor was fab and is still happy to offer advice and DD is now 19 months!

westcountrywoman Sat 13-Jun-15 15:01:33

It depends. Are there other groups in your area that will give you the chance to get to know other new Mums (assuming you want to!)?

I chose not to NCT because I felt the price was very high and they weren't that local anyway. Our local midwife-led NHS antenatal classes were great and I met most of my friends at breastfeeding café and stay-and-play sessions after LO was born.
In our town, the NCT run bumps and babies sessions on a weekday morning. NCT membership is not compulsory for this and there is no need to do the course first.

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Sat 13-Jun-15 15:04:05

Oh and mine included advice on breast and bottle feeding, all types of birth and pain relief including c-sections. Really helped me to prepare mentally for any eventuality.
Some of my NCT friends are definitely not middle class 'yummy mummies' as mentioned above (myself included). The fact that the NCT offers extremely reduced prices to people with lower incomes meant we had a pretty broad spectrum, especially as NHS classes in our area were poor.

Normski79 Sat 13-Jun-15 16:11:09

Thank you everyone, you have give me some more pointers of other options for classes meet ups I will go and investigate before committing.

LemonYellowSun Sat 13-Jun-15 16:17:28

I never went. I didn't and still don't see the point.

Lilipot15 Sat 13-Jun-15 16:26:55

We tried NCT for our first and gave up (got money back) as our teacher appeared to have a real anti-hospital agenda which really upset me, as at that time I had some complications and was being very well-looked after by the hospital team.
As an aside the group was quite large and people talked about packing their "Mulberry bags" and wondered if the hospitals had wifi......I wasn't convinced that we would have become long term friends, but you never know as we didn't give it a chance.

My midwife signposted me to a class that was being run at our local children's centre and it was fab - run by a practicing midwife, really open minded about different types of birth, a small enough group that we made friends and it was just what we needed.
We have just moved and I was relieved to see that NCT doesn't have a big presence here and again most people do evening classes at local children's centre. I have come across some people who talk about their NCT "gang" and it feels very exclusive to those of us who haven't got an "NCT gang", but it's an extremely expensive way to make friends in my opinion!! There are lots of postnatal groups running at children's centres / baby classes etc where I hope to meet folk in the long run.
I do know some people who have made long-lasting friendships through NCT, and others who have had friendships that have lasted until they've gone back to work and realised all they had in common was having babies at the same time.
Pros and cons of all options of course, you'll know what's best for you.

trinitybleu Sat 13-Jun-15 16:32:04

I currently have a fellow baby group child playing with my DD ... they're 8.5 smile

We've remained good friends and see some of them weekly, others less often. Couldn't have survived without them.

And the classes covered everything, no agendas. Between us we had CS, breech, inductions, bottle feeders, breast feeders, only children, large families, everything ...

Lilipot15 Sat 13-Jun-15 16:32:35

Ps I should also note that the local children's centre one I have just done in prep for my second didn't cover bottle feeding at all....the instructor acknowledged this and I believe it is part of the baby friendly initiative. So it's not just NCT that focuses on breast feeding. I can't comment on the section on delivery as I missed that bit as I am having a planned section this time round.
Our first children's centre class did a fab session on C-sections which included a mock-up of the theatre so you had an idea before it happened of just how many people may be in theatre - my husband found this particularly helpful as I was being prepped for my emergency section.

dancinglorna1984 Sat 13-Jun-15 16:45:39

We go to our first session tomorrow, we weren't going to bother originally but my friend has just completed it and really enjoyed it and is already meeting up with other people in their group. Another reason why we decided to do it is I was worried about feeling isolated as we don't really have any family nearby and we are both a bit clueless about parenting so thought it would be useful. We didn't have any other options also as there isn't any NHS classes offered where we are due to various cuts.

Bodicea Sat 13-Jun-15 21:18:20

Also bear in mind how large the area it covers is. In my group we were quite spread out with half of us coming from one area and half from another. In the early baby stages they were invaluable and we met up regularly. As time has gone on we still meet up but is a lot less regular especially as we have gravitated to our more local toddler groups. It is a shame they don't attempt to match people a little bit more geographically. Maybe it is just a quirk of the area I am in.

Sansarya Sat 13-Jun-15 21:24:29

As a PP said, they're great if you want to meet middle-class yummy mummy types! I didn't do the classes as a) they were expensive and b) having worked for NCT in the past I had no desire to give good money to an organisation who thought that the way to attract a more diverse clients was by having a "graffiti wall" at their annual conference. Yes, because all poor people love graffiti. FFS!

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Sat 13-Jun-15 21:29:48

Bodicea our group all lived within walking distance of each other (city centre) so it must depend on where you live.

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