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NCT Classes - Really?(50 Posts)
So everyone and their goldfish has told me that we should enrol on the NCT course 'if only to make friends' etc. I have just been online and found that the nearest one to me is in the local city (which I'm 30mins away from and never go to and don't 'hang out' with people from there). Looked at booking and it's going to be £200 for 6 sessions. They wanted payment upfront too.
When I emailed to ask about paying in instalments I was told they would split it in 2 payments.....one now and one in a month. I'm only 15+3, we aren't buying any baby stuff until after the 20w scan just in case. So I have politely declined.
I live in a remote place which has a lovey small town around 20mins away. It's in this town that I'll be going to mother and baby groups and meeting friends for coffee etc etc....
Are the NCT classes REALLY worth it if the only positive is making friends.....but these would be people I have nothing in common with and won't ever see again as they are in the city and I never go there? Seems daft...
I wouldn't bother personally...
I went to the free NHS antenatal classes and that was 3 hours of my life that I'll never get back
It was more or less a lesson in common sense ie: "if you have a little girl, wipe from front to back to avoid infection during nappy changes". Cue my reply of "well I've been taking care of my self for 22 years so I think I've got that one covered"
And as for using classes to make friends, it's not worth shelling out £200 IMO when you will meet plenty of people at mother and baby groups once baby is here!
I went to the NHS ones and met 2 lovely ladies. I also met my other mum friends at the weekly baby weigh in clinic. I just initiated the chats and met some fab friends. I think NCT is way too expensive!
I loved the NCT classes I did, but in your circumstances I agree with you that it's really not worth the money.
I would not go in your situation as it isn't local, and most likely all the others will be from the city so all the meet ups would be there. See if there is anything locally antenatal wise, or just throw yourself into baby groups, post natal groups etc once lo arrives.
Thanks everyone - seems not doing them is OK. I'm pretty active in my local community anyway, so think that will be fine once baby arrives.
We are doing the classes-they let me send 3 pre-dated cheques as with a newborn on the way I felt £200 upfront was a bit much for us to manage. We had our first class on Wednesday and I enjoyed it-it remains to be seen if it's worth the money though! I think if you've plenty of friends with children already then you'll be fine-I don't know many people so it's likely I'll
be quite lonely without a network of mums to talk to.
For me, the main advantage was definitely meeting friends (and 8 years on, we're still good friends with 3 of the other couples). But there are other ways of doing this. My midwife put me in touch with two other pregnant women and we also became friends. Could you give your phone number to your midwife and ask her to pass it on to any women due around the same time as you?
I had twins and was invited to the multiple antenatal group at hospital...there were 18 couples 16 joined the nct group me and another woman didn't (we couldn't afford it and she was moving). The group met often outside the classes but meet ups were done through nct contacts....so just me excluded.
I would occasionally run into the lot if them in a local garden centre /coffee shop...it made me feel like shit and I think contributed to my pnd.
But if the group is 30 miles away why bother especially if you have more connection to the town your in.
I never bothered with NCT or the NHS classes. I did do the SureStart postnatal group but never met anyone I liked there either. I made all my friends through the regular (free!) baby groups after DD was born and we are still thick as thieves nearly 4 years on. Would never pay for classes, totally not worth it IMO unless I had money to burn!
Given your situation - living 30 mins away from where the classes are - I probably wouldn't bother. It is a lot of money and there are other opportunities to meet people. There isn't anything you learn at them that you can't teach yourself by reading up, but I will explain why I thought they were good, in the essence of a balanced view for you to weigh it all up......
I really enjoyed them.
We had a great NCT leader who let us decide what we wanted to learn and I made some really lovely friends - this is luck though as I know of others who have not clicked with their group or who have not been impressed with their leader.
I think our NCT leader really made us all (especially the men) think about how our lives were about to change and how we might adapt to this change and about choices we might make as parents. I think it really made me and my partner talk about things in a way that we wouldn't have otherwise due to being so busy, and also made my partner have a much better understanding of what was around the corner. I think it helped him to be more supportive after the birth too and gave him new dad friends.
We had no nhs or alternative antenatal classes in our area and my group was a 5 min drive into the nearest town from my village - so obviously my situation was a little different to yours. Consequently a lot of the post natal groups I went to were a little cliquey, as many mums just met their NCT groups there and for those not in an NCT group, I think it would have been a bit daunting. I personally would have found it quite hard to make friends as close as my NCT lot in the early months as I when I did manage to find enough energy to leave the house, I didn't feel super sociable, and it was so much easier to just meet people I already knew than to try to make new friends in groups that already seemed a little cliquey.
As time when on and I got more sleep, I met loads of other lovely mum friends in my village who I am closer to now than my NCT lot, but in the early days, having my NCT lot was such a huge support - especially being able to text in the middle of the night and share our experiences.
If you choose not to go to NCT classes, maybe see if there are some nice mum/parent Facebook groups in your area, as you may be able to meet people that way too by suggesting a meet up of anyone with a baby due around the same time as you. This is what I plan to do with my second baby who is due in summer, as I want to find mums due around the same time but don't want to pay for NCT again.
In my class we did a lot of group work and didn't learn anything new. We didn't cover anything in much detail. I'd say the nhs one plus a couple of good books/websites (esp. covering stages of labour and pain relief) should do the trick. It can be a good way to meet other people but personally I've found there can be some subtle competitiveness between some couples. If anything, the classes made me feel less confident and more anxious. I think local parent baby groups might be a bit more useful.
I wish I'd done them, pretty much every parent I know does weekly or monthly meet ups with their NCT friends, and it's built in best friends for the children, I really feel like I missed out.
Some people love NCT and make life long friends through it but it really is a roll of the dice as to the group you get.
We had a very small group and while I'll occasionally exchange messages with the people from my NCT we aren't close and don't have regular meet ups. I'm not really sure why our group didn't work as individually I liked all the couples, it just never evolved into a friendship group - despite attempting to, we never managed to get all five of us in a room at the same time since having the children (over three years ago).
The classes themselves were average - I didn't learn much and it actually presented a very rosy view of birth and the early months which was totally unrealistic. The NCT birth experience was so far removed from my actual experience (and everybody elses in the group) it was a bit silly.
I met closer friends through other groups and activities afterwards.
I'm in a similar position, can't really afford the £200 and there isn't a class in our town although it's a bigger town and the closest one is outside town so I assume people local to me will be going there. Also my husband works quite a few evenings so the chances of us being able to go to all 6 weeks together are pretty slim. I like having new friends though and don't know many people with babies
I echo the point about it presenting a rosy picture about birth. We were encouraged to think we could all have a hassle-free delivery. We did activities such as reading out affirmations like "The baby is a perfect size for my body" and "My body can do this". In my group so far, only one person had a straightforward birth - everyone else had complications.
I paid £140 and we explained as hadn't had a scan yet so we booked later on.
It was nice for DP and me to do something together, I was on mat leave
bored shitless it gave me something to do.
I could discuss babies with women too. We meet up once/ twice a week and it's nice as the babies are close in age (my friends baby is 6 weeks ahead of us and I think it make a difference)
Personally I would do it, the first few months I felt stupid at baby groups with a baby who did nothing. I much preferred meeting for coffee while DS slept in a pram.
The money has been worth it.
Also my classes were nothing like described above they were very informative and not floaty.
We even did an activity to show how crowded a room was during a c section.
You might meet that one person who's a lifeline to you at the beginning and that's priceless.
I've not been yet but intend to go (pencilled in but not paid as it's too early) as I know nobody in the area and am going to be so lonely on mat leave - any friends I can make, even just one, will be worth the money for me!
I did them to make friends but our class only had 3 couples so wasn't conducive to bond building. It was all a bit awkward really!!
DS is 16 months, this week alone I have met up with some of my nct group 3 times.
I would absolutely recommend the classes. We had a great class leader who really didn't skimp on details, but all of us agree we only went to make friends.
Concentrate on local stuff. Nct do bumps and babies coffee mornings - see if they have them in your nearer town, or antenatal yoga or any other pregnancy activity.
I found people I met while pregnant invaluable in the early weeks. I was too tired for socialising with new people but would have been lonely alone. I met up with my antenatal yoga group when ds was ten days old, far too early for baby groups.
Also babies change so fast that it's great knowing people with babies exactly the same age.
The one thing about nct classes that's quite unique is that the fathers bond too. I'm friends with three mums in the same nct group (I wasn't) and I'm envious of how close their dh's are whereas I'm only friends with other mums and dh isn't.
If you have friends with DB or are pregnant, don't bother with NCT.
My NCT classes were a godsend - myself and the other mums used to meet up once a week while we were on mat leave, with whole family events and dads nights out happening too. Now 5 and a half years on we are still good friends with 4 out of the 6 couples. One couple moved to Canada - the other couple lived too far away to get as involved and drifted away fairly early on. For that reason, in your circumstances, I don't think it would be worth it. You need local people to connect with, not people who are a mission away.
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