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NCT classes - worth it?(25 Posts)
I know this has been talked about before but I just wanted to hear people's opinion on the NCT anti natal classes. Has anyone done then or planning to? The NHS round me don't put on anti natal classes so if I want to go to one I have to pay, I'm a first time mum so feel like I would like to do one. Thanks for any advise/comments
Content of the classes you can read on the Internet. The opportunity to make local mum friends was priceless. Genuinely don't know how I would have got through the past 7 months without them.
I just finished mine on Wednesday.
I would say, the instructor was useless and I didn't learn much of value. Her advice tended to centre around twee bullshit such as "bring choccie biccies for the midwife" or "bring fairie lights if you have a labour ward birth" to "get 'the menz' to pack the hospital bag so it makes sense to them"...
That said, the other girls I met are really nice, and so the cost is partially justified by meeting other first time mums who will have similarly-aged babies to me!
Agree that it's definitely not worth it for the content alone, you're essentially paying for the opportunity to make some friends. It is useful to know people with babies at the exact same stage in the early days, when even a couple of months makes a big difference.
We're not bothering as there is so much information online about birth choices, but I will do some baby sensory classes etc to meet other mums
I've just come to the end of an NCT Signature antenatal course and, while I can't speak for anyone else, I found it to be a valuable experience. True, you can probably access most of the course content via the Internet or a book, but you can't get the 'hands on' classroom experience and the opportunity to meet other, like minded people from a book, so for me it was worth it for that alone
I did the NCT Early Days postnatal course and it was amazing, a real sanity-saver for me as a first time mum in a new area. I'd never heard of Early Days before but got bumped onto it as I missed the antenatal class due to a complicated pregnancy. Our babies were around six weeks old when we started meeting (6 sessions) and we were all knackered and hormonal and so made lovely honest friendships! The focus of the postnatal course is about your feelings, relationships, body etc after having a baby as well as some honest shared discussions about sleep/feeding/crying etc and was a brilliant chance to talk things through and share the overwhelming experience with people at the same stage. We still meet every week for cuppas and play dates and our babies are now getting on for three and we've second babies in tow. I'd definitely recommend it.
Great thanks for the feedback, as many of you have said is mainly like to do it to make friends as I am in a new area and don't know many people especially people expecting babies
We did NCT when pregnant with DD1 as we were new to the area but only made it to the first 3 classes as we found it so cringe worthy! The instructor was very 'alternative' and brought along her birthstory represented in beads!!! Complete with a little blue bead for when her waters broke! Plus the people one the course weren't that friendly and it just felt like we had wasted the money.
Did meet some amazing friends at Aqua natal class though and met loads at baby swimming once DD arrived.
NCT is brilliant! We have met 7 other couples and we will all be having our babies within about 5-6 weeks of each other. The course itself is pretty rubbish (our nct teacher was talking about homeopathy and how you don't need drugs to ease pain - you may find yourself having to hold your tongue at times but it's worth it) I wasn't going for information, I was going to meet people and there were plenty of breakout sessions during the course that was great to chat to the others in the group more and get to know them. We met up for lunch before the 1st baby was born and have another meet up planned after the last baby has arrived. I'm having my baby on Thursday and as soon as I feel up to getting out of the house I have people in the same situation ready to meet up with. Priceless in my opinion. I've also done aquanatal which has been great but doesn't give the same opportunity to build friendships like NCT.
Best £200 odd we have spent. Do it!
Would pay it again 100 times for the friends I made. The kids are 5 now, and I honestly can't see a time when we won't all be friends. We have a yearly minibreak weekend in the summer, we still see each other every week/weekend, it has been great. I know I was lucky though, but there's nothing like the group of mums with whom you cry about how hard it is and laugh at the weird things babies do. Teacher was pretty average though, I agree! Xxx
You're not necessarily guaranteed to make valuable friends. Sure - some people have great experiences but others don't. Our group was certainly a way of passing the time in the early days but I can't say there were great friendships amongst 'like minded people'. I couldn't confide in them or found them particularly supportive: we had bad SR and really struggled but any talk of the negative parts of parenthood were almost automatically shut down. People obviously had their own struggles but didn't want to share or were afraid to.
Individually they were all nice people - didn't particularly find anyone of them difficult - just the group didn't really gel. Don't think that is uncommon but I think you're more likely to hear of the good ones than the so so ones.
The content of mine was excellent, the very first thing our teacher said was 'NCT. National Childbirth Trust. Not natural childbirth trust.' And then proceeded to go through everything regarding the birth, and also the first few days after birth too. She was really good. 7 years on I only keep in very occasional contact with the others but our group was fantastic for the first year or so.
Can I ask - do partners have to attend? I love the idea of attending classes to meet ladies who are in the same position as me but don't know if they'll all take partners or not?
Missclarke yes they encourage partners to go.
Everyone was with partners at ours.
It's good as the guys know each other now and will make meeting up as couples easier in future.
All partners were at ours. Our teacher booted them out to bond in the pub during the 'what your bits are like after having the baby' section, but they were all there the rest of the time.
Content of mine was ok, but all pretty rose tinted especially the breastfeeding session. TBH one of the main reasons I did it was to meet people for a birth support network too, but unfortunately that didn't work out either which I was very disappointed about. I know lot of people make lifelong friends (I'm still good friends with some of the other children from my mum's NCT!) but just bear in mind it's all a bit artificial and not guaranteed.
If you live in a nice area and want to make nice middle class mum friends, this is the way to go about it.
I live in Salford and really shouldn't have wasted my money travelling to Bolton for NCT when the NHS classes would have done just as well.
At what stage in a pregnancy do you usually book in for ante-natal classes?
I booked in for mine at around 16 weeks, and they started at 34 weeks I think... I got on well with all the couple's on my course, and we still catch up as often as we can 16 Months later. Was great to speak with people going through certain stages at the same time, and we will talk about anything. The course content was ok, and yes they are massively pro breast feeding but they did also go through bottle feeding tips. They also tailored the course to cover things we specifically wanted covered.
I'm just over half way through and our tutor is brilliant. She is very neutral in terms of opinion and gives us fact - which much be hard as she's had quite a few kids! You can read the course content on various sites online but it's given us the opportunity to ask questions and get some practical practice in. To be honest DH would never have read the content online so it's been good to do it together and him to get more info. I've read loads online and still found out lots of things I didn't know.
The NHS classes near us tend to have a lot of very young mums 15-22 ish on them because they are free so I only went to one and didn't find it very useful in terms of meeting other mums as I'm 30. The NCT cohort is much more my age and seem to be young professionals because of the nature that they are pretty expensive let's face it so depending on your age that might sway you in favour or against too.
There are other antenatal classes too, I went to a non-NHS (they were cancelled after I'd booked them) , non-NCT (wasn't prepared to pay that much to be told what I already knew) class. I thoroughly enjoyed the classes which focussed on breathing and relaxation techniques as well as a bit about the mechanics of birth etc. The friends I made have been absolutely fantastic
I booked in after 12 week scan. Were anything to happen they will give you a refund if that was a concern? They get booked up super quickly. You are grouped with couples with similar due dates which is brill. They seem to start from 29-34 weeks out
I enjoyed the classes but as many have said the content is pretty basic but meeting new people is really what makes it worth it.
I told my midwife I didn't want to attend any classes, as she couldn't really tell me any content that I couldn't research on the Internet. Her argument was that I will meet other mums, but I am a bit antisocial and that doesn't really interest me!
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