NCT Signature antenatal classes - are they worth the cost?(19 Posts)
First time posting, but have been reading for a while! Am currently pregnant with twins, and have been reminded about booking in for antenatal classes. My area don't provide any NHS ones, so I'm looking at NCT classes, and due to DH work schedule, the signature one based mainly on Saturdays works best for us.
I was just a little surprised at the cost, and because I'm looking at a C Section, I'm just wondering if they're worth going to please?
It's my first pregnancy also, so have no idea at all!
We signed up mainly as a way to meet people. I hear it's a big swing though depending on the area and teacher. Some people found them amazing and some people say it was just hysterically patronising. I guess we'll find out in January!
Are you going to sign up OP?
I’m thinking about taking them but not sure yet about the price , what’s the price you’ve seen OP? As I was keen in a few of their courses but might need to go to 1 only if expensive
We signed up mainly as a way to meet people
Us too, we will be starting them in late November! Our local area stopped offering NHS classes a couple of years back apparently. We don't know many people locally, and the general consensus from friends/colleagues was its the best way to meet people nearby with babies due at similar times.
We did it mainly to buy friends who had babies around the same time. Turned out to be far better than I thought and really engaging. We thought it was worth it.
I did the longer course - sorry, can't remember the names. The info was fairly interesting, but nothing you couldn't really find online in my opinion.
The advantage is it does make you sit and discuss them, and I found it especially useful for the guys.
The group was great, and the girls on mat leave and I meet up for a weekly pub lunch with the babies which is amazing
I definitely think it was worth it. The information wasn't anything you couldn't find yourself in a book or online, but the chance to talk about it with other people was really helpful. We also met some wonderful friends (which is why I think the longer ones are better, we did one that was I think 2-3 hours in the evening for 6 weeks?). You get to know people that way. The friendships I made were a lifesaver in that first year and we are still in touch today (our kids are school age now). If you do have any financial concerns, they offer a concessionary rate. At the time, I was a PhD student so not making loads and my husband had just finished uni and started his first graduate job, so our income wasn't that high. We qualified for a reduced rate.
Yes - best thing we ever did for meeting people. We've formed amazing friendships and such strong bonds with our group. But I guess that's just luck of the draw!
In terms of actually learning stuff about birth etc.....well. Not really, there's nothing they'll tell you that you can't find out here.
I recently signed up to Daisy after not loving the way NCT are cagey about the cost of the course until after signing up and handing over all personal details, then sending several follow up emails saying the 'offer' was expiring or similar slightly aggressive sales tactics. I'm don't qualify for the discount with them, but I'm not prepared to risk £200 for something that might be a bit rubbish. As it happens the Daisy course was on at more convenient times, so fingers crossed.
I'm also expecting twins and started the NCT signature classes the other week. I've been positively surprised. As pp say, you can find all the info online or books, but I'm not the type... I just don't have the time and patience. I'm more likely to remember useful info when it's been discussed with others. Also the lady who runs the class has very good information of the hospitals in our area, as they do differ in their facilities and in what they offer.
We also did a separate NCT Twins and multiples workshop which was only one three hour session, but was all about giving birth and caring for multiples. It was great to meet other twin parents in the area. The only thing that kind of bothered me about the twin class was that the lady who ran it ( and who has twins herself) was so anti c section. I found it surprising considering 60% of twins are delivered by c section and mostly because we don't have a choice. I couldn't care less about her opinion but there was one woman who felt like she was being told off for having to have c section for medical reasons. You would have thought they'd be more supportive. At the signature class we have discussed both vaginal birth and c section in very factual way and without any feeling of guilt either way.
I just saw this on active talk and just wanted to comment. My eldest is now 9 but my husband and I did NCT classes when I was pregnant. The absolute best thing about those classes was the friendship group we formed. We continued to meet regularly after our babies were born and looking back I can't imagine how I'd have coped without that support network (no family nearby etc). I am still very good friends with a few of the mums and although our children are at different schools, we meet up in holiday times. It's our ten year 'anniversary' coming up and we are going to try and organise a group meet up. We were lucky of course because there's no guarantee you'll make friends. In terms of the content of the course- as others have said you can get that in books and real life experiences on here.
I found the info useful and it was generally a good experience but our group didn’t have a whole lot in common, so think it’s pot luck in that respect.
It's very expensive for what it is: pretty agenda driven towards intervention free birth which in my experience seems to be a less and less occurring outcome regardless of class, background etc.
I found making friends after the birth easier: baby sensory, exercise classes, rhyme time.
If you have a spare £300 rattling around fine: but I'd save the cash and use the NHS free classes, local children's centres and dedicatied newborn baby groups to get yourself mum friends.
Thank you so much for your responses, and sorry for not checking back sooner! I was on the fence about it, but it seems from your responses that it's a great way to make friends in the area, which would be great!
@DaisyLand we've been quoted £184 for the course, for 17 hours based on three Saturdays and a Thursday evening, which includes a breast feeding bit.
@TonicAndTonic we don't get NHS classes here either, and we don't really know many people either.
@MasalaTea, I had no idea they did a special multiples class, I'll have to get in touch and see if they do one round here too! I'd be a bit apprehensive if the person running it was a pusher of natural birth, because I'm trying so hard to mentally prep for a C section and can only handle positive stories at the moment!
Thanks again for your responses, I'm going to sign up to the class today!
unicorn I'd highly recommend finding out if you have a local twins club, as support from other multiple parents is so worthwhile.
There is also a Multiples board here on Mumsnet which I couldn't stop reading whilst I was pregnant
Completed NCT signature this weekend.
The leader was fab and I didn't feel at all like she was pushing an intervention free agenda at all. We explored lots of options (both pain relief wise and labour wise). She was honest, down to earth and I felt very realistic that in a group the size of ours there would be women that would need/want interventions and she helped us get a good understanding of all the options available to us.
Our group was funny and we all seemed to get on really well which was a bonus too!
It's early days obviously only having met them this weekend, but I definitely think at least half of us will be staying in touch at least for a while.
Definitely worth the money in my opinion.
We did it to buy friends too. It worked! Course itself was a bit meh and she didn't really like answering "what if this goes wrong" type questions. A different lady did the breastfeeding session and that was really good. Was over £300 in my area! I very nearly cancelled but I'm glad I didn't.
I had a planned c-section (breech baby) by the way and it was fab!
I find them useful from a “what to expect” point of view, and the NCT prepared my for the emcs I ended up with much more than my nhs class that was all a bit hypno.
I did meet people, but none were particularly local, and all were far better off than me. I bowed out gracefully when they started going abroad for the weekend.
I made my much more like minded friends for life at the local Surestart/village hall etc groups.
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