I'm due in March and considering signing up for an NCT course. I know it's quite pricey and I might not learn much but keep hearing its great for meeting people.
There are Signature courses in areas close to me (15 min drive) in various directions and one Essential course which even more local at about 5-10 mins away.
Do you get enough time on Essentials to get to know people etc? It's more local and cheaper which is great but if Signature is worth it I'm happy to pay more (while I am still earning before mat leave!) We moved to the area a little while ago and I don't know that many people - plus most of my friends are single and very much living the going out lifestyle!
Each to there own but I hated my NCT course and gave up after two sessions! It was just a bit too hippy and yummy mummy for me. I met loads of mum friends at NCT organised groups after DD was born. I love the NCT and am a regular volunteer, but really didn’t get in with the courses.
We did Essentials because I worked weekends and the Signature ones were all on weekends.
The mums from my group met up regularly when we were all on mat leave, we have a WhatsApp group and we just had a party for all the first birthdays (6 out of 8 anyway, one disappeared soon after they were born and another is perennially busy, or just not that into us).
I would say we got closer after babies were born rather than on the course though.
SIL did signature and didn’t gel with her group at all - but I think it’s a personality thing rather than a time spent one.
I am neither hippy nor yummy mummy and have the most fabulous group of friends from the NCT. Our babies are in Year 1 now so a bit older and they didn’t have Signature or Essentials, just weekend courses or ones that ran over 6 weeks. I did the latter type and am very glad I did. It was definitely better getting to know people over a longer period.
The people i met on the nct course were the ones i relied on most and were closest to until my daughter started school. We still talk now but don't all meet up now (yr 3) as we don't live really close and are all busy. It was absolutely worth it for me for those friendships. I didn't know anyone else at that stage of life when I was pregnant.
We did Essentials (I think..is that the one which ran over a few weeks rather than just a couple of full-day weekend sessions?). I was so knackered from work I couldn't face spending whole Saturdays learning and socialising!
I'm glad we did because the first one or two sessions were all a bit awkward and took a while for people to get chatting. Having shorter sessions made it feel less forced. Not all of our group gelled, but three and a half years later there's still 4 of us (out of 8) that meet fairly regularly so for us it was worth it.
I had lunch with one of my nct group today... The kids are 10! We've just all gone through the 11+ experience together, we babysit for one another and see each other regularly. The kids are often at clubs together and we still have joint birthday parties.
Some groups gel well, some don't. It's a total lottery but so glad we risked it!
Thank you! Sounds like it's a bit luck of the draw but probably worth doing. It looks like many of our local courses are longer Saturday sessions (whether Essential or Signature) so I'm leaning with the really nearby one.
There's also NCT pregnancy yoga on a weekday evening nearby but I can't seem to get hold of the organiser - I've never done yoga before and am by no means sporty but think I should do some gentle exercise now! If it's really expensive though I won't bother and will just try walking the dog more instead 😀
I'm still good friends with the women I met at my NHS antenatal and postnatal classes 10 years ago. We're going out with all the kids tomorrow. Didn't do NCT because it was full where I lived and because I was having a child section. Tge nhs classes were run by midwives who delivered our babies and may in some respects be better than the enthusiasm amateurs of the NCT who may never have delivered a baby!
I did it and it was great for making an early support group. The content however was completely unrealistic and i was expecting a wonderful textbook birth with a baby that leaps from vagina to latch on to nipple. I found that this made me feel terrible when I was unable to bf and the other women in my group felt really sad about their complications. So take it with a pinch of salt would be my advice.
Did NCT course (think it was essentials - cheaper one, over a few evenings plus one Saturday daytime session) and found the content to be great - although I found the NHS workshops better in terms of the practical birth-related stuff. Our NCT group met up a lot in the early days and it was amazing to have a go-to bleary-eyes support group already in place during the tougher times. We have drifted apart a bit now (babies are now 2.5), but still meet a couple of times a year. Me and DH became close friends with one couple in particular from that group though. She and I ended up having spookily similar births, and our babies seemed to go through leaps/growth spurts at the same time, so we bonded quite quickly!
We did the course that was a couple of hours in the evening for 6 weeks, whichever one that is. It was good. I saw all of the mums for coffee and walks with the babies every week during maternity and now we still meet once a month for dinner just the mums. Our babies are almost 2.