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NHS or NCT Classes

(16 Posts)
ForeverHopeful21 Thu 30-Nov-17 09:05:12

I'm having baby #1 so know absolutely nothing. If I want to do NCT, do I still need to attend the NHS classes?

I made the big mistake of asking my midwife about NCT and boy did she give me a piece of her mind. I decided (based on her strong views) that I'd just attend the NHS classes, however, I work as a prenatal massage therapist and 99% of my clients have raved about the local NCT in my area and how good they are. I'm having a change of heart but not sure that I really want to attend both, especially as my hospital is far away from where I live. If the classes are similar I'd rather just choose one, is that an option?

welshweasel Thu 30-Nov-17 09:08:08

There were no NHS classes where I live so didn’t have that option. I’m a huge fan of NCT but only for the instant network of Mum friends it gives you. If classes were purely for information and there was no option to meet other people then I wouldn’t have bothered with any of them, just do some reading. NCT was worth every penny I spent on it for the social side of it though.

SurreyMay Thu 30-Nov-17 12:34:07

I'm a first time mum due in March and decided to do both. The classes will be in Jan.
The NHS one is a one-off free class on a Saturday so thought I might as well go. I thought NCT would be good for making friends. Me and my partner have no idea about babies so I don't mind if the information is repeated. People have given me mixed feedback on NCT and the NHS classes so I'm happy to go and see for myself.

Glitterandunicorns Thu 30-Nov-17 12:43:08

I had my baby in May 2017 and did both the NHS class and the NCT one. The NHS one was good for information on practical things like where to park, where the maternity ward was etc, as well as the normal stuff about childbirth.
The NCT one was brilliant for getting to know other parents in the area. I'm still in touch with that group on almost a daily basis now and would recommend them to everyone. The classes themselves can be a little lentil-weaving at times, depending on the teacher, but I found them invaluable and worth every penny.
Best of luck OP!

Loverunandwine Thu 30-Nov-17 12:46:08

NCT is great for meeting peopl, I could have read the practical information in a couple of hours and on reflection was disappointed with the breast feeding information. It may have just been my teacher however.

EastDulwichWife Thu 30-Nov-17 13:06:26

What about researching midwife led antenatal classes? Same cost as NCT and the same principal (you get to meet local mums and dads), but with the benefit of a trained professional leading the class.

mindutopia Thu 30-Nov-17 13:28:30

I didn't do the NHS ones (from what I heard when I did my research, they were much more about what happens when you get to the hospital and NHS protocol). I was having a home birth. I didn't really care about any of that stuff. We just did NCT and I thought they were wonderful. I think it's weird that a midwife wouldn't have good things to say about NCT as many of them teach the classes! She's probably one of these midwives who thinks anyone having preferences for their birth interferes with her just doing what she wants. NCT is obviously more focused on natural birth approaches, but they cover everything from epidurals to c-sections to relationship and parenting issues after the birth. You also get to know people and that is really the main reason to do them. It creates a network for you so you have people to talk with and meet up with after you have your babies, which is absolutely invaluable. I would have lost my mind without that. I did do the NHS breastfeeding class though, which was sort of an add on to the main antenatal classes and I thought it was crap. It wasn't informative at all and I didn't learn anything that was remotely helpful. So I think NCT was absolutely worth the cost and the NHS ones didn't offer me anything we needed, so I was happy to go without them. I wouldn't have bothered with the breastfeeding one if I had known in advance what it would be like. There's no harm in doing both if you have the time. But if you only want to commit to one, I would do NCT or a similar one.

EssentialHummus Thu 30-Nov-17 13:31:23

I’m a huge fan of NCT but only for the instant network of Mum friends it gives you. If classes were purely for information and there was no option to meet other people then I wouldn’t have bothered with any of them, just do some reading. NCT was worth every penny I spent on it for the social side of it though.

Same here. I love my NCT group but the course content was poor bordering on harmful.

WhatevaPeeps Thu 30-Nov-17 13:35:37

NHS was much more helpful in terms of practicalities around the actual baby stuff like pregnancy, labour and complications, caring for baby.

But NCT was wonderful for meeting local mums and building up support network. It was an absolute godsend for me. For that reason alone I would recommend it (although not all women I know who did it had same experience).

thepatchworkcat Thu 30-Nov-17 14:05:00

I did both and found them to be quite different from each other. I loved the info from NCT - we really got into the detail of childbirth, so I really felt like I understood the process, what the body does, how the hormones work, pros and cons of epidurals etc. Also met a really good group of mums who were a great support network at 3am when we were all to struggling to feed newborns.
However I will say that despite the knowledge gained about childbirth, the ideal picture of labour that I had in my mind went out the window in practice when I had unexplained bleeding, 3 long days of contractions, epidural, and forceps in the end! Nothing happened like I wanted it too. Additionally all the group all bonded and kept in touch for the first six months, we didn’t keep it up after we all went back to work so in my case I haven’t found those life long friends that some do.
The NHS classes were useful as a basic overview of how it all works with regards to the hospital, when to ring/go in etc. But no opportunity to get to know anyone at my classes anyway.

Pennywhistle Thu 30-Nov-17 14:09:33

We did both.

Our NCT classes were first and were excellent.

The NHS classes were completely appalling (in our case) we only stuck with the full course so we could get the tour of the labour wards.

NCT isn’t to everyone’s taste but our claaases were fantastic and covered everything including c-sections, bottle feeding etc

All six couples from our classes are still in touch ten years later.

Usernamegone Thu 30-Nov-17 20:09:36

I did both! I my area the nhs do only one two hour session.

Ttbb Thu 30-Nov-17 20:12:26

NCT is more about socialising from what I gather.

MagicMoneyTree Thu 30-Nov-17 20:23:07

My midwife advised me not to bother with the NHS classes if I was doing NCT as they covered the same stuff. I did do a tour of the hospital though and they talked about a few bits and bobs during that.

I found our NCT course material hugely beneficial and much of the discussion around interventions and c sections (even though I didn’t end up having a c section) were really useful. I’ve heard a lot of people say the courses can be too natural-birth focused but in our case the classes struck the perfect balance - plenty of talk of breathing and relaxation techniques but also plenty of discussion around pain relief, interventions and c sections so we felt as prepared (as much as you can be) for every eventuality.

Clarabell100 Thu 30-Nov-17 20:27:01

We did NCT classes and they were great. Still in touch with everyone regularly a year later.

I went along to the first NHS session and it was basically a PowerPoint presentation. I asked about a tour of the birthing suite and they said it wasn’t possible as the group was so large so I didn’t bother going back!

BenLui Thu 30-Nov-17 20:28:21

Ttbb that’s a bit misleading.

NCT do encourage their members to get to know each other as a way of provides social and emotional support when you have a new baby but the classes are excellent and provide fantastic information and opportunities to ask questions.

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