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Antenatal classes

(19 Posts)
itshappening Sat 10-Feb-18 21:47:37


Just wondering if anyone has any advice on which to choose....we are in London so have quite a few local options....NCT or independent ones like Noobies or Bump and Baby Club.

Is there much of a difference or does anyone have any experiences of the independent ones? One thing that worries me a bit about NCT is that i have heard it presents quite a rose tinted view of labour and is very focused on natural, non intervention etc.....I might get that but have quite a few risk factors so am not confident!

itshappening Sun 11-Feb-18 09:30:33

Bump (no pun intended)

itshappening Tue 13-Feb-18 20:11:04

Last hopeful bump...

Having looked into I think I am happier with the course content and approach of the independent group, just a bit worried that everyone says must do NCT for the contacts/support group after the course ends. But, I am thinking that if the independent group is also local to me then surely that could be just as useful on that front. Or is NCT a special case?

ClareB83 Tue 13-Feb-18 20:18:50

Sorry OP I'm pregnant with my first so no idea. We're gonna do the nhs ones as they're convenient.

itshappening Tue 13-Feb-18 20:22:47

Thanks Clare, hope all is going well for you. The midwife has not mentioned any NHS ones, possibly because we live quite far from the hospital I am booked in with so not so local for meeting people.

careerandfam Tue 13-Feb-18 20:30:24

Hi i'm also a first time mum to be and have booked NCT though I do have the same worries about you - it being too natural birth focussed. I've figured i'm going to go along and be selective with what information I take in.....;) x

Decaf83 Tue 13-Feb-18 20:33:08

We did NCT. It was 3 years ago but definitely not rose tinted view of labour or very focused on natural/ non intervention. For us it was really good, lots of helpful information.
Regarding support group/ friends afterwards I will be honest without the ladies I met on the course I'd have been lost on maternity leave. We're still good friends now. Saying that, there's no reason why you wouldn't make similar friends on a different antenatal group. I think it depends on the people in the group, I know some people who have done NCT who didn't keep in contact with anyone from their group.

ClareB83 Tue 13-Feb-18 20:33:46

Yes I'm good thank you - growing rapidly!

At my booking in appt we got leaflets for the nhs ones and noobies. The NCT ones aren't that close and I don't want to pay for them when there are other way to make friends eg attending my local children centres and we are joining our local twins group.

itshappening Tue 13-Feb-18 20:52:29

I think that is a good plan to filter it career and hopefully you will be lucky with the group leader you get. Good to hear it can be more open Decaf, I can only imagine you are right that it comes down to luck a bit whether a group stays in touch.

Clare my relative with twins was very involved with twins' club when they were small and I went along to a few....they were really supportive and friendly. Maybe because you have that instant bond of the twin thing in common compared to most other mothers.

mindutopia Wed 14-Feb-18 09:36:08

We did NCT with our first. I'm sure every class is different, but I found it presented a really balanced and realistic view. I was having a home birth, so obviously I was quite happy for a class that also emphasised natural birth (whereas the NHS ones were very much about what to expect in hospital, which didn't apply to me at all). But there were folks in our class who had c-sections and no one else really as natural focused as me and I think they all though it was beneficial. The friendships really were invaluable, but I suspect you would probably get that at any class that takes place over several meetings (not just a one day class). It wasn't at all dogmatic though and no matter what kind of birth you end up having, certainly knowing relaxation and pain management strategies will be helpful to you (probably especially if you have a very medicalised birth). That said, only a portion of the class is focused on actually giving birth. The rest is focused on late pregnancy, stages of labour, what it's like to have a baby and baby care, relationship changes after baby, etc. All that applies no matter how you give birth and is really useful. Realistically, most classes other than the NHS ones will be focused on natural birth as that's usually why people take them. The NHS ones are a bit more about the practical side of what to expect in hospital and birth choices, etc. Whatever you chose I would just get a recommendation from someone who has taken the class before and make sure it's quality before you commit.

CL1982 Wed 14-Feb-18 12:53:49

NCT was fab for us. We did the long course and had a fab group. Yes they have an agenda but just filter in what you want or don't want to take on board.

itshappening Wed 14-Feb-18 13:30:35

Thank you mind and CL, really helpful to get your experiences. Our local NCT course seems somewhat compressed, I think it is spread over 4 sessions with one being five hours.

liveintesco Wed 14-Feb-18 13:47:43

As a teacher, I'd recommend a hypnobirth course. KGH is brilliant IMO and they now go into teach it to midwives. Can help for any kind of labour and keeps you relaxed and comfortable but helps you make informed choices. Their teacher training is accredited by the RCM too. Everything is backed up with science.

It's also very relaxing and probably nothing like you'd expect. There's no incense waving or chanting 😂

On the flip side I also did NCT when I was pregnant and I have kept two of the people I met as friends 3 years on. I enjoyed it, but in hindsight I probably wouldn't have gone just to meet people (although I'm glad I did, if that makes sense)

milney25 Wed 14-Feb-18 14:13:12

Hi @itshappening I've booked the NCT course as my SIL suggested it. We are London based and it's our first. Ours looks to be quite compressed too, evenings for 3 hours and then a longer weekend session.

smudge44 Wed 14-Feb-18 14:21:20

What is the typical number of antenatal classes a couple attend?

JudgeTinder Wed 14-Feb-18 17:18:20

Hi there @itshappening, I completed a course of Noobies before Christmas and found it very useful (and cheaper than NCT!) I liked that it was run by midwives and the sessions were practical and informative with lots of chances to ask questions. The midwife who led it also arranged a paediatric first aid course for us to attend if we wanted to for an extra £10.

My group was fairly large and we have been meeting up since going on maternity leave so it's almost provided a bit of a support network too.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

JudgeTinder Wed 14-Feb-18 17:19:10

Oh, and our course consisted of 6 two hour sessions, held in a Church hall.

mintich Wed 14-Feb-18 17:22:38

My nct class wasn't too natural focused, and I met the best group of women!

itshappening Sun 18-Feb-18 00:37:44

Thank you everyone xx
Sorry not to have replied, I am in a crisis atm as have been admitted to antenatal ward at 19 weeks with heavy bleeding. I hope to get through it but I don't know.

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