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NCT Antenatal Classes - online versus in person

(22 Posts)
Roxyoc Sun 28-Jun-20 21:58:04

Hello - We are expecting our first baby 8th November and would appreciate advice on when to do NCT class as was hoping to avoid online classes. It is mostly for a support network as most of our friends have kids in primary school.

The choice we have is an online Weekend zoom class 6th September at 31 weeks pregnant over two weekends or an in person weekend class 11th November at 36 weeks pregnant also over 2 weekends. We would prefer the in person class but I will be exactly 37 weeks pregnant on the last class date 18 October and wondering if this is too near when the baby is due 8 November? I have been told I will not be allowed go over 40 weeks due to my age (I’m 41) so the baby won’t arrive late.

Any advice would be much appreciated. I’m concerned the online class will be impersonal and won’t provide a network afterwards. Thanks in advance.

OP’s posts: |
babyonetwothree Sun 28-Jun-20 22:01:40

I would go for the earlier one as there's no guarantee the later ones will be in person, and there's a small chance you might miss one or both if you're early. There's lots of interaction between couples and the teacher and you can always meet up after they finish, depending on the social distancing rules at that point.

Umberta Sun 28-Jun-20 22:12:30

We've just finished our four week virtual NCT course and I'm so so glad it was virtual not in person.
Firstly, I'm struggling a bit with back pain, dizziness, needing to wee a lot and mild PGP; when it's all over zoom you can nip to the loo any time, get yourself a snack, lie down in bed etc without seeing rude. If it had been in person I'd have had to cancel on at least two of them as my symptoms were so bad I couldn't have left the house comfortably.
Secondly, often we would mute our microphone and have a little discussion between us (my DH and me) about what the teacher was saying. I noticed other couples do this too. Obviously in person that would be very rude!
Thirdly, I get that it might have been easier to make friends in person, but since the class ended I've been chatting to one other mum 1-1 on whatsapp, and we have another whole-group zoom planned for later this week, just social without the teacher.
I recommend the virtual classes, basically.

sel2223 Sun 28-Jun-20 23:21:15

I am currently half way through an online NCT course at 33 weeks (last sat and next sat - 2 x full days).
We have a good group and I am finding it interesting and helpful but it is a looooong day! You will be exhausted if you leave it till 37 weeks!

Roxyoc Mon 29-Jun-20 22:05:02

Thank you so much ladies. This is really helpful. I will book the class for 32 weeks following all your kind advice. Much appreciated.

Wishing everyone well and all the best with your pregnancies.

OP’s posts: |
DV388 Tue 30-Jun-20 07:24:02

I have just seen your post and I am in the same boat. We booked the September course as it was supposed to be in person. Last night I received an email telling us that they chose to move it online despite the government easing off the lockdown from August even for get vulnerable over 70+ They said they feel it will be safer for us. Despite everyone being back at work by then, and the entire world operating under the new “normal”. People going to restaurants and cinema, they feel we shouldn’t be allowed to meet up in person “just in case”
They cut the content from 19 hours in person to 10.5 Zoom time and offered us 15% discount.
I cried all evening, I am first time mum. I am 22w pregnant, I still haven’t even met my midwife, I am due to meet her for the first time when I am 28w. So far I had 2 phone apps with her, one being 10min. I had to go alone to both scans, my partner has been denied being part of the pregnancy journey and the new NCT decision (made 2 and half months prior the course date) seems like a final insult.
Is there anyone else who has an experience to share about the online NCT classes? Thank you

ml01omm Tue 30-Jun-20 08:41:10

We did the NCT online zoom classes.

Our NCT practitioner said current NCT thinking is that all classes ( including our reunion) will be online until November.

The plus side of being online was as others mentioned, the comfort of being at home, being able to get a drink etc. The content ( apart from the practical side) was good and really informative, and fairly unbiased too.

The big downside is the social aspect that it was really hard to connect with the other members, and I don't think it is going to generate the friends I thought it would, as no one is really making the effort to chat or stay in touch.

raindrop83 Tue 30-Jun-20 08:49:19

I'm in the same boat, I got the e-mail yesterday about our September course being moved online. Trying to decide whether to still go ahead or cancel. One question I've got is they say that you still get to do small group activities/discussions etc? How does that work on Zoom?

MoreGinPlease2020 Tue 30-Jun-20 08:56:56

Following, my class was moved online last night too.

ml01omm Tue 30-Jun-20 13:27:10

@raindrop83 they put you into break out rooms. So you are in the main Zoom room, and then the course leader will allocate you a breakout room when needed - the link flashes up on screen and it takes you through to chat to another couple or two, and then brings you back into the main room at the end.

raindrop83 Tue 30-Jun-20 14:22:52

@ml01omm Thanks for letting me know how it's done! Is it awkward? Sounds like it would be a lot more awkward not being face to face...

user1493413286 Tue 30-Jun-20 14:33:58

I booked NCT classes but as my baby came early I only made it to one but as a WhatsApp group was set up I still had a network of support and out friendships as a group developed during maternity leave meet ups and late night WhatsApp chats. I think online would be difficult to form relationships anyway so I’d go for the face to face ones

Superscientist Tue 30-Jun-20 14:49:56

We have just completed our zoom nct classes. We did 3 1.5h sessions Saturday a 1.5h breastfeeding session Thursday and then a second Saturday of 3 1.5h sessions. We did it at 32-33 weeks which I think worked for us.

The Saturdays are long days but we're made easier by being at home in the breaks. I wouldn't have made it to the breastfeeding session if it wasn't online due to sickness and dehydration because of the heat.

I enjoyed the courses and liked them being online. As someone else said we had our mic muted so we could talk to one another and we could look up some bits in more detail at the time. Both of which we wouldn't have done in person. Our leader left the meeting open during breaks and at the end so we could chat with one another and we have a few whats app chats on the go. All including course leader then mums /dads chats.

Doing it over essentially 2 days I think it was as easy to make friends with the other couples online or in person as you only got to see them twice either way. We had the option of doing it over 4-5 Thursday nights it wouldnt work with our commutes but it possibly would have been better for making friendships if they had been in person.

isitmethough Tue 30-Jun-20 15:16:45

It's absolutely fine doing it via zoom, if anything a bit more convenient. The girls on our group have also met up in person following the course for picnics etc and speaking on WhatsApp loads.

babyonetwothree Tue 30-Jun-20 21:43:39

Depending on social distancing rules, you can always meet up with some of the other couples outside of the sessions, or when you start maternity leave? I can see that it would be difficult to have a number of couples in a room or hall, handling dolls and other equipment, and who knows what the situation will be after the summer?

And if one of you got a positive test then the whole class and the teacher would have to self-isolate, as would any other classes she might be taking? And can you imagine the negative publicity if that did happen?

DV388 Fri 03-Jul-20 16:56:50

Thank you everyone for your input. I was so upset when I found out that they are moving it online at such a late date, but it seems a lot of you had a positive experience online, it’s really reassuring...
Have a great weekend x

liquoricecravings Sat 04-Jul-20 21:16:02

We had our first NCT session today and it went better than I thought it would. I think because everyone is keen to make it work that really helped the session go well. It is a shame that we weren't there in person and making small talk didn't really happen but we came away happy. Hopefully if the lockdown eases again we'll be able to meet up outside as a large group after the sessions finish anyway. I'm already looking forward to the next session.

EveningReflection Sat 04-Jul-20 22:30:19

Ive found this thread reassuring too. Im not someone who has ever video chatted and I was someone horrified when I had an email that my september course had moved online. I contemplated moving to a nearby October course, but they wanted £120 off me to change. No guarantee that one wouldnt get moved online too. I am disappointed that I wont be able to meet people in person, also that the online course seems to be less hours than the "in person" version I booked!

babyonetwothree Sat 04-Jul-20 23:09:43

I changed course and it was only a £25 transfer fee if it was one of a similar length so I'd query that. The course isn't shorter but the courses is made up of mostly zoom and the remainder with WhatsApp time - some of ours were in extra sessions, other was general support when we needed it. I found it better as there's always things you forget to ask in the class, to be able to discuss it later. The sessions didn't always follow exactly what we had been advised - they often over-ran, and I felt we got to know other people in break out rooms a bit more than we thought we would

EveningReflection Sun 05-Jul-20 00:04:35

OK thats good to know. I was worried about it not being good value for money. If I did the transfer it would of been £377 for the signature course. I could get a lot of hours 1to1 with an excellent private midwife for that!

£25 transfer fee and £95 because its in another county, a London borough, so its a different price bracket. Same course and they're both 5 mins drive from me, but opposite directions! Unfortunately, there weren't any other courses near me for my due date.

sel2223 Sun 05-Jul-20 08:57:06

Just finished my NCT online course and I actually really enjoyed it and definitely found it helpful. I very nearly cancelled but glad I didn't.
The mums now have a WhatsApp group and are planning a reunion later in the year so there is still a social element to it.

SnuggyBuggy Sun 05-Jul-20 09:17:18

While online can be more convenient I think it's important to try to find something that's local with local people. My NCT was a mix of locals and people who had to be moved to our class due to a cancellation from another area and it was the locals who I ended up staying in touch with. A lot of mums with babies and toddlers aren't keen on travelling too much.

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