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NCT AnteNatal Classes

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
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mutleythegoonermutleythegooner Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Marriage, Relationships & Families
Hi All!

My wife is 21 weeks pregnant and we've been looking into the NCT antenatal classes and they are coming back quite expensive in my area (£270). This is quite a lot of money for us and we just miss out on the discount. Do you think the classes are worth that much money?

If the classes content are basically what we could learn from a book I'm not sure we could justify the outlay. Has anyone been on the course? If so, was it beneficial and in what way?

Any information gratefully received!
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Replies

  • Blue_MonkeyBlue_Monkey Forumite
    602 posts
    I'd highly recommend them! The content isn't really anything you couldn't google but we've found the social side invaluable!

    There were 8 couples in our sessions and we've all stayed in touch and see each other regularly. I have several friends with kids/babies but having other people go through it at more or less exactly the same time is such a support. Probably more for your mrs than you overall but you might make pals too.

    Also, it's a good arena to ask "silly" questions or hear others ask things you'd not thought about. We had a good giggle during our classes and did learn some good bits too.

    I say go for it. It's the best pre-baby preparation money I think we spent!
  • Search the forum - there have been other posts recently about this topic ;)

    Depends on what you want. They will heavily promote natural birth and breastfeeding to the hilt and ignore or at least move swiftly on from any topic that goes against what they believe everyone should do IMHO. In fact, not opinion. I have sat in on many of these sessions in a few areas and they all seem to be the same!

    Saying that, the NHS classes vary and obviously go into far more medical detail about pain relief and what to expect at the hospital etc. More practical i guess if you like than the NCT classes which i find to be VERY idealistic.

    Lots of strong friendships are formed at the nct classes BUT that is not to say that you cannot also form friendships at NHS classes (see it often!) and after baby arrives at baby groups etc.

    If you DO decided that u want to go for it, ASK your local NCT lady re the price - i have known them to reduce it a bit if people are just below the threshold ;) worth asking definitely!
    Baldrick, does it have to be this way? Our valued friendship ending with me cutting you up into strips and telling the prince that you walked over a very sharp cattle grid in an extremely heavy hat?
  • AMC1979AMC1979 Forumite
    102 posts
    I joined the NCT at £40 for the year, but balked at the cost of classes – £260 for about 22 hours. I just could not justify the cost. In the end I found that there were free local NHS antenatal classes – 4 sessions of 2 hours each which I start later in May.

    I would recommend that you and your wife check out all the options available to you and see if there are free NHS classes or cheaper ones elsewhere, because I really don't think that what you will learn during the classes justifies the extortionate cost. I know that the NCT are a charity and it costs to run the classes but it feels like exploitation to me. There must be cheaper or free options out there for you and your wife. I'm just glad I found an alternative before I parted with so much money.

    There is a lot of information on the NCT website too – I recommend reading up a lot on this. Also find out what local groups there are in your area –!you can always join the NCT and go to the meetups (which I plan to do) – a lot cheaper to become a member than to pay for expensive classes.
  • AMC1979 wrote: »
    I joined the NCT at £40 for the year, but balked at the cost of classes – £260 for about 22 hours. I just could not justify the cost. In the end I found that there were free local NHS antenatal classes – 4 sessions of 2 hours each which I start later in May.

    I would recommend that you and your wife check out all the options available to you and see if there are free NHS classes or cheaper ones elsewhere, because I really don't think that what you will learn during the classes justifies the extortionate cost. I know that the NCT are a charity and it costs to run the classes but it feels like exploitation to me. There must be cheaper or free options out there for you and your wife. I'm just glad I found an alternative before I parted with so much money.

    There is a lot of information on the NCT website too – I recommend reading up a lot on this. Also find out what local groups there are in your area –!you can always join the NCT and go to the meetups (which I plan to do) – a lot cheaper to become a member than to pay for expensive classes.

    Can i just point out though, that you dont HAVE to join the NCT to go to ANY of their groups (breastfeeding support, etc) or to their sales... i know they are a charity BUT you CAN just pay on the door as it were... about a quid or two per group.
    Baldrick, does it have to be this way? Our valued friendship ending with me cutting you up into strips and telling the prince that you walked over a very sharp cattle grid in an extremely heavy hat?
  • I have mixed feelings about the classes.

    As everyone says they are great for making friends (I'm still in touch 18 months later with a few people from ours, and it really helps when others are at the exact same stage/problems) and fab for asking silly questions. It was nice to feel that we were doing something positive together as a couple to help prepare for the baby once a week, and our group was good fun.

    The expectations around birth plans can be a little bit tree hugger/hippyish and how to "Manage" the interfering medical staff, who by implication want to treat you as a inconvienice was a bit OT but having said that it did make me question stuff, and I did find the breast feeding advice very good.

    I personally think its a nice to have, rather than essential, but it gave me a different point of view to take on board when making my mind up.

    Knowing what I do now, (if it was my first baby) would I do it? Actually yes, as we did get a lot out of it, but not what I thought we would.

    Confused much??
    Right now I'm having amnesia and deja- vu at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before
  • Mrs.W_2Mrs.W_2 Forumite
    584 posts
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    Have you asked your wife's midwife if there are any NHS pre-natal courses running in your area?
  • mildred1978mildred1978 Forumite
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    Lots of threads about this previously.

    Probably the best money we spent pre-baby.

    I didn't get to do the NHS ones (bloody inept midwives) but in the end I was glad of that.
    Science adjusts its views based on what's observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation, so that belief can be preserved.
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  • tyllwydtyllwyd Forumite
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    Someone I knew said that when they went to an NCT class, there was one guy who kept asking questions and correcting the teacher - when they were chatting afterwards it turned out he was a local gp (my gp actually - excellent doctor but doesn't suffer fools gladly so I would have been terrified if I was the teacher).

    We started going to NCT classes but I could feel my OH sitting there giving off 'I don't want to be here' vibes, and the teacher didn't impress us, so we gave up. We had decent NHS pre-natal classes, so I went to those and to be honest, I preferred them to the NCT ones. Afterwards, I did get quite involved with the local NCT, which was great from a social point of view.

    I think so much depends on what is offered in your local area by the NHS, and how good the actual teacher of the NCT classes is. If money is tight and the NHS offer a few classes, to be honest that's what I'd go for.
  • pinkcloudspinkclouds Forumite
    1.1K posts
    If the classes content are basically what we could learn from a book I'm not sure we could justify the outlay.

    Personally, I don't think any antenatal classes are worth it. I would recommend the Dr Sears Birth Book instead: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Birth-Book-Sears-Parenting-Library/dp/0316779075/

    When you feel the need for new "parent" friends, then you can meet them at your local toddler group (the NCT run some too, if you must), your local breastfeeding group, the parents at your child's nursery or school, a slingmeet, etc. However, statistically, at least some of your existing friends will have kids too - at some point in time. Btw, as you're a bloke, I also assure you that you are welcome to attend *any* parenting type group - so long as you bring the baby with you. ;)
  • giengien Forumite
    1.6K posts
    I did both - they were excellent for the social side, and to get my husband used to the idea of the whole birth thing (he'd been a bit squeamish). In fact I'm still in touch with some of my class and my eldest is almost 16!
    Our NCT teacher was vert factual, very informative and didn't push a strong 'natural birth' agenda. She was excellent at breastfeeding advice too, and it was worth it just to tap into the NCT network and all the experience of people
    Trying to keep in budget.

    2270
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