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£214 for antenatal class...eek!

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  • Talk
    Talk Posts: 28 Forumite
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    Our baby is now 17 days old! It's flown by. :eek:

    Anyway we looked into the classes and decided not to attend. While she is our first baby we're both pretty baby confident already and felt that there wasn't enough we'd be able to take from the course to justify the money, not that we could have afforded that much anyway.
    Instead I registered with the babyandbump forums which were an absolute godsend, and I made some great friends there too who I am still in contact with.
    When you take into account how much baby stuff you could buy with that money..:eek:
    :eek:
  • Bluemeanie_2
    Bluemeanie_2 Posts: 1,076 Forumite
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    Did the free NHS ones??! What are they? My Midwife told me there were none available at all free. I had to pay if I did any! I searched for my area's official policy etc but couldn't find anything.
    I'm never offended by debate & opinions. As a wise man called Voltaire once said, "I disagree with what you say, but will defend until death your right to say it."
    Mortgage is my only debt - Original mortgage - January 2008 = £88,400, March 2014 = £47,000 Chipping away slowly! Now saving to move.
  • lilymay1
    lilymay1 Posts: 1,597 Forumite
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    shortdog wrote: »
    The NCT antenatal courses are excellent, well worth the cost. They are very pro-breastfeeding, and push for natural birth, so if that's not your thing, either think twice or keep quiet during the class!
    .

    That sort of attitude doesn't constitute an 'excellent' course in my opinion.

    When pregnant with my daughter, I went to the first NHS class and that was enough for me to see it was going to be a waste of time. Unfortunately no course could have prepared me for the birth I was going to have with her so I am actually quite grateful the woman running it put me off so much.
    14th October 2010
    20th October 2011
    3rd December 2013
  • continualdiamond
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    We did the NCT classes and loved it.

    However at £150 we weren't going to bother as couldn't afford it as my husband had been made redundant. Then we found out that we could get it for £50 because of him being out of work.

    They do offer a discount as well if your income is under a certain amount.

    We also joined for a years membership, again at a reduce rate due to him being unemployed at the time.

    I'm trying the NHS ones that run at my midwife centre next week so will be interesting to compare.

    Only four couples did the NCT one and us ladies have kept in touch, we're getting together next week for lunch.
    Mummy to two girls: October 2013 and February 2016
  • sweaty_betty
    sweaty_betty Posts: 1,337 Forumite
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    We did both NHS and NCT classes.

    The NHS classes were very factual ("brutal" in my OH's opinion) but I am the kind of person who wants to know all the facts, so that was fine for me. The course was a real mix of people, I'm in still in touch with a few of them after going to a sure start baby group with them for the first 6 months (3 years on).

    The NCT was more "idealistic" in terms of doing everything naturally. Although I found it interesting I knew that I would have more medical intervention that they were recommending as a result of pre-existing medical conditions, so I took that with a pinch of salt. The course was mainly middle class couples (who could afford the £170 fee!) but I made some fantastic friends. We all still see each other regularly (I've seen 4/6 of the other couples over the past few days) and they've been a great support to me. I would do NCT all over again just for the friends I've made.

    So, I guess it depends on what's on offer in your area and what you want out of it. And of course, what you can afford/are comfortable paying.
  • barbiedoll
    barbiedoll Posts: 5,326 Forumite
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    I work with post-natal women and their families and many of them have attended NCT classes. To be honest, it depends on who is holding the class, some of the teachers can be very unhelpful and have some quite odd ideas about what actually happens during a birth. One woman told me that her teacher was always telling the women "Whatever you do, don't let them cut you", as though midwives and doctors just perform episotomies for the fun of it. :mad:

    On the other hand, they can provide excellent support with breastfeeding and women always say that they have made friends with other local mums-to-be, so if nothing else, they can be a good way to meet other parents if you don't have friends with children or much in the way of family support after the birth.

    Many hospitals do run free ante-natal classes, usually they go through birth options, what happens if you have to have an emergency section and so on, and also breastfeeding classes. Unfortunately, with the cuts to the health services, ante-natal classes have often been seen as surplus to requirements so many hospitals have stopped offering them.

    NCT classes can be expensive and no-one should think that they are absolutely necessary, there is plenty of help and support available to new parents, you just have to know where to look. Health visitors know about mum and baby groups, the local libraries often have details of story and singing groups (even for very young babies) and church halls, community centres, leisure centres and so on, often have groups of new mums who meet up regularly just for a cuppa and a chat. Plenty of us managed to look after our babies without the help of any classes, when I was pregnant, we didn't even have the internet! I just borrowed every single baby book from the library and spent the final 3 months scaring myself to death with pictures of inflamed nipples and gory-looking newborns!
    "I may be many things but not being indiscreet isn't one of them"
  • moneypuddle
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    We did NCT classes last year and paid £140. I can genuinely say they were worth paying ten times that. We met 7 other wonderful couples, that are now friends for life. Following the birth of our babies, the mum met every week (sometimes 2 or 3 times) and I found the support from having a big bunch of friends with babies the same age absolutely brilliant. We're mostly all back at work now but the vast majority of us have still taken Fridays off so we can meet up, and we're planning a joint birthday party for the babies in October. I honestly wouldn't be without them, and have never felt more a part of a friendship group in my life :)

    I know not everyone would have that same experience, but that was mine anyway. The NHS classes on the other hand were just forgettable with no time to chat and arrange meet ups.
  • [Deleted User]
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    I did NCT classes with my first baby 28 years ago. I didn't have any family living locally and I made some great friends and had a fantastic support network while my kids were young. I was Chair of our local branch for a few years and also took other roles which helped to keep me sane while I was a SAHM for 7 years.

    It all seems a long time ago now but the friends I made then are still some of my best friends. One of the girls I met at the first NCT post-natal coffee morning I attended came over for lunch on Wednesday and I had a group of my girlfriends over on Thursday eve - about half of them I met through the NCT.
  • Bangton
    Bangton Posts: 1,053 Forumite
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    I'm 32 weeks pregnant and haven't thought at all about attending any antenatal classes...I've had no info from my midwife about attending and it just didn't really enter my head as dumb as it sounds.

    I have to say though, now I know it's so much I definitely wouldn't pay that at a time when I'm spending a bomb on baby and about to take a huge drop in wage for a year. I could probably afford it but I would be so peed off if I got there and it was all pro breastfeeding and no pain relief. I get enough of that when I see midwife!!!
  • kaya
    kaya Posts: 2,465 Forumite
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    Just did the NHS classes , it pretty much comprised of them explaining all of the things that can go wrong which wasn't what I wanted to hear, the tour of the hospital maternity ward was the only part worth going to
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