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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello

Couldn't find a relevant place to post this so have landed here. Hope you don't mind.

I can't decide whether to sign up for NCT classes in my area or not (Farnham, Surrey). The thing is I am being offered 3 NHS childbirth classes, 3 NHS ante-natal classes plus have access to NHS breastfeeding and active birth classes. I know people say NCT is all about meeting people in your area in the same boat, but surely there are other ways to do this without spending £200+ on classes where the subject matter is repeating what the NHS classes offer. I also have set views on birth plan (ie not really having one so long as I get pain relief) and I know where I want to have the baby (not going be persuaded towards a home birth or midwife unit). The other problem is all these classes are clumped over the same 4/5 week time frame, during which I had hoped to go away with Dad-to-be before all hell breaks loose, plus I have to be at a conference during one of the w/e which would mean missing the final NCT class anyway.

Opinions and advice would be welcome. Am confused....

Thanks
BB
 

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Hi BB,

Interested in your post as I live in your area - are you giving birth at the Royal Surrey? I was offered the 3 childbirth prep classes on NHS but not the ante natal classes? Which seems odd...
I signed up for NCT, have done one session (all day) with one tomorrow and a women onkly one to follow. Honestly I don't think it is worth the money tbh. I learnt nothing last week as it was all about 'straightforward' births which I won't have as expecting twins so even if I do manage a natural delivery there is likely to be lots of intervention. Also lots of massage and techniques for relaxing in early labour which were v focussed on your partner and I'm single so that wasn't too relevant. Tomorrow covers pain relief and more 'complicated' births so may be more interesting for me. They also look at first days/weeks and what to expect. If you are new to babies and don't have much experience this could be beneficial but I have spent lots of time with friends' babies and my 3 nieces/nephew so again it felt like familiar ground to me.
So essentially I have not learnt from the content and I've therefore paid to meet people - mine is a small class just 4 couples and me so hardly a wide network of new friends!  And too early to tell whether any of them will even become good friends....
So I would not bother...just do the NHS classes and if you find yourself lonely and looking for a network afterwards you can find this through local playgroups etc. Or you can sign up for the NCT post natal classes instead...

Just my personal opinion - many of my friends swear by NCT but for me I think it's overpriced and unneccessary if you have the NHS option anyway

Suitcase
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Hi,  i think it was the best money I spent!  I didn't learn a huge amount that I didn't already know in the classes, but i met a great group of people who have been a fantastic source of support since DD was born.  we don't meet as regularly anymore as most of us work, but we see each other now and again and have lots of fun.  It's also great to have friends with first babies of the same age. Also, our husbands occasionally get together which they enjoy.  I missed one because of a holiday and another because my DD came early, but i still think it was money well spent.
And we all became closer as a group of friends after our babies were born - it was all quite formal up till then.  Then we bonded over chats about sore bits and sleepless nights!
Good luck whatever you decide.
x


 

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i decided against doing NCT classes.  i'm not really much of a 'joiner' anyway, not particularly sociable, and all of my family live in the immediate area so i didn't see the need to meet new people as i have an army of sisters, cousins and neighbours with young babies.  i hold a view (rightly or wrongly!) that the NCT is essentially brainwashing into 'natural births', skin-to-skin contact and breast feeding.
i had an NHS all day session at the maternity unit which was brilliant.  my labour was nothing like anything i had read, or anything covered on the day, the most useful aspects of it were learning where to park and how to access the unit at night-time!
 

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Hi again,  I can confirm that the NCt have moved on from being all about natural birth etc etc.  They discuss all the different options openly and equally so that you approach the experience well informed and able to make informed decisions.  I was being threatened with a c section and my teacher made a point of making sure that I was as well educated as any other member of the group.  I think they started out being a bit tree huggy - but it is a modern organisation that addresses all issues. In fact, I went in to labour early and ended up having a natural delivery, the night after we had done the class on pain relief - i was therefore, able to chose to have an epidural armed with all the info i needed. 


I am not an NCT member any more, so am not speaking from a promotional point of view - just my own very positive personal experiences.  x
 

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In my area the classes are usually totally booked up so the local nct puts together groups of women who couldnt get on the courses for the "bonding" part. If you arent interested in the courses themselves it may be worth contacting the nct and asking if they put together groups of mums to be who didnt attend courses?

Hope
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the feedback ladies. It's good to hear different views.

I'm erring towards not signing up - largely because of fitting it all in. I also feel there are other ways to make friends with new mums or mums-to-be than paying for a £200+ course that you don't really need if you have so much on offer with the NHS (where hopefully I will meet some people). I will have a chat with my midwife about it as well when I see her this week.

Suitcase - I am down to give birth at Royal Surrey. I was given the ante-natal classes info by my midwife - so maybe check with yours? Perhaps it depends on which area in Surrey?

Thanks again
BB
 

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am seeing midwife on weds, will check - maybe it was in all the paperwork she gave me at 10 wk appt and I just missed it! am v close to Farnham so sure it's not an area thing...

today's class was a little better as lots of discussion around pain relief, c-sections etc - all more relevant to me as expecting twins. but overall I would say the content will be covered by NHS classes and lots of it is common sense anyway, so the £200+ is a bit of an extravagence...especially if you are happy to get out and about and meet people in other ways (mums and babies groups etc)

hope all goes well for you!
Suitcase
x
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Suitcase - I was told I would be "invited" to attend the 3 antenatal classes, you don't sign up yourself. There were dates though and details of what would be in each class. First is about what happens in 'normal' labour and coping, second is about what happens when difficulties arise (forceps c/s etc), and third is about immediate aftermath (feeding and caring etc). The latter is at RSH and is combined with a tour of the maternity unit.

Good luck to you too and your twinnies!

B
 

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I didn't NCT and tbh didn't even consider it as the NHS classes were good in my area with 5x2 hour pre-birth then the same again after. As for making friends, I must admit I find it very strange that you are expected to get on with a group of women purely because you are having babies at the same time, therefore I decided to get myself out and about to groups once my LO was here and made friends that way.

Chux xx
 

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Ok so I'm on the NCT committee of your local (Farnham & Aldershot) branch so may be a bit biased. Our teachers are fab, and I was very reticent about going but made lots of friends in similar situations and also found it was great to ask lots of questions without feeling like an idiot ;D

If you do go down the NCT route, its also good to join as for a new mum stuck at home with a small baby it can be quite a shock and also for some, lonely. The branch offers lots of coffee meetings, friendship and also other events. We are fortunate enought to have a postnatal course that you can join (hosted at the Postnatal support workers house - great cakes and lovely coffee!). I found it a great way of forcing me to leave the house at least once a week!

Let me know if you want any more details :)

Deb
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Chux and Charlies_Mum. It's good to know that the post-natal classes are there if I need them.
 

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Thanks Deb - am doing my classes in Guildford as temporarily staying with my mum. But will be back in Farnham late Summer so will certainly be looking into meeting people there once I'm settled in  :)
Suitcase
x
 

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Fab news - If you want to meet people locally (in preparation for coming back) let me know as I can put you in touch with the local rep :)
 
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