I'm currently booked on antenatal classes with the NHS at the Northern General. I've now got the opportunity to attend NCT classes. I have every intention of attending the NHS ones as they're free but was wondering if it was worth forking out for the NCT ones too.
I've heard mixed things about NCT nationwide. Some people rave about them while I've heard others complain that they they are more for 'earth mother' types and make women feel failures for having intervention during birth. I was wondering what peoples experiences of these classes in Sheffield was.
I took the NHS classes, but not at the hospital - they were offered 'locally'. They were two 2 hour classes, and they were fairly useful. I did feel for the midwife who gave them - I have never met a quieter, more miserable bunch of parents in my life.
This is possibly why I then avoided mummy and baby groups like the plague after birth, lol.
i didnt go to any classes- has no idea how to push or breathe-it just comes naturally i think. My midwife showed me round the hospital when i was 30 weeks so we knew where to go.
I have been thinking about this too and have decided to go with NCT. A lot of my friends have had babies recently (think I am at that age) and whilst none of them are in Sheffield they all swear by NCT in their various parts of the country. They said the classes were quite useful but what has been most important was connecting with an appropriate network in that the friends they have made have provided crucial support. (They said they didnt have much in common with the Mum's they met at the NHS classes). However, with NCT they all meet weekly with their babies. This has been useful for friends who are off on mat leave while everyone else is at work as it means they dont go stir crazy at home alone and have other new mums to hang out with. It's also been invaluble to one of my friends who had moved to a new area and didnt know many people. I guess it depends how important these aspects are to you (though evidence shows social support is v important in keeping us sane!!) and how many people you already have around you who are in a similar position etc etc. Of course it is possible that you have nothing in common with your NCT group but I am going to give it a go- you can never have too many friends as far as I am concerned!
Hope this helps :)
I've been attending my local free NHS antenatal classes. There have been 3 in total, each lasting just under 2 hours. I've found them really useful and it's helped that all the mums-to-be are due around the same time and are all going to Jessops. Although I've read up loads about being pregnant I still learned a few things from the classes as the midwife carefully explained each stage.
The 1st class focused on labour, the 2nd on pain relief and the 3rd on breast feeding and how to tell if your baby is unwell.
I do feel sorry for the midwives though as they have very poor equipment to use during any demonstrations (ancient laminated pictures also knitted models of the placenta and uterus).
I attended the Sure Start antenatal classes in Firth Park and found them very helpful. All the women in the group were friendly enough and the midwife Sylvia was quite entertaining. There are 5 classes lasting 2 hours each.
I don't really think you should pay to attend these classes which is why I didn't go for the NCT ones.
If you browse the Internet regularly you should find all the information you need to get ready mentally. I found babycentre.co.uk extremely useful and comforting too. And this forum is also a good place to ask questions or answer them.
Thanks for the replies.
SamMT I think I will probably book onto the NCT course because of the social aspects you mention. None of my friends have babies and although I'm really looking forward to being a mum I know I will also need some adult company during my maternity leave. I think the NCT may well be the best place to get it. When are you due? I'm due 1st May.
Sorry I just saw your reply! Yes, I agree, and this is my reason for joining. I guess there is some luck involved in meeting people you really get on with but I feel its a good start and all my baby friends seemed to find this a great help when they were at home on their own on mat leave. Only thing is when I contacted them they said they were full for babies due up to May- I am not due til Aug. Though I think there were some other options. Shorter courses or something. Not long to go for you now!! A spring baby :)