The First NCT Class…

April 8, 2016

We went to our first NCT class earlier in the week. I thought I’d write this post because in all honesty hubby and I had no clue what to expect from them; it was more a case of our friends had done them and said they were a good idea and a good way to make friends with other new parents. We didn’t really know what they would be like or what the content would actually be.

There were eight couples altogether at the first meeting. Everyone seemed to be roughly the same age as each other and the ladies are all due within around one month of each other. The course leader made a point of telling us that the person who thinks they’re going to have their baby first, rarely has their baby first! We had to introduce ourselves to the couple sitting next to us and find something in common with each other that didn’t involve our baby or work! All we managed to come up with was that we’d all driven to the meeting!

We were then split into two groups. The men were taken off into another room and the women left together. We had to write down what we wanted to learn from the course and were assured that it would be tailored to us. This proved not entirely to be the case though, as hubby informed me that the men were told quite firmly that car seats would not be discussed in any detail at any point! I’m sure this may be because the course leader didn’t want to be responsible for peddling any particular brand or finding themselves to blame for the consequences of a poorly-fitted car seat etc etc, but this was not explained in any way and actually it wasn’t the first time that a line of (perfectly reasonable) conversation was shut down point blank.

I must admit this made me a little annoyed as we’d all paid a significant amount of money to attend the course, but of course I was too polite to say anything. This time! Maybe as we get to know everyone in the group better and I want to know the answer to something I’ve asked, I might be a little more pressing to get an answer!

The course leader then covered the mechanics of how the baby comes out (in a vaginal delivery), obviously stressing the whole time that every birth is different… We then split into two groups again (but this time stayed with our partners) and completed two activities. One where we had to split baby-related items into ‘essential’, ‘would be nice’ and ‘unnecessary’ (it would appear the only ‘essential’ item is a car seat as they won’t let you leave the hospital without them – we all agreed that we’d buy most of the ‘would be nice’ items too and consider many to be essential!) and the other where we had to identify whether photographs of babies showed them to be ‘crying’, ‘calm alert’, ‘active alert’, ‘sleepy’, ‘light sleep’ and ‘deep sleep’. The course leader then talked to us about signs babies exhibit to show they want feeding. This was probably the most useful part of the evening.

To finish off, we completed an activity where we had to read a diary extract from a parent of a newborn where we contemplated what the first few days at home with baby might be like in terms of overbearing visitors etc.

Do I think it’s worth it? Well, the jury is still out there. Hubby and I are very cynical and think that the whole ‘what do you want to get out of the course?’ thing was more of an icebreaker and that the course likely has set topics for each week (especially as at one point the course leader shut down a question with a sharp, “no! That’s next week!”). However, I do feel like we’ve already gelled with one particular couple and everyone else seemed really nice too. It’s good to know that we have started to make friends with people who will be going through the same big life change as us.

What was your NCT experience like? Would you recommend it to others? Or did you not bother? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

NCT, The first NCT Class, NCT Classes

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored in any way. We have paid for our NCT course ourselves; I just wanted to share our experience of it.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

21 responses to “The First NCT Class…”

  1. Mummy Lala (Laura) says:

    We also signed up for the NCT ante-natal classes and I thought it was a big waste of money. My other half really enjoyed it though. So a definite split of opinions. Most of what was discussed I’d already read up on and I hate group discussions, etc as I’m really shy so didn’t contribute. I was put on the spot in front of everyone too on a few occasions which again I didn’t like. My other half loves all that stuff though and is very confident.

    A lot of the practical stuff I wanted to know about, such as car seats weren’t discussed at all. I was also hoping to learn about breathing techniques during labour but there was no discussion on it at all.

    I kept in touch with the girls in the group afterwards but to be honest they are very cliquey (all but one) so I stay clear nowadays. Alex meets ups with the blokes from time to time.

    Laura x

  2. I’ve always wondered what it was like at an NCT class. I didn’t do them with Tyler as I thought it was too expensive, then deeply regretted it as my Facebook filled up with rows of babies in photos from their NCT meetups! And then I realised that’s how you made mum friends in your area – doh! Never mind. I’m glad you connected with a couple already xx

    • Jules says:

      Thanks – I’ve also done some pregnancy yoga and met a really lovely group of mums-to-be that way, so there’s more than just NCT out there x

  3. Tina says:

    The breastfeeding session and the support of the other women in the first few weeks was well worth the outlay for me.
    But our teacher was pants and did nothing to encourage getting-to-know-you or icebreakers. Also no mention of pain relief and very passing mention of deliveries with intervention. Only 1/8 couples had a baby in the MLU so 7/8 left unprepared by NCT.
    I also didn’t bond with any of the girls long term and found it quite catty within a few months. But I gather that’s quite unusual.

    • Jules says:

      What a shame that you had that experience. I suppose it comes down to individual characters and how people get on with each other. I suppose I’ll just have to wait and see!

  4. I did NCT and reakon that it’s really useful to have people going through very similar experiences at almost exactly the same time. Even if you have friends with little ones it’s very different to a group who are experiening the birth, early days together. But what they actually taught in the class was very biased towards natural birth to the point of putting pressure on people who might not end up (being able) to go through that. Some of the stats they were quoting to push this home were really out of context too which I found annoying. But I’m still glad I did it! Hope you get more out of the next ones 🙂 #KCACOLS

  5. I did a class and I found it useful-some bits more than others. There was a breastfeeding session, which was helpful, and one on baby care, which was helpful but terrifying as I was convinced that the child would expire if kept in a room above 18 degrees celsius, and this was in the height of summer. I have also kept in touch with others from the class, although I’ve now moved away so don’t get to see them much. Overall I’d say it was worth it. #KCACOLS

  6. Georgi a says:

    Sounds like you might also benefit from the NHS courses. They were really informative and helped lots, it was also free. I’m still in contact with a few parents we met, as is local to your area. The breastfeeding topic was fab as they had a mum with a fairly new baby feeding, and was able to answer and questions. Me and my partner were the chatty ones and seems to make jokes and have fun with it! Thanks for sharing, I’ll be following for the next class X #KCALOLS

    • Jules says:

      Unfortunately our midwife wouldn’t let us do the NHS ones as we’d already paid for NCT. She said we’d be taking the place of a couple who don’t have the means to pay for antenatal classes. Which i don’t think is unreasonable. Hopefully these will improve! x

  7. I was lucky in that we had a really good Flying Start course, though they could have condensed the course into fewer sessions. I suppose it depends how well you click with your group, really! 🙂

    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday x

  8. We did NCT. I’ve written a post on it somewhere. To be honest, the actual classes I found to be very structured (too structured in some cases) and the info about birth was helpful as I knew nothing, however the breastfeeding session and found to not be very truthful. Sugar coating it and not saying how hard it can be. I did it for ten months but I don’t think that session prepared me for it. The thing I got out of it was an awesome group of friends. Share numbers with the girls and set up a whatsapp group – it’s a lifeline in the early days. We met regularly during mat leave, like every week and sometimes a few times a week. It’s been lovely seeing the kids grow up together. Some are now having their seconds! Stick it out and if anything, form bond with the other mummies coz they’ll really help with motherhood. #KCACOLS

  9. My folks had a fantastic experience at their local branch of NCT. The best money they have ever spent. It gave my mummy the confidence to have a water birth and BF. She has formed firm friendship with 5 other couples and their children. That was nearly four years ago. We are all going on holiday together. Maybe we were lucky. A lot of other mums we’ve spoken to at different branches have all had similar positive experiences too. Give it more time to form opinion, one class isn’t enough 🙂 xx #KCACOLS x

    • Jules says:

      How lovely! I’m hoping we’ll make good friends but would also like to learn a lot from the course too. Will see how the next sessions go!

  10. Silly Mummy says:

    I didn’t do NCT courses. We did the NHS course with first baby. It wasn’t very detailed – just a couple of sessions on real basics that I’d already read about. I didn’t find it very helpful, but it was free so that didn’t annoy me! I hear mixed things from others about the NCT courses. On the refusing to discuss topics, my dad told me that on the course my parents went on, the leader spent ages telling them all about a couple they had known who had an unusually quick first labour and had to deliver the baby themselves at home. A man asked how they should do that if it happened to them, & she said that he didn’t need to know because that wouldn’t happen. They were all going, ‘but you just told us a case of it happening’, & she refused to discuss it! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.

  11. Lina Middleton says:

    I’ve just read this post out to my husband as it sounds very familiar – particularly the activities! I was pretty cynical at the start about “making friends” however, we had a fab instructor and whilst it took a while for me to not feel awkward making friends I can honestly say it’s the best BEST thing we ever did! The classes were informative (though my husband says nothing can really prepare you!) but the main thing is the friendships I have made.
    Our babies were all born within 3 weeks of each other, 3 within 3 days of each other and 3 of us in the same hospital at the same time. We are now 16 months on and us mums are thick as thieves and the support network from day one has been invaluable. From the new born days where whatsapp gets you through the sleepless nights as someone else is inevitably awake too, to trying mum and baby classes together, sharing the highs and lows, ideas, information, celebrating every “first” and other milestone to suddenly realising they’re not only your mum chums but bonafide, amazing, wonderful friends.
    I know not everyone will have this experience but I just wanted to share our positive experience.

    • Jules says:

      Thank you for sharing! The other couples do seem really nice so I’m hoping we’ll at least make some friends x

  12. I remember doing the NCT classes and I loved them but this very much depends on your teacher – I had a brilliant teacher and we are still friends ten years later but I didn’t keep in touch with any of the other parents. How ironic that the one essential baby item was the one thing they refused to discuss! It is a lot of money though, I’m not sure I would pay it again (I didn’t with my second baby) #KCACOLS

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