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Antenatal classes - worth it or not?

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by mollymillions, May 16, 2011.

  1. mollymillions

    mollymillions New commenter

    I was thinking that I wouldn't bother going to antenatal classes. They don't look all that useful and I don't have any questions. Please can you tell me if, in your experience (as people who are now on the other side!), they are worth going to or not. Thanks.
  2. I liked meeting the other pregnant people and still see some of them now. However I didn't learn anything as I had already read far too many books and websites!
  3. kittenmittens

    kittenmittens New commenter

    We just did the free NHS ones. They were run by midwives and had lots of info even though the presentation style was quite dull- talking from the front and a bit repetitive, I would have liked a bit more interaction. We did play a couple of games and had some chatting time which was great, would have liked more of this. As Miss Ladybird said I not much was new to me- copious reading- but it was very good for my husband who was pretty clueless! I also made a lovely friend who I now see regularly. Because there wan't much time to talk to other couples I didn't meet up with anyone else after, but my health visitng team runs a postnatal parenting group with mums in my area who gave birth around the same time which is brilliant, as there are about 12 of us and we get on really well. Now the classes have finished we meet up every week at someone's house and have some picnics and walks planned for the summer.
    I wasn't too keen on doing the NCT classes as they were £240 and all at awkward times for my husband (we thought the intensive weekend one would be a bit much!). I know people who have loved their NCT classes and others who have said they were a waste of money... it depends who is running it and how friendly the other couples are.
    Also for meeting people my local childrens centres have been absolutely fantastic- both are brand new (I live halfway between them) with lovely toys and equipment and very friendly staff. We do baby groups 2 or 3 times a week for free there- baby cafe, baby massage, rhyme time, stay and play at the baby clinic, and there's messy play etc for toddlers too. I've made some lovely friends there and it's been so good to get out of the house every day to do free, local activities.
  4. kittenmittens

    kittenmittens New commenter

    Also meant to say that pregnancy yoga classes really helped me with breathing and calmness in the early stages of labour and coping with contractions (Baby then turned back to back and I was NOT calm from then on- epidural was required- but hey ho!) I did 1 hour a week after work from 20 weeks onwards and found it very relaxing although I did fall asleep at the end once lol. Cost about £5 a session and there were lots of lovely ladies there, I keep up with a couple of them now. We had some informal chatting about pain relief in labour, positions, asking questions etc at the end which was really useful. The instructor was a midwife so knew what she was talking about, it was all safe etc- mostly using birthing balls. Definitely worth checking out if it's your sort of thing.
  5. I did NCT classes. and didn't learn anything I had not already read... The teacher was rubbish but I am sure there are some good ones out there. I did make friends with the other girls and we met up weekly when the babies were here but I got a bit fed up of the one upmanship. I have made better friends at the breastfeeding support group and found that invaluable.
  6. I could have written the first part of moomoon's post! I also did NCT and the teacher was terrible! Our course was 5 3 hour sessions which was way too long. I didn't really learn anything I didn't already know and I got peed off doing things like picking a picture of a baby and saying why I had picked it. BUT I didn't go to learn anything, I went to meet people in the same situation as me and that I did. There are 7 of us and we meet every week for tea and cakes as well as in between for walks etc. Our babies are only between about 8 and 12 weeks now but I hope that we will stay friends, we have been lucky in that we all get on really well and I have found their support (and presence!) invaluable. I suppose it depends what you want to get out of the classes.
  7. We did NCT (Worcs) and they were really great, actually - certainly helped me feel much more comfortable about what would happen in birth and what if things went not quite to plan (caesarians and epidurals and PND were really well covered as our teacher had had them all!). We went more to meet people as well, which we did - we are all still in touch now and their support was invaluable in the first three months. We went for the course spread out over a few weeks as we thought we would get to know the others better that way - don't think I would have liked to do the weekend one as I also knew a lot already from books and things.
  8. We did the NCT (2 weekend + 1 evening) ones and although I don't think I learned that much they did make me feel more confident about the birth and what would happen if things went wrong. Others in my area who had a different teacher said their classes were worse than useless and had left them severely under-prepared. My husband learned a lot from the classes and he felt they were vital for him. The NHS ones were a bit hit and miss.
    I've also kept in touch with my NCT class and met another group of mums through the local NCT branch who have become an invaluable support network.
  9. Oh yes, that's another thing that was good about the NCT - she gave loads of tips for Dads to feel really involved and helpful.
  10. i didn't go to any. don't feel like i've missed out. just asked my midwife all the pertinent questions.....
  11. mollymillions

    mollymillions New commenter

    That's really helpful, thank you everyone :)
  12. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    We found NCT classes invaluable. Our teacher was excellent, although I'm aware that some of them can be a little fascist. We also liked the small groups excellent, as it promoted more discussion than the much larger NHS classses which felt more like a lecture. We've also built up a little group of contacts of parents at the same stage as us - fantastic for us as we've no family in the area to help and support.
    It depends on what you think you'll get from them. If you feel you already know everything and won't benefit from building up a network of similar parents-to-be, then there's not much to gain.

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