Confused about NCT v NHS classes...

I hadn't realised they were 2 different things, and i DEFINITELY hadn't realised you had to pay for NCT ones. Is ther a big difference, or does it depend where you are and what's on offer? How do you know whether to pay or not? What have other people done?


  • Last time round we went for the free NHS ones, this time we are paying for an NCT refresher course. As I understand it the NCT ones tend to be more comprehensive and with smaller groups. Also they put alot more emphasis on meeting other new mums rather than just teaching you stuff. My cousin and my sil both did NCT courses first time round and made some really good friends that they still see alot. I, on the other hand couldn't even tell you the names of any of the people in my (large) NHS group! I think that the descision just comes down to what you want from your class but we decided to go with the NCT this time.
    Hope that helps
  • Hi
    I can't recommend highly enough the NCT ones - even though you do have to pay for them (though few people realise that if you can't afford them you can approach the NCT and they can offer a very reduced rate or even free as they don't think anyone should miss out).

    Now my LO is nearly 5 months old I can look back and reflect - the course was fantastic for opening conversations with OH as it covered a lot of things he'd never considered about raising the baby, how to deal with the first few weeks etc etc. It was quite useful for the labour stuff (more so for the relaxation) but as each labour is different it's difficult to cover every eventuality.
    The breastfeeding part was really useful when the time came for me to try.
    We discussed all pain relief options and even had a dummy run of a c-sec so we'd know what was happening and who all the people in the room are (handy for me in the end).

    The one lasting thing it gave me is the one thing i would have paid double for - out of the 8 other couples in my group, with the exception of 1 woman, all of us get together at least once a week. The friendship and support that doing these kind of classes provides is amazing - ok, some of the Mums I might not have been friends with if we didn't have our babies at the same time, but you will know people whose babies are a few weeks older than yours and can help when things get tough, reassure you what's normal and what's not, how to overcome problems... and for those with babies younger, well you can share your new found advice and also see how far you have come with your own baby...

    We have combined our talents and call in favours as and when we need them (in our group we have a hairdresser, photographer, etc, so we trade our talents - I get a free haircut for photographing her baby!)

    I've got other Mums to do things with - playgroup, breastfeeding groups, slimming groups, swimming groups....

    My sister is pregnant ( and luking in the background of these boards somewhere reading this no doubt) and I have said to her that no matter what take the NCT classes.....

    The NHS ones, you can still go to if you wish, you can still have the hospital tour (etc) but ours were so oversubscribed, not only could you not get to know anyone else, they were so big they couldn't run through anything useful or answer and individual questions!

    Have fun, whatever you decide.
  • I completely agree with Trackieann, the NCT classes are great and meeting up with other mums going through the same things as me has kept me sane!

    My husband loved them as well because they made him realise how important his role was as well instead of just focusing on the woman - and thank god because I forgot EVERYTHING we had been taught when I was in labour and he was fantastic.
  • iwould never go to nhs class again! me and oh went to the local nhs labour workshop oh booked time off work,we were told to take two pillows and i thought it would be about breathing tequniques etc. oh my god it was like a nightmare. thr room smelt of wee for starters they hadnt got any milk so could only offer water although we were told to take 20 pence for a drink. and they split us into two groups gave us a flip chart and told us to write down everything we knew about going into labour. it was meant to be a bit of a compotition i think between the two groups to see who could write the most!!!!!!!!!!!!! HELLO i am 34 not 4 my oh nearly died! he wanted to walk out . the midwife kept disapearing and coming back every ten minutes saying come on you can think of a few more. TRAGIC it was like going on a course with work and doing one of those horrible team building sessions. we then discussed what we had written and then she made us do another one on pain relief. now i have to say i was very clued up before i went as i have read every pregnancy magazine and watched every programme on sky they have ever made on pregnancy BUT no one likes a smart arse do they so i just kept my mouth shut. the only time i said anything was to ask about gbs and was given a very vague answer and i felt myself go red and felt a right twat!!!!! and there was no mention what so ever onbreathing techniques what a waste of time i cant tell you how pissed my oh was ha ha we did laugh about it after. we had one called baby basics booked for following week but couldnt face going so we went shopping instead! might be different in different areas but i do believe you get what you pay for and was advised to have nct classes by lots of people,but like lots of us feel you shouldnt have to pay.
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