Pregnancy & Birth Clubs <
27/01/2014 at 15:21
Hi. A friend has recommended that I attend the NCT classes. Are they really that much better than the NHS ones? Also, one of the classes falls on a working day (3.5 hours). Am I entitled to the time off work (without using annual leave etc) for it? My understanding is that I am - because its antenatal and technically my midwife could (and would?) reccommend that I attend antenatal classes? I know someone who takes paid time off for antenatal water aerobics each week! Thanks :)
27/01/2014 at 15:40
appointments can include parent craft classes so I expect your NCT class would fall under this description.
as for attending them as a general question, it depends what you want out of them? friendship? knowledge? social?
we had booked them but Luke was early so we didn't make them except for the first one.
I'm sure you will be given lots of opinions.
27/01/2014 at 15:43
We didn't do them last time round as we did the NHS ones...we were fortunate that the area we used to live had a good NHS offering. We have however since moved to a different county and decided to do an NCT refresher course (which is for 2nd + babies) we've decided to do this primarily to make some new friends in the area, not just for us but for the kids. NCT classes are great for making friends, and if like me you have limited (or no) mummy friends it is as lifesaver. Having people to meet up with, chat baby with and hang out at baby groups etc with. My NHS one was just 1 day so we didn't form relationships with people of that makes sense?
As you are entitled to reasonable antenatal time off I don't see why not, but it is at company's discretion whether certain things are paid....my employers (from my 1st pregnancy and this one) would both probably tell me to do one with the aqua aerobics ;-)
27/01/2014 at 15:47
I have booked them for two main reasons.
I want to get to know people having babies at the same time as us, hopefully when I'm off on mat leave I'll have a support network of other mums.
The NHS ones around here are basic and in massive groups of 40+ people. Whereas NCT is only 12 people.
Also, quite a few of my friends have done them around here and raved about them. They've made friends from the classes and reckoned the info was worthwhile.
Do you not have the option to do weekend or evening courses? Around here they schedule them with different days/times to suit most people.
27/01/2014 at 15:50
We haven’t done a ‘normal’ NCT course, but in our area it’s NCT who run the free NHS classes, and she told us it was pretty much the same as a normal NCT course. If I’d paid for it (the £200 they wanted) I would have been very disappointed. I wasn’t told much that I hadn’t picked up from general reading etc, and there were some things where I really didn’t agree with what the woman was saying (not advising we follow SIDS guidelines etc, just saying do what works for you).
Can’t help with the other thing, but personally I wouldn’t have asked for it as paid time off. I’d have felt cheeky. That’s just me though :)
27/01/2014 at 15:51
My NHS one was only day, and was very quick. My NCT ones were held over 6 sessions, and we learnt a lot about labour, birth and breastfeeding. I also met a lot of very good friends through it, all of whim I still regularly keep in touch with 4yrs later. For me, they were invaluable.
27/01/2014 at 15:53
I think it seems most people do it to make friends.
27/01/2014 at 15:55
I'll not be in a position to meet up with mums after baby comes, and my work and hubby's shifts meant it looked really tricky to fit them in. Our NHS one was an all day Saturday and there were less than 20 of us, 2 midwifes and 2 students. It was fine. If it had gone badly, or I wanted to mix with other parents, I'd look more at the NCT.
If I were going to go to anything, personally, I'd be wanting to meet up with homebirth or sling or breastfeeding groups.
27/01/2014 at 15:58
In the early days post birth, knowing that you have several other people around you can call upon to while your day away, drinking tea, eating biscuits, and generally moan about your latest baby woes, was just what I needed. I wouldn't have gone out to groups before 8-10wks, but I did meet up with my NCT friends. We made it clear from the outset we wanted to meet up asap post birth. We had our first meet up, when L was 2 weeks old, and most were still pregnant.
Thanks for all of your feedback.
Have to admit one of the driving forces for me is the friend aspect. The friend who recommended has made some really good friends from her NCT classes.
It is mostly evenings, its just the one session that falls in the day.
27/01/2014 at 16:21
I'm in the middle of my NCT classes. It's far more in depth than the NHS classes locally. I too am doing it to meet people in a similar situation we're all due to give birth within 6 weeks of each other so am at a similar stage
27/01/2014 at 16:24
Thanks all, think I'm going to go for it!
27/01/2014 at 16:41
We done the nct classes over three sessions (2x all day Saturday and one evening class) I really enjoyed them and it was well worth the money, I've met up for dinner with some of the girls and have actually just been to visit one of the new babies, we ha e no friends or relatives that live near us so for the social part alone I think there worth it
27/01/2014 at 16:51
We did NCT primarily to meet people locally who are at the same stage as us, and so far the support has been invaluable. We've met up both as a group, and just as mummies, a few times since the last session and it's really helped. I probably wouldn't have been so bothered if I knew people around here with kids/babies but as we're quite new to the area it's worth it for us.
An unexpected bonus as well has been how much of labour/post-birth my H knows now! He seems to have found the classes really informative and helpful and seems much more prepared for what to expect. I didn't necessarily anticipate how good it would be from his POV!
27/01/2014 at 17:05
In our area they would have cost over £300 which I found far too expensive. We couldn't afford to spend that just for making friends (personally I felt well informed about birth just from reading forums and books plus the NHS classes) but earn too much to get a discount. We wouldn't have minded spending £150 or even £200 but £300 was too much!
I did postnatal yoga which I really enjoyed, was far cheaper and was also a good chance to meet people, although I didn't personally stay friends with anyone. I found it really strengthened my back too and when the course ended and I stopped doing it, my back got worse again. This time round I'm planning to start with prenatal yoga (it's in the evenings so my H can have A) and then hopefully do another postnatal yoga course too, but that depends on what I can do with A (either nursery or I might ask my mum/MIL to have him once a week so the little one and I can do the yoga).
I considered doing the NCT refresher course after Coco mentioned it, but from the looks of it most people will be wanting advice on a bigger age gap than we'll have.
27/01/2014 at 17:08
You should definitely take it as paid time off without using annual leave as they have to let you take time off for antenatal appointments. I would (and did) consider a NCT class an antenatal appointment for the purposes of getting time off work.
I did the NHS and NCT classes. I found NCT much better as the information was very similar but they spread it per 4 days rather than cramming it into 3 hours. My head really hurt and I think for that reason I didn't take the info in. None of the classes really offered anything you couldn't read in a book but the NCT group was lovely and having a network whilst on mat leave is important to me.
27/01/2014 at 17:14
how much do the refresher courses cost?
27/01/2014 at 17:30
Carole it depends on area, I *think* in our area it's something like £15 an hour and it's 8 hours so £120 or thereabouts.
27/01/2014 at 17:38
27/01/2014 at 17:48
I was reading about them and one type of NCT antenatal course said you have the right for time off, but the other didn't say the same (or I didn't see it anyway). I wonder if there's a 'must-have' and a 'nice-to-have' version. Might be worth being sure before approaching an employer about time off for it.
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