Antenatal classes: pregnancy insider

I've heard a variety of views expressed about antenatal classes – as with everything, everyone has an opinion! of the past.

Pregnant women in antenatal class.

Pregnancy insider blog

There is so much information everywhere about pregnancy, birth and babies I sometimes wonder if and when antenatal classes will become a thing.

Google will tell you pretty much anything you want to know about anything and there are copious books on every subject under the sun when it comes to babies.

So is giving up a weekend or a few evenings really worth it to sit with a bunch of strangers and be told things you might well know already?

Some people will say no it's not, but I made up my mind that I think it is. Not only is social interaction important in this ever increasing digital world but nothing really beats face to face information giving, right?

Well we've gone one step further and decided to sign up for a signature antenatal course run by the National Childbirth Trust (NCT). They run a number of different courses of varying length and price but the signature one is the longest and the most expensive. I think it was about £200 for two full Saturday's and a half Saturday. The course is supposed to fully prepare you both physically and emotionally for the birth of your baby and the last half day is dedicated entirely to breast feeding – something I am feeling a bit apprehensive about.

Again, I heard varying views about the NCT courses. Some people absolutely loved them and recommend them 100% saying they learnt loads and built a really good network of support with other local parents going through the same experience at the same time. Others have been more negative saying that they were a bit 'middle class elitist' and a bit snobby even. That the content was a bit woolly and they didn't really gain much practical knowledge. Perhaps it depends on which course you go to but I decided it was worth the gamble.

To be quite honest, more than anything we're doing it to make some friends in the local area who are having babies at the same time as us.

This was the biggest draw for me, to have a ready made group of friends who I can (hopefully!) rely on for support and some social interaction when my life gets turned upside down – in a good way of course! Indeed NCT even claim that their courses are 'famous for the friendships and networks' they form. So really we could potentially just be buying some fairly expensive new friends!

I think I'll see what exactly the NCT course covers and then make up my mind if I want to go to the NHS antenatal classes which are free and over 3 weekday evenings.

Our first NCT class is this coming Saturday and to be honest I'm not feeling that enthralled about spending my whole Saturday there!

Hopefully it will be worth it! We couldn't make the later course which was for people due around my time as we are away over one of the weekends so this one is technically for people due about 6 weeks earlier. Last time I checked there was someone signed up who was due a week before me and apparently they don't arrange the famous 'meet up' for everyone until we've all had our babies. Hopefully they won't all be waiting too long for me!

Read the next instalment of the Pregnancy Insider here


The pregnancy insider profile

Follow our Pregnancy Insider, the blogger who tells it like it is, by liking our Tommy's Midwives Facebook page. Our Pregnancy Insider is 29, lives in East Anglia, practices yoga and is a big fan of House of Cards - and she's pregnant with her first baby. Look out for her blog each week. 

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