Antenatal Classes - are they worth it?

I have applied for a place at the Parent Education Workshop at the hospital which includes sessions on:

Normal labour;

Pain relief and induction of labour;

Relaxation and positions for labour;

Alternative Delivery;

Breast feeding; and

A tour of the maternity unit.

This is free as it's run by the NHS but my husband is unlikely to be able to attend as he is probably still going to be in Afghan on that date - I'll still go with my sister or mum if he's not here.

I've searched the net for private classes and they are a little pricey but are they worth going? One of them offers a newborn workshop which is only £50 for a private 121 session which I think would be useful but just not sure on the Antenatal workshops. They are either £120 for 4 sessions or £180 for 121 session of 4 hours.

Thoughts?

7 Replies

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  • My husband and I went to an NCT class and still meet up with the other couples 7 months later. A colleague of mine two weeks behind me did the NHS class, and I gather from talking to him that the information presented was pretty much the same, but the NCT class presented the material at a more leisurely pace to a much smaller audience (only four couples in our class), and the instructor arranged a reunion for after the births, so it was much more conducive to connecting with other parents-to-be. So, if you don't know other parents-to-be or parents of babies yet, that's a factor to consider, especially if your husband is going to be stationed away after the birth as well. Of course, if you haven't made Mummy and Daddy friends by the time your baby is born, and even if you have, Children's Centres are a great place to meet other parents, and there's no cost attached to that.

  • Hey :) personally I'm not going to bother. I'm just going to deal with it all as and when it happens, if you think you will benefit from it then why not but things can change and not always go to plan so I'm just going relax and do what I'm advised at the time.

    It's my first so maybe it would be good to get a bit of info for when my little man is here but I have a lot of experienced ladies in my family with lots of kids so will lean on them if needed, hope all goes well for the rest of your pregnancy xx

  • I'd also recommend an nct course, worth every penny for us. I was just about the first of my family and friends to have a baby so knew nothing about looking after one so it was worth it just so that the poor little thing didn't end up with backwards nappies and who knows what else! Getting properly clued up as to what goes on in labour and what options are available was brilliant too - I honestly think that understanding what was happening to me during each stage helped me to go on and have the natural water birth I'd wanted - knowledge is power!

    Let us know how you find yours, always interesting to hear! :-)

  • Thanks for your responses ladies. Unfortunately, NCT don't do workshops where I live (i'd have to get the plane or boat to get anywhere close to one which isn't very convenient!). It's a shame because the NCT prices are much better than the local offerings.

    I've emailed one to enquire about dates etc so will make a decision once I've heard back from them.

  • I never booked any classes, I only went to the two offered by the hospital 7 years ago almost. God that's flown by :-) ... I did however read what to expect when expecting cover to cover and it taught me a great deal, I found myself more focused after reading it and understanding of it is very easy reading.

    whsmith.co.uk/Products/What... xx

  • Yes defo worth it with your first. I really enjoyed going to the classes even though we never made it to the last few weeks as my baby came early. I found having a tour of the labour suites the most interesting as they just didn't look like what I thought, I thought they would be really clinical feeling but they aren't.

  • I went to one class with my husband and never went back . i found it a waste of time an the little that was covered in my first class was no use to me as it was about the mechanics of how baby gets out ...

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