Hackney & Islington branch offers a wide range of antenatal courses for parents to be, including intensive weekenders and refreshers (for 2nd/3rd+ timers) as well as the "traditional" course of weekly evening sessions spaced over several weeks.
General course outline
Expecting a baby is an exciting time, but can be confusing with all the information that is available. Being able to talk through your concerns with other prospective parents and ask questions really does help. Finding out what is likely to happen during the birth and in the weeks afterwards will help your confidence and assist you in making decisions that are right for you. The antenatal classes run by the NCT are designed with all of these things in mind. We are the largest and best known charity of our kind in Europe and celebrated our 50th Anniversary in 2006.
What do classes cover?
A typical NCT antenatal course consists of several hours of course time antenatally plus a postnatal reunion. They are designed for those expecting their first child – “Refresher” courses are available for those who have been through a birth before.
Aspects of pregnancy, labour, birth and early parenting are covered but each course is flexible and tailored to the group’s individual needs. Subjects covered will usually include:
• Pregnancy and birth choices • Choosing where to have your baby • Body awareness, relaxation, breathing and massage • Home births and water births • What happens in labour and how the baby is born • Pain relief - natural and medical methods • Your labour and the role of the partner in labour • What complications might arise – eg Caesarean birth • Looking after a newborn and feeding your baby • Early parenting, lifestyle changes
Who comes to classes?
NCT courses are open to all parents and parents-to-be. This includes adult couples, young parents, women without a partner, same-sex couples and surrogacy couples. Women who are not attending with a partner are very welcome to bring someone else along to classes, such as a birth partner, friend or family member. Classes are kept intentionally small to allow group discussion.
Who runs the classes?
The classes are run by our Specialist Workers - these are Antenatal Teachers, Breastfeeding Counsellors and, in the case of “birth to baby” courses, also Postnatal Leaders. They are not required to be medically qualified but all undergo a very thorough training programme with the NCT. All Specialist Workers must keep up to date with the latest developments in maternity care and have to register with the charity every year. Their role is to offer support, information, practical skills and resources to help parents make informed choices for themselves and their babies. They do not offer medical advice and parents are asked to take any questions about the medical care of mother and baby to their midwife, health visitor or doctor.
What happens when the classes end, or if you can't get on a course that suits you?
Pre and postnatal support from our branch is available to everyone in the form of yahoo groups, postnatal tea groups and other social events. Take a look through the rest of these webpages to see what we can offer you.