Are you unsure what to trust among the mass of pregnancy and parenting information out there? Here’s how we provide accurate, evidence-based information.
When it comes to content, our aim is simple: every parent should have access to information they can trust.
We won’t ever tell you what to think or do. We’ll just give you the options and information to help you feel confident in making decisions that suit you and your family.
How do we ensure our content is evidence-based?
We have a two-step review process. One person writes a review of all the available evidence on a given subject. We only include reputable and robust sources, such as the NHS or The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines. One or two further people - peer reviewers - check the evidence review to make sure it is accurate and comprehensive.
You can use the show/hide tool at the bottom of each article to see what references we’ve used. This way, our articles bring you evidence-based information and expert experience at the tap of a button.
Who reviews our content?
All of our articles have been thoroughly researched and created with NCT practitioners (antenatal teachers, postnatal leaders and breastfeeding counsellors), academics and representatives from other relevant organisations and charities.
They are people who are specialists in their subject area. And they understand what matters to you and the challenges you might face.
Here are some of the NCT practitioners, academics and specialist organisations who have written, reviewed and updated our articles:
Alex has been an NCT Postnatal Practitioner since 2012. As well as her NCT work, Alex is a freelance research consultant. Before this, she read history at Oxford University and was a research director at Ipsos MORI for many years. Alex’s research overview on the transition to motherhood is a set text for the NCT/University of Worcester’s Birth and Beyond degree.
Alison has been working with expectant and new parents since the birth of her first child in 2001. She qualified as an NCT Antenatal Practitioner in 2006. She's also a postnatal doula and a perinatal mental health group leader, with a special interest in supporting migrant mothers and families with high-need babies. It is her long-held, passionate belief that in order to love and cherish their babies, all parents need to be nurtured themselves.
Dr. Anna Machin is an evolutionary anthropologist based at Oxford University. She is a specialist in the science and anthropology of fatherhood and has written extensively on the subject for magazines and newspapers.
Anna has also published a book about understanding what happens to a first-time dad biologically, psychologically, behaviourally and practically. Her book also explores the unique role fathers have in their children’s lives and development.
Ayesha has a background in psychological research. She also has the NCT FdA Advanced Birth and Beyond qualification and trained as an NCT Antenatal Teacher, Postnatal Leader and Baby Massage Practitioner.
She is currently training to be a breastfeeding counsellor and volunteers as a breastfeeding peer supporter in Birmingham. She has a strong interest in the experience of parenthood and infant feeding.
Carina de Klerk
Dr. Carina de Klerk is a lecturer at the University of Essex. She has an undergraduate and masters’ degree specialising in child development from Leiden University (the Netherlands) and a PhD from Birkbeck College, London.
Carina is interested in the development of social cognition, and her research focuses on the development of imitation in infancy and toddlerhood. Having worked with children and parents in various roles, Carina has a strong interest in using her research training to help provide parents with evidence-based information about pregnancy, birth and early childcare.
Caroline has worked for NCT as a Postnatal Practitioner and tutor for 10 years, running courses for new parents around Essex. She also trains students across the country. Caroline’s particular interests are in infant development and introducing solid foods.
Coram Family and Childcare
Coram Family and Childcare work to make the UK a better place for families, focusing on childcare and the early years, to make a difference to families’ lives now and in the long term. Their research provides data on the issues families face and holds the Government to account.
They aim to make change happen by bringing together what they learn from their research and programmes to campaign for solutions that parents need.
Emilie has been an NCT Breastfeeding Counsellor since 2013, qualifying with the University of Bedfordshire. Her own experience of motherhood, and work answering parents' calls on our Infant Feeding support line and in providing one-to-one and group breastfeeding support helps to inform her work. It’s made her acutely aware that parents need access to accurate, up-to-date information to make decisions that are right for them about breastfeeding and using formula milk.
Jane has been an NCT Breastfeeding Counsellor for 12 years and an NCT Essentials Practitioner for five years. She's also a peer support trainer, assessor and mentor.
Jane is passionate about enabling parents, colleagues and peer supporters to have a sound evidence base for their knowledge. She feels it's important to prepare parents for birth in the 21st century by empowering them with up-to-date information for different eventualities.
Jenny Chambers is the CEO of ICP Support, a charity she founded in 1991 following a second stillbirth that was subsequently attributed to intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP). She became passionate about raising awareness of the condition and now also works in a research group investigating ICP.
She has written about the condition for the midwifery press, produced a training module for midwives, which is on the RCM's i-learn platform. More recently, Jenny has been a lay investigator in PITCHES, a clinical drug trial.
Jo has been facilitating NCT antenatal courses in Berkshire for nine years, working with hundreds of parents. In 2018, she was nominated for and won an NCT Stars award for the South Central region. Jo also facilitates birth and beyond courses in conjunction with her local hospital. She has worked on a team designing a course to meet the needs of vulnerable mums and is currently working on a course to be delivered in women’s prisons.
Julie's passion for antenatal teaching was sparked after the birth of her own children. She achieved her diploma of higher education in antenatal education, and qualified as an NCT Peer Support Trainer, Senior Practitioner and Assessor.
Julie has developed a special interest in helping couples to explore their birth and early parenthood options and gain confidence in making the decisions that are right for them. She also helps to run the local NCT homebirth group and plays an active part in the Croydon Maternity Voices Partnership.
An NCT Antenatal Practitioner since 2009, Kathryn enjoys helping parents to make the transition to parenthood. She loves tutoring students doing the ‘top-up’ to an honours degree, exploring how culture shapes our understanding of birth and parenting, and what we can do to change and shape it.
Kathryn’s interests in feminism and equality in birth and parenting feed her interest in informed decision making and the transformative power of adult education. In addition to writing for NCT, Kathryn writes articles for midwifery and education journals.
Maggie has been a health visitor for over 35 years in London and southern England. One of her specialist interests is child and infant sleep and supporting families with sleep issues.
She has also co-written two books on sleep and published various articles on infant sleep for both parents and professionals. Maggie has worked with parents on infant sleep issues through various national and professional organisations, and runs accredited sleep training courses for professionals through the Institute of Health Visiting.
Mum to Emily and Tom, Nicola initially struggled (due to fear and a lack of knowledge) with the news that Tom has Down’s syndrome. So she created the charity Positive about Down Syndrome to show new and expectant parents the reality of life with the condition, and to dispel the prejudice and fear around it.
Nicola provides training to medical professionals and has been published in the BJM and RCM.
Nikolett has a masters degree in sociology and is now studying for a masters in psychology while working in the charity sector. She has a background in research and has worked with children in various settings.
Nikolett worked in educational research and development and researched the schooling of migrant children. She has also worked with foster children. Her main interest is how to build and lead an authentic life, starting from childhood.
Preeti Mahato holds a doctorate in maternity and perinatal care from Bournemouth University. She has more than five years of experience in maternal health and has studied and worked in various countries, including Nepal, Australia and the UK.
Currently, Preeti is working part time as a post-doctoral researcher in maternity organisation and culture at Bournemouth University. The research areas she is most interested in are birth centres, midwifery practice, use of maternity and perinatal services, maternity organisation, quality of care and culture of care in the NHS.
Dr. Rachael Bedford is a King’s Prize Fellow at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London. She did her undergraduate degree in experimental psychology at Oxford University, and her PhD at Birkbeck College, University of London.
Rachael's research focuses on how brain activity and behaviour in infancy are associated with longer-term outcomes, including developmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Dr Rebecca Webb
Dr Rebecca Webb is a research fellow at the City, University of London. She has an undergraduate degree in psychology and a PhD in health psychology. Rebecca is interested in perinatal mental health and her current research focuses on reasons women may not access perinatal mental health care, and what can be done to overcome these barriers.
Sally is an NCT Antenatal Practitioner and Assessor. She facilitates NCT courses in Yorkshire and Lancashire. She’s particularly interested in supporting parents in making informed decisions about their care during birth. She’s also a birth and postnatal doula.
Sharon Famiglietti has worked as an NCT Antenatal Teacher since 2007. She is also a parenting consultant for pregnant teenagers in care and runs multiple birth courses for Twins Trust.
Previously, Sharon worked as a childcare lecturer who trained nursery nurses. Sharon is married with two children and she loves helping people on their parenting journey.
Sharon Wood is a Project Manager for CMV Action. CMV Action is a small but dynamic parent-led UK charity raising awareness of congenital CMV and campaigning for better prevention and management measures within the health sector.
CMV Action aims to educate women planning a pregnancy as well as the health professionals providing their care. It supports research into the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of CMV. Previously, Sharon worked in a senior role for a number of national health and childcare charities.
Sophie has been an NCT Breastfeeding Counsellor for 24 years (a tutor for 20 of those) and is based in Sheffield. She supervises and assesses breastfeeding counsellors and runs a supervision group for breastfeeding counsellors in the North of England. She is aims to keep her information and support up-to-date and responsive to the ever-changing world we live in.
Dr. Tim J. Smith is a Reader in Cognitive Psychology from the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck, University of London. After his undergraduate and PhD in Edinburgh (artificial intelligence and psychology, joint honours) he joined Birkbeck in 2010. As Head of the Cognition in Naturalistic Environments (CINE) Lab, he and his students study how we attend to naturalistic audiovisual scenes, how we perceive media (e.g. TV, cinema, VR), and how media shapes the developing brain.
Viktoria Csink is currently a PhD student in child psychology at Birkbeck, University of London. She has previously worked as a research assistant in an infant lab, and as a teaching assistant on BSc psychology modules. She is interested in child development, cognitive psychology and data science. Her background is in philosophy (MA) and psychology (MSc).