If you or your partner are pregnant, we recommend you attend our antenatal classes & join Medway NCT. “As a first time Dad I didn't have a clue what to expect or what was expected of me as a parent. At the NCT classes it was ok to ask stupid questions safe in the knowledge that I was among friends who were in the same boat. It also showed me that my role as a Dad was important. Now, two years on, I still have the circle of friends from the NCT classes, who still share experiences - ups and downs - as we enjoy our new families together. I can only but recommend these classes to you.” Matt, June 2005 Our Classes These are small, informal & friendly groups for parents expecting babies around the same time. The aim of these classes is to give information & provide an opportunity to ask questions, talk through birth plans, discuss feelings & make informed choices about your labour and your baby's birth. We seek to give impartial, comprehensive information in an informal, friendly setting. As every birth is different, we discuss all the possible paths labour may take, including inductions and caesareans, as well as normal labour. Plenty of time is also devoted to life after the birth; recovering, coping and caring for and feeding your baby. A separate breastfeeding session is also included in the course, with a trained NCT breastfeeding counsellor and you may also have a session with a Postnatal Leader. Classes also have a reunion after their babies are born and class members are helped and encouraged to keep in touch & offered postnatal support. (See 'Postnatal Support' page) Course Tutors Our classes are run by qualified teachers holding a Diploma in Antenatal Education and are, therefore, specially trained to help women and couples prepare for birth. In addition, all teachers are NCT registered trained teachers ensuring that our antenatal teachers undergo a thorough training with the NCT before they are allowed to teach. Although they are not required to be medically qualified, all teachers, counsellors and leaders are expected to keep up to date with the latest developments in maternity care and must register with the NCT every year. The teacher will create an atmosphere in which we hope you will be able to air your feelings and concerns about pregnancy & birth. Their role is to offer support, information, practical skills and resources to help parents make informed choices for themselves and their babies. Class teachers do not offer medical advice and parents are asked to take any questions about the medical care of mother & baby to their midwife, health visitor or doctor. Course Content We include the following information & discussion within the course; - pregnancy - what happens in labour & how the baby is born. - the message that having a baby is part of a normal healthy process. - body awareness, relaxation, breathing & massage. - positions for labour & birth. - pain relief, exploring natural & drug assisted methods - some of the complications of labour that might occur, including discussion of caesarean birth. - the role of a partner or other labour supporter and their needs. - the less usual situations parents experience, such as having a premature or ill baby. - the needs of the new baby. - feeding your baby, including the benefits of breastfeeding. - parenting & the changes a new baby brings to a family. Class Information In Medway, our antenatal sessions generally run as part of a longer perinatal course, offering sessions both before and after you have your baby. This helps you build a strong support network and give you opportunities to share early experiences as well as preparing you for the birth and arrival of your baby. We do also offer some intensive courses, to increase availability to a greater number of parents. Classes are usually held over a variety of evening and Saturday sessions, often with one daytime session for women only. Our classes are run in small groups to ensure that people are comfortable enough to ask questions and try relaxation techniques, positions, massage, etc. Although classes are aimed at couples, singles are also welcome and may like to bring a friend/relative. In this way, many groups become friends and stay in touch long after their classes have finished. As our classes are in great demand, we recommended early booking. Costs vary depending on the length of the course and whether or not they include postnatal sessions. The perinatal courses which we run most often cost approximately £240. We offer a reduced rate for those on low incomes. We do recommend that you join NCT when enrolling. Postnatal courses are now also available (see seperate page by clicking on the link to the right). Enrolment on courses Please use the course finder facility to the right to select an appropriate course for you. You will be view to see the dates and details about suitable courses at this stage. If there does not seem to be an appropriate course or you have any specific needs or questions, please use the same enquiry form on the website to send your message to our Parent Services Administrator, or if necessary, please phone 0844 243 6920 or email her at: bookings4i@nct.org.uk (If you live in the Maidstone area you may like to contact your local branch on 0870 444 8707 or e-mail: Eventsmaidstone@aol.com)

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