The branch offers antenatal classes in the last 3 months of pregnancy for expectant parents, held either at the teacher’s home or at another meeting place. Couples, women by themselves, or women and their chosen birth partners can attend. The classes are an opportunity to learn about how the woman's body works during labour and birth, the ways relaxation, massage and different positions can help the woman and her birth partner during labour, what birth partners can do to help, how the various forms of pain relief work and what happens if labour is not normal. Classes also address the early weeks of parenting, from how to change a nappy to coping with the challenges of parenthood.
Understanding what happens during childbirth can help reduce tension and anxiety, giving both partners the opportunity to look forward to the birth with confidence. Understanding that the early weeks with a new baby are a time of huge joy and huge upheaval can ease the journey to becoming confident and competent parents. Sharing the hopes and fears around becoming parents reduces the fears and leads to the creation of new friendships and support networks.
"Finally, personally, I would like to say a huge thank you to the course that you ran and the way in which it was structured. The sheer volume of information we were faced with was overwhelming and both during the birth and now we have E home I feel much more confident than I know I would because of your help." Mr S.H.
Classes run in several formats, including eight weekly evening sessions, daytime sessions and intensive weekends. Your due-date will determine what options are available to you. The classes are run in small friendly groups for parents expecting babies at about the same time, and as well as being informative, are a great opportunity to meet other parents-to-be. A variety of suitable venues are used in and around the town centres the branch serves.
Our antenatal teachers and breastfeeding counsellors undergo a thorough training with the NCT although they are not required to be medically qualified. All teachers and counsellors are expected to keep up to date with the latest developments in maternity care. 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.
Whilst many people enjoy classes shared in small groups, if required our teachers can offer one-to-one sessions, please contact via 0208 752 9103 or by email email@example.com for more information.
Please contact us early in your pregnancy as classes do tend to book up quickly. However, we will of course try to accommodate late bookers wherever possible. There is a cost for the classes, this is currently £174 for a standard course including your first year's membership of the NCT (membership is optional). There are substantial reductions to this cost for people claiming certain benefits and can be reduced for those on family incomes of less than £25,000. We can also accept payment in stages as well. You do not have to be a member of the NCT to attend one of our courses, though by becoming a member you will help the NCT carry on its work and assist in the training of new teachers.
We also run refresher courses for subsequent births, please contact us for more details.
If there is no reply when you call, please leave a message, along with your expected due date and where you live and you will be called back. Please try and avoid calling at weekends, as this number comes through to a home phone. Please book as early as possible to avoid disappointment, as our classes do become full very quickly.