You do not have to be an NCT member to register for NCT antenatal classes, but in most areas you need to book early in your pregnancy as they are very popular. Call the NCT Enquiry Line on 0870 444 8707 to get the contact details for classes in your area.
The classes are small, friendly groups for parents expecting babies who are due at about the same time. In the classes you will be given information by trained National Childbirth Trust antenatal teachers and have a chance to talk through your feelings about labour, birth and life with a new baby.
Classes are usually held each week for two hours over eight weeks, and may be held in a house, hall or health centre. They mostly take place in the evening, but some are held at weekends to make it easier for both you and your birth partner to attend if you are working during the day.
NCT classes are held in the last three months of pregnancy. The sort of topics covered are:
•Pregnancy: what happens in labour and how the baby is born.
•Choosing where to have your baby.
•Body awareness, relaxation, breathing and massage.
•Positions for labour and birth.
•What is available for pain relief - natural and medical methods will be covered.
•What complications might happen (Caesarean birth, for example).
•What your partner can do to help.
•What happens if your baby is early, or ill.
•Looking after a new-born and feeding your baby.
•What it might be like when you become a parent and form your own family.
There is a charge for NCT classes (from about £100). Attending is a great way to make friends who are going through the same experience as you are - for many people the friendships they make at NCT classes last for years.
Even if you can't attend the classes, please join the NCT. You'll be supporting our valuable work, campaigning for a better start to parenthood, and you'll have access to all the other services we provide, for example, social events for you and your baby, breastfeeding counsellors, nearly new sales and local meetings.
To find out more about membership click on 'About NCT' above and scroll to 'Join the NCT'.