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I'm going with the very pregnant Mrs IanD to our first NCT antenatal class tomorrow, anyone been to them, what can I expect, is it as I imagine a lot of very "fat" women lying on the floor huffing and puffing?
 

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I'm going with the very pregnant Mrs IanD to our first NCT antenatal class tomorrow, anyone been to them, what can I expect, is it as I imagine a lot of very "fat" women lying on the floor huffing and puffing?
:D

Yep, went with my wife over a period of about three months from Jan - April 2006.

To be honest it's actually quite good. I found it very informative and prepares you for the birth of your baby quite well. From the blokes side you get to share all your fears and worries with a bunch of people that have exactly the same fears and worries without feeling awkward or stupid. The woman who takes the class offers 24hr support so if there's something really niggling you she will offer advice as best she can. You will get to discuss all the available options to you regarding the birth etc.. I never realised just how much of a say you can have when the time comes, I thought it would be a case of wheeling in and wheeling out! The best thing about it though was the support group formed within the couples that attended, the expectant mothers would often meet for coffee and discuss things. Even after the birth, from the original 9 or 10 couples we have become good friends with 3 of them.

At the end of the day, it's all about supporting your partner as best you can, because you will be as worried as each other, especially if this is your first.

Some of the videos we watched though were a bit messy :D

You'll enjoy it, I'm sure.

Ian
 

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When i went a few years ago, there was very little huffing and puffing to be honest. I think the breathing exercises only lasted for half a session of a total of 3 IIRC. There was a lot of information given that detailed the different types of pain relief available, and there was a lot of emphasis on making a 'baby plan'. (i.e. What pain relief. Does the mother want skin to skin contact immediatly after the birth or does she want the baby cleaned beforehand etc etc etc)

The midwives showed us around the different rooms on the ward and what the equipment was for, so that it wouldn't be too daunting on the day. . . .We were also shown what all the various medical instruments were for and we had a visit to the theatre where they perform C-sections. My girlfriend had a c-section and top tip - when it's all done and you stand up to leave the room, don't look 'down there'. They still had the clamps on my missus, and i could see right in! It wasn't too pleasant. . . . .


The only thing they said to us blokes was to bite out tongues and get used to being called all the names under the sun. Also, no food was available in my hospital for fathers. we had to get our own. (One bloke ordered an Indian takeaway, and that's all you could smell in the ward, but it didn't go down to well with expectant mothers!). I ended up being Pot Noodle man!

Good luck, and remember, despite what anyone else says (including the Midwives) it is compulsory for dads to have a go on the Entonox when no-one is looking :teeth:

Steve
 

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and there was a lot of emphasis on making a 'baby plan'. (i.e. What pain relief. Does the mother want skin to skin contact immediatly after the birth or does she want the baby cleaned beforehand etc etc etc)
Steve
Ah yes, the baby plan :D In theory it was great, spent ages preparing one, laminating a further two of them ready for midwives etc, the truth is though that when the time comes it all goes to ratshit! Out of our group, not one kept to any semblance of their plan.

The trip round the maternity ward brings home that this is real. If you get offered the birthing pool, remember to take any kit that needs testing as it's huge!!
 

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Ah yes, the baby plan :D In theory it was great, spent ages preparing one, laminating a further two of them ready for midwives etc, the truth is though that when the time comes it all goes to ratshit! Out of our group, not one kept to any semblance of their plan.

The trip round the maternity ward brings home that this is real. If you get offered the birthing pool, remember to take any kit that needs testing as it's huge!!
A bit like an emergancy action plan then:)

We are having to pay for out classes as Watford PCT are sh**e, and they don't do any antenatal classes, so they are not at the hospital so we don't get a tour.
 

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Middle class couples trying desperately to be "new age" but failing.

Making birth plans that involve breathing and sitting on a spacehopper for pain relief ... that go out the window as soon as the first real contraction hits (and the aneasthatist knows this so is waiting outside the door, the relief on your partners face as he gives her the epidural / spinal block / pethedine is something close to what go her in this situation in the first place).

Watching videos of obviously stoned women giving birth and smiling sweetly throughout.

Some descriptions of the things that may occur (like different types of deliveries). Some education and support in standing up to medical staff if they want to intervene too early. Pretty much anti-intervention of all kinds.

You need to read the book "The Best A Man Can Get" by John O'Farrell for the best description of NCT classes I have ever read.

But for all the negative things, you do meet some nice people, and make some friends, alright you only have one thing in common to start with but isn't that how all friendships start?
 

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Ah yes, the baby plan :D In theory it was great, spent ages preparing one, laminating a further two of them ready for midwives etc, the truth is though that when the time comes it all goes to ratshit! Out of our group, not one kept to any semblance of their plan.

The trip round the maternity ward brings home that this is real. If you get offered the birthing pool, remember to take any kit that needs testing as it's huge!!
So it wasn't just our plan that went to ratshit then!! My missus is allergic to latex. No problem they said, we have a trolley of medical equipment suitable for latex allergy sufferers.

The day of the races and off we trot to the hospital (top tip here, get a plastic car seat cover.:wink: ) get up to the ward and all the monitors etc get plugged in. We inform them of the allergy, so off they trot to get non-latex gloves........A few minutes later, and they can't find this special trolley.......Anyway, cut a long story short, they didn't have any non-latex masks, so she went through labour with no gas and air. My son got 'stuck' as he decided to turn around mid contraction, but, they did offer her a paracetomol though and she ended up with a C-section.........

It's ok though, i was fine....i had the gas and air going!:teeth:
 

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NCT classes were very good. The information is really important. This will be possibly the only major medical event where you will have a degree of control - and its YOUR event, so learn what your options are, what the pros and cons are, and then make informed choices.

We also did relaxation techniques.

Birthing plan was excellent.

It allowed us to prepare a staged approach to the birth, ultimately ending with the ventoose method over ceasaren section under general anesthetic. It was agreed, and although the doctor was reluctant on the day, he followed it. IT IS NOT something you can do on the hoof, as you may have very little time to think.

BTW ours was the first NCT class to have all male children. Quite a few of us are still in contact, and the post natal support is superb. One of my colleagues was in the first NCT class to all have the same sex children - all girls.

Cheers, Paul
 

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Ah yes, the baby plan :D In theory it was great, spent ages preparing one, laminating a further two of them ready for midwives etc, the truth is though that when the time comes it all goes to ratshit! Out of our group, not one kept to any semblance of their plan.

The trip round the maternity ward brings home that this is real. If you get offered the birthing pool, remember to take any kit that needs testing as it's huge!!
Yes the birthing plan should definately be written in pencil! That's actually an important point. don't be alarmed when the 'plan' goes tits up. Birth is such an unpredictable and dynamic process that the 'plan' should be seen more as a wish list. Neither of my childrens births even remotely resembled the ones we'd planned! Good luck!:)
 

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Nct

Worth going along, useful stuff.

It is very focussed on the big day, not much on what to do once you are at home and on your own. Feeding, pooing, and then how to look after the baby. ;)

Buy lots of baby books, disgaree, and do what you think is best

Birth plan went out of the window, wife tried to inflict a lot of pain on me during the birth process-so fathers need access to entonox. Try to use the big birth pool, take a mask and snorkel. Maybe even teach a lesson. :)

Don't bother getting to know your midwife. Waste of time IMO. You just want a professional who knows when to say "push", "breath in" and call for help.
 

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Worth going along, useful stuff.

It is very focussed on the big day, not much on what to do once you are at home and on your own. Feeding, pooing, and then how to look after the baby. ;)
But if you go to their post natal groups you will get this. These are more of a self help affair, but superb.

I remember after discussing certain problems the discovery of Metanium cream!

Oh and IF you have ever simply agreed to doing your "share", watch out!!! My wife turned to me in the delivery suite and said as she'd clothed it and fed it for the last 9 months, the next 9 were mine!........ cardiac arrest team to birthing suite 3.....


LOL, Paul
 

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Post natal help

But if you go to their post natal groups you will get this. These are more of a self help affair, but superb.

I remember after discussing certain problems the discovery of Metanium cream!

Oh and IF you have ever simply agreed to doing your "share", watch out!!! My wife turned to me in the delivery suite and said as she'd clothed it and fed it for the last 9 months, the next 9 were mine!........ cardiac arrest team to birthing suite 3.....


LOL, Paul
That was not part of NCT some 18 years ago :embarassed:

I took my duties very seriously for conception.......
 

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I was wheeled in to the ante-nateal classes in a wheelchair after a bad motorbike accident and in the "try the gas and air" bit was last in the line so sat there for a good 10 mins absolutely twatted. Oh and when they asked the blokes to get together do discuss their hopes and fears for the birth I suggested "I hope it's not ginger". Which didn't go down that well with the ginger couple.

I'd recommend it. It all goes to buggery during the birth anyway- I'd take an MP3 player, lots of magazines and a small telly. Cos all your missus will want to do is curl up on the bed with the gas and air thingy clamped in her hand screaming for Pethadine.
 

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On a slightly more serious note:

Try to get your wife/partner to see that a plan is exactly what Frosty said - a wish list. If she gets too attached to her version of how things should go - especially if she plans a home or natural birth - she may feel that she has failed should she need intervention. This happened to me and kicked off severe post natal depression *

The up side? Meeting other parents who once baby has arrived will put up with you talking baby to anyone who will listen. Bit like talking about diving really ;)

* a 72 hour labour with babe in SCBU didn't help either.
 

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Middle class couples trying desperately to be "new age" but failing.

Making birth plans that involve breathing and sitting on a spacehopper for pain relief ... that go out the window as soon as the first real contraction hits (and the aneasthatist knows this so is waiting outside the door, the relief on your partners face as he gives her the epidural / spinal block / pethedine is something close to what go her in this situation in the first place).
This wasn't part of our plan 25 years ago. 25 years and 9 months perhaps :D

Gareth
 

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I did NCT classes 18 years ago and then they were thoroughly good. One of the best aspects is the social side that you have a peer group of new friends who are in the boat as you (bewildered professionals who don't know one end of a baby from the other) . Between us we set up a baby sitting circle and the mums used to meet weekly for lunch etc and I would thoroughly recommend NCT as a networking organisation for new parents. I have made lifelong friends through it.

They also have breast feeding councillors which are so helpful when the world is all going horribly wrong!

My offspring's band has two other members who were also babies in the bump in that particular set of classes. They can say they have known each other all their lives!
 

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I remember the staff coming back on shift taking the piss 'cos we were still there.

I tried inducing the birth, but no matter how much I offered she still wouldn't get on with it!!


LOL, Paul

Second birth.... rang hospital after contractions had started....

"how close are the contractions"
"I don't know she won't tell me..... squeeze my arm dear when you're getting them"
"well?"
"she is squeezing continously and won't stop, and it hurts"
"we'll meet you at the door then"
 

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On a slightly more serious note:

Try to get your wife/partner to see that a plan is exactly what Frosty said - a wish list. If she gets too attached to her version of how things should go - especially if she plans a home or natural birth - she may feel that she has failed should she need intervention. This happened to me and kicked off severe post natal depression *

The up side? Meeting other parents who once baby has arrived will put up with you talking baby to anyone who will listen. Bit like talking about diving really ;)

* a 72 hour labour with babe in SCBU didn't help either.
yup thats all a birth plan will ever be , a wish list. trust me I know about pregnancies :)

Pethidine ha dont make me laugh, did feck all for SWMBO except make her feel sick. Now an epidural , thats whats going to happen in the later stages of the birth. a good midwife will be able to gauge when its going to be needed ( usually when its looking like a smash and grab) and get the missus to have it so she can be awake for the op and it means you can be in there if you want - if you want what the feck am i saying its not if you want its what she wants!!!!!!!

first sprog was an emergency C section but the midwife wa brill and got an epidural sorted in time so I could be in theatre talking to my wife. when the head was lifted out SWMBO asked is it a boy or a girl, my response How the feck do I know its just a head at the moment.:)

NCT are really good and as somebody has posted its a really good support network for after the board especially with the breastfeeding things.
 

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I didn't go to any NCT classes - was busy trying to get our house habitable and decorated before Cameron arrived (moved in 10 days before the due date) and stressing at work, with the knowledge that I was being made redundant sometime when they got round to it. I now wish that I had spent more time on myself. I joined NCT and get their local newsletter. I know that they do classes for second time mums and I plan on going to those classes when they happen!

We did attend the NHS classes. To be honest they were birth preparation classes, not much about afterwards. They were going to show us a video, but either the midwife had forgotten the video or the machine didn't work but that was fine by me!!

I was worried about pain, and in the end yes it hurt, but it was bearable for me. I had written a birth plan (midwife in the class called it birth options) but as I was induced, I couldn't have a water birth as I had wanted. Dave had wanted a water birth as he wanted to video it using his underwater camera. I'm so glad that I was induced!!! I had also wanted pain relief, but didn't need it. The gas and air was enough (loverly!!)

Whatever classes you go to, I think that they are useful and every now and again I bump into a couple of the mums that were in the NCT classes with me.

Good luck and hope it all goes well for you both.

Josie
 
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