The National Childbirth Trust
Antenatal Classes with the National Childbirth Trust
These are small friendly groups for parents expecting babies. You
will be with a group of parents to be whose babies are due at about
the same time as yours. In the classes you will be given information
and have a chance to talk through your feelings about labour, birth
and life with a new baby.
The classes at taught by National Childbirth Trust trained
antenatal teachers. Sometimes they are held in a house and sometimes
in a hall or health centre.
The classes are usually each week for two hours (8 weeks altogether).
Mostly they are in the evening but some are held at weekends. This
is to make it easier for you and your partner to attend if you are
working during the day. They are held in the last 3 months of your
These are the sort of topics that will be covered:-
- 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 baby and feeding your baby
- what it might be like when you become a parent and form your
Most classes have a reunion after all the babies are born. For
many people the friends they make at their National Childbirth
Trust class last for years.
If you want to have National Childbirth Trust classes you
will need to book early in your pregnancy. These classes are very
popular. There is a charge for classes.
Even if you cannot attend classes you may wish to join the National
Childbirth Trust. The charity has many other services and is
a good way to meet other new parents and find out what is happening
in your area. Call the National Childbirth Trust on 020 8992
8637 to find out how to book.
Experiences to share
For most the path to becoming a parent runs smoothly but some people
have experiences that are a challenge. If you would find it helpful
to talk to someone who has been through the same thing then do contact
the National Childbirth Trust on 020 8992 8637. The National
Childbirth Trust holds an experiences register of women who
have come through difficult times and are happy to share what they
have learned and how they coped with others going through a similar
situation. If you feel alone with your experience of becoming a
parent do call and we will do our best to put you in touch with
someone to listen and share.
More free books
Two of the National Childbirth Trust range of books are being
given away with "Having a Baby" If you would like
a third then join the National Childbirth Trust. The charity
is giving one of seven books away free to new members who join in
the next few months.
The special membership offer, which is a thank you to new members
who join between now and the end of September 2000, gives readers
a chance to sample a range of popular NCT books, worth £5.99
each, including 'Potty Training', 'First Foods', 'Antenatal
Tests', 'Postnatal Depression' and 'Safe Foods'.
Membership of the NCT also offers people an opportunity
to campaign for key changes for parents within an organisation which
has been leading the way in improvements in maternity care for the
past 40 years.
Joining the National Childbirth Trust, which aims to enable
all parents to have an experience of pregnancy, birth and early
parenting which enriches their lives and provides a sound foundation
for parenthood, cost just £36 a year for both individuals
As well as a free book, members also receive a lively quarterly
magazine, a book of vouchers and eligibility for the Bank of Scotland
credit card from which NCT receives a donation every time
it is used.
Information on membership is available from:
The National Childbirth Trust
Tel: 020 8992 8637 (9.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.).
The NCT Website: www.nct-online.org
The ideal present for a friend
If you are looking for the ideal present for a millennium mum-to-be,
why not try a year's membership of the National Childbirth Trust?
Ideal for friends, relatives and colleagues going on maternity
leave, the subscription to the Trust at just £36 for one or
both partners is very good value.
Your gift will help to make their experience of pregnancy, birth
and early parenting even more rewarding. The NCT offers antenatal
classes and also it will help them to make friends with other new
parents in their neighbourhood , as well as helping them to find
out about social events through their local NCT network.
In joining they will also become members of an organisation which
has been at the forefront of improvements in maternity care for
the past forty years.
The National Childbirth Trust aims to enable all parents
to have an experience of pregnancy, birth and early parenting that
enriches their lives and provides a sound foundation for parenthood.
An added advantage of taking out a gift membership now is that there
is a special free book offer to new members. There is a choice of
one of seven free titles for new members signing up before the end
of September 2000.
The NCT books worth £5.99 each are of vital interest
to all new parents or parents to be and cover areas such as antenatal
tests, first foods, crying babies, sleep, potty training and postnatal
As well as a free book, the NCT also offers a lively quarterly
magazine, vouchers, and eligibility for the Bank of Scotland credit
card from which the NCT, a charity, receives a donation every
time it is used.
To arrange a gift membership or for more information on the NCT
call 0181 992 8637 (9.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.). The NCT Website
is at www.nct-online.org
The National Childbirth Trust has over 600 breastfeeding
counsellors. Their services are provided free to anyone whether
they are a National Childbirth Trust member or not. You can
reach a breastfeeding counsellor by calling our enquiry line on
020 8996 8637. Between 9.30 and 4.30 you will be given the name
of your nearest counsellor so she can help you by phone or visit
if necessary. At other time a list of breastfeeding counsellor phone
contacts are provided. Breastfeeding counsellors are happy to help
with any breastfeeding related issue - eg sore nipples or other
feeding difficulties, returning to work and breastfeeding or mixing
breast and bottles, feeding older babies, stopping breastfeeding
and any worries you may have about finding it difficult to
breastfeed or stopping feeding.
Midwives are very busy and do not always have time to sit with
you in the first 24 hours after your baby is born so breastfeeding
counsellors often take calls from women in the first few days after
the birth of their baby. Our counsellors are all volunteers but
love their vocation of supporting women who want to breastfeed so
please, if you are worried in any way, do call.
Bras - being comfortable in pregnancy and while feeding
It can be hard to find a comfortable bra while your body is going
through the changes of pregnancy and when feeding a baby. It is
especially difficult to find the right size underwear if you are
very small or very generously proportioned. Look no further. National
Childbirth Trust maternity sales offer pretty and practical
bras in sizes from 32A to 46J in a range of colours. Call us on
0141 636 0600 for your free catalogue or visit our website at www.nctms.co.uk
Bras may be ordered on the phone, by fax or via the web. The
National Childbirth Trust also offer a fitting service if you
Pregnancy and Parenting Guides from National Childbirth Trust
The following series of seven (soon to be nine) guides from National
Childbirth Trust Publishing/Thorsons are all available from
NCT Maternity Sales on 0141 636 0600. Each one costs £5.99,
or you can choose one free when you join the National Childbirth
What should I eat now that I'm eating for two?
The NCT Book of Safe Foods is much more than just
a list of what you can and can't eat in pregnancy. It's a 224-page
nutrition handbook that anyone interested in diet will find really
helpful. If you're already pregnant, or thinking about becoming
pregnant, you need it!
Written by the NCT's Hannah Hulme Hunter, a practising
midwife and breastfeeding counsellor, and Rosemary Dodds, who is
a nutritionist and research dietician, this guide is packed with
helful information. The book starts with basic nutrition and explains
why it's important to eat the right foods at all times. It lists
all the vitamins and minerals your body requires, where to get them
and why they're important. It explains why certain foods should
be avoided during pregnancy and gives food hygiene rules to follow.
To sum up, key points are listed at the end of every chapter.
There's a full chapter on coping with morning sickness, with suggestions
on what can help control feelings of nausea and when you need to
seek further help. Putting on weight when you're pregnant is also
covered in detail, including a section on how to check for gestational
Healthy lifestyle choices are explored in a chapter which covers
drinking, smoking, drugs and looking after your body. Finally, chapters
on your body after the birth and the best diet to follow while breastfeeding,
give lots of helpful pointers. NCT Book of Safe Foods,
by Hannah Hulme Hunter and Rosemary Dodds, published by Thorsons
in collaboration with NCT Publishing, 1998, £5.99.
Just discovered that you're pregnant?
Confused by all the tests and what they can tell you? You're not
alone! 'Antenatal tests can now tell parents more about their
unborn baby than it has ever been possible to know before,'
says Mary Nolan, author of the NCT Book of Antenatal Tests
and she knows how confusing that can be.
This little book gives a clear, detailed account of this very
complex area. It covers whether or not to test, what tests mean
and explains the difference between 'screening' and 'diagnostic'
tests. A full explanation of blood tests and what they screen for,
is given, plus a description of ultrasound scanning, what it involves
and what scans reveal. Diagnostic tests such as CVS and amniocentesis
are fully explained. Finally, questions of whether or not to terminate,
are explored in full. A list of support groups and suggestions for
further reading is included. As Mary puts it in her introduction:
'No one should be asked to make decisions which could affect
the rest of their lives without
having all the information they need.' This book puts all that
information in your hands. NCT Book of Antenatal Tests,
Mary Nolan, published by Thorsons in collaboration with NCT Publishing,
Sleep! Sleep! Just let me sleep!
Small wonder that this is one of the most popular NCT titles of
the series. Most new parents are desperate to get their little one
to sleep through the night. The NCT Book of Sleep
is just what they need.
Author Penney Hames goes into detail here, covering every aspect
from 'what is sleep?' to 'what does your baby need to sleep?', including
'when should I stop feeding at night?', the question of dummies,
where to sleep (pros and cons of bed-sharing), practical tips, coping
with feelings, and getting support.
The section on behaviour management lists four methods of getting
your baby to sleep alone, starting with simply 'leaving him to sleep'
(which can be traumatic for all concerned) through 'controlled crying',
the 'kissing game' ('be prepared to give up to 300 kisses on
the first night over a three-hour period... Most children are sleeping
easily within a week') and finally your fourth option - gradual
withdrawal. The book ends with a 'beyond babies' section which outlines
the sleep problems of older children, and like all the books in
this series, lists further reading and useful sources of support,
such as how to find a cranial osteopath. It also tells where to
buy such useful bits of equipment as a swinging crib or three-sided
cot. Written in Penney Hames' inimitable style, this book is the
business. NCT Book of Sleep, Penney Hames, Thorsons/NCT
Publishing 1998, £5.99
'All babies cry,' points out Anna McGrail. 'They have to. It's their
only way of communicating their needs.' These crisp words come at
the beginning of the NCT Book of Crying Baby and introduce
a note of calm to parents who may feel close to breaking point.
'Each tiny being comes programmed with an alarm system which
sets our own responses of adrenaline into motion... Crying is a
survival mechanism for babies: unable to do anything for themselves,
they need to provoke someone into providing them with warmth, sustenance,
comfort and affection,' she explains.
Anna gives a calm, sympathetic and reassuring account of an issue
that can drive new parents demented. No quick solutions are offered
to stop a baby crying, but chapters cover looking after yourself,
survival strategies, special situations (such as colic, twins, premature
babies) and your growing baby. Options explored include homoeopathy,
herbal remedies, aromatherapy, cranial osteopathy (craniosacral
therapy), reflexology and diet. The experiences of dozens of other
parents are quoted. As with all the other books in this series,
sources of support are listed are at the end, together with suggestions
for further reading.
NCT Book of Crying Baby, Anna McGrail, Thorsons/NCT
Publishing 1998, £5.99
Feeling miserable - or know someone who is?
Everyone is supposed to be happy when they've just had a baby, but
the reality isn't always so great. In the NCT Book of
Postnatal Depression, Heather Welford gives a clear account
of this problem and its three different levels of seriousness:simple
baby blues, deeper postnatal depression and the frightening puerperal
This is a helpful, non-judgmental handbook, suggesting some of
the causes of PND and listing all the many sources of help available,
including medical treatment and support from other mothers.
As Denise Welch (Natalie Horrocks of Coronation Street) herself
an ex-sufferer from postnatal depression, confesses in her introduction:
'talking to other women who had suffered and recovered was a
huge help to me'. Heather Welford gives an idea of how long
it will be before the PND sufferer can expect to feel better and
how the syndrome affects the rest of the family. Keypoints sum up
the main issues at the end of each chapter and a full booklist for
further reading, plus a list of useful organisations to contact,
is included. The book ends with four real-life accounts that will
reassure other women currently suffering from depression that they're
not alone - and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. NCT
Book of Postnatal Depression, Heather Welford, published
by Thorsons,1998, £5.99.
When, where, what, and how to wean?
Starting your baby on solid foods is a tricky area and this little
handbook will help enormously. Ravinder Lilly's NCT Book
of First Foods shows how to increase the volume and variety
of what your baby eats, starting with fruit and vegetable purees.
Ravinder covers allergies, food intolerances to watch out for, and
gives a rundown of basic nutrition information. Her 'weaning-at-a-glance'
calendar makes it all easy. The second half of this book includes
90 pages of babyfood recipes. NOTE: the National Childbirth Trust
recommends not starting solid foods until your baby is about six
months old. NCT Book of First Foods, Ravinder Lilly,
Thorsons 1998, £5.99 - or receive a free copy when you join
Wet patches and worse
Are you at the stage of starting to think about encouraging your
little one to move from nappies to the potty? There are lots of
ways you can deal with this. The NCT Book of Potty
Training by Heather Welford describes them all. It discusses when
and how to begin, coping with accidents and even special cases such
as twins and children with special needs. Includes a long section
on Frequently Asked Questions. This book will help you decide which
is the right approach for you and your child.
At only £5.99 it's a good value way to make life easier.
NCT Book of Potty Training, Heather Welford, first
published by Thorsons, 1987 and now reprinted and updated 1998,
Other Books by the NCT
NCT Book of Child Health
NCT Book of Toddler Tantrums
NCT Complete Book of Babycare (HarperCollins Illustrated)
NCT Complete Book of Pregnancy (published with Thorsons)
Being Pregnant, Giving Birth Mary Nolan
You and Your New Baby
Breastfeeding Your Baby
Working Parents Companion
New Generations - 40 Years of Birth in Britain
Disabled Parents - Dispelling the Myths, A National Childbirth Trust
Guide by Michele Wates
For further information visit the NCT Website at www.nct-online.org
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