My NCT story

Recently NCT teachers and volunteers have been tweeting using #mynctstory. The stories are inspiring, well worth a read. I decided to add to them and write my story…



Becoming an NCT teacher was not something I would ever have imagined myself doing back when my daily life involved commuting, management meetings and excel spreadsheets. But one of the most incredible things about becoming a parent is the way we change in ways we can never anticipate. 

So my NCT journey started almost 9 years ago. I was pregnant, constantly on the verge of throwing up and inhaling packets of M&S wotsits. A friend said ‘you must do NCT’ and without any further thought I booked my course. Fast forward a few months and one birth later and I was in a whirlwind of coffee mornings and pizza (my NCT group had Papa John’s on speed dial). We talked about everything: feeding, weaning, sleeping and going back to work. A few of the mums moved away and we all started going back to work. Life seemed back to normal for a short while. 

However after having my second baby and a birth that didn’t exactly go ‘to plan’ I started reading to help make sense of my experience. In amongst the nappies, agonising sleep deprivation and the awful irrepressible sense of guilt that being a mum to two small children evokes, I had a moment of realisation. I could not go back to daily commutes – something had changed. I needed to channel my learning about birth and motherhood into something, dare I say it, more profound. I realised I was drawn to discussions about birth, they were happening all around me and I wasn’t getting bored. Far from it, it was constantly fascinating. I was learning so much.

And this is the bit that might be surprising. The bit that you might not associate with the NCT. I didn’t have a sense that I wanted to evangelise about birth, to tell women how to give birth. In fact quite the opposite, I wanted to help them realise that the decisions we make are profound. That giving birth isn’t something we forget about the next day, that it isn’t just about having a healthy baby. That these experiences stay with us for decades: how strong we felt or how helpless, how those first few minutes felt when we could finally hold our baby, how nurtured and respected we were. So I wanted to help women choose, to help them make their own choices, to feel informed and empowered, and above all not scared. And I really wanted to help both parents feel supported through this enormous transition.

Training to teach NCT was the natural next step. It took just under three years of essay writing, of practising teaching and reflecting (NCT teachers spend a lot of time reflecting). Mainly I am proud of the feedback I get from couples, many of whom say they enjoyed the experience of coming to classes and feel that their experience of birth (however that unfolded) was changed as a result of coming. Some remark how much more confident they felt as a result, how they felt more prepared for the demands of being a parent. They mention how supported they feel, about how their NCT group talk at all hours of the day and night, and how they can’t imagine how it would be to not have each other.

There is never just one option, there are many. Every baby is different and every parent is different, we really must make the decisions that are right for us in order to feel empowered. This is so important, as are the networks of parents who form through NCT classes. Most of us don’t have our parents living next door, yet it is when we have a baby that we meet our neighbours and become a community.

So in my case I didn’t just gain some new knowledge and skills, I gained a whole new vocation, I met people living near me, one of whom has become an amazing friend and business partner. I have also met some of the most passionate, intelligent women who also just happen to be NCT teachers (you know who you are). You could say that nine years ago I started antenatal classes, but I’m still reaping the benefits!

Rebecca is a NCT teacher and certified infant massage instructor working in West London. 

How massage alleviates your baby’s ‘colic’ 

What is ‘colic’?
Sadly there is no established cause as yet for what is commonly termed ‘colic’. The NHS describes colic as ‘excessive, frequent crying in a baby who appears to be otherwise healthy.’ 

Typically babies are aged between three and twelve weeks with symptoms including intense crying which is frequently in the late afternoon or early evening. Babies may draw their knees up to their tummy or arch their back when crying which may indicate abdominal pain and babies may appear less able to tolerate intensely stimulating environments. 

It can be incredibly hard to see your baby in such discomfort and one of the most important things we always recommend to parents is to gain as much support as possible.

The healing power of touch 
It may be reassuring to know about the benefits of the healing power of touch. Given the immaturity of the digestive system in infants, tummy pain can be a contributing factor in excessive crying. Whether the tummy pain is the primary cause of the crying or a result of the crying we cannot be sure, but what we do know is that massage is ideal for stimulating the digestive system and helping it to function more efficiently. 

There is a routine you can perform on your baby which provides a useful tool for gentle relief of tummy pain and should leave you feeling empowered, confident and more ‘in tune’ with your baby.

The massage is easy to follow and has been researched to provide stimulation for the digestive system, relieves abdominal wind, digestive cramping and constipation, and helps to assist with elimination. The routine releases built-up stress by calming and relaxing your baby and relaxing the stomach area. Applying nurturing touch releases relaxing hormones and reduces stress hormones such as cortisol in your baby.

It is recommend that once you have learnt the routine, that it is used 2 to 3 times a day at a time when your baby is not distressed nor demonstrating feeding cues (for example this may be during a nappy change). Being consistent and following through with the routine on a daily basis is the key to ensuring relief for your baby and should prevent symptoms increasing.

How we can help

For Baby & Me massage courses will provide you with much needed support in a nurturing, calm and caring environment. We have also developed one to one sessions which focus on excessive crying and can take place in your own home where you will have the opportunity to learn:

  • The Colic Routine: massage, touch relaxation and gentle movements
  • The most appropriate time to massage a colicky baby
  • Which oil to use for massage 
  • More about how the digestive system functions
  • Other ‘fourth trimester’ calming techniques 

To book onto one of our group baby massage courses or to book a bespoke colic session, or to enquire about hosting your own baby massage course for a group of friends please get in touch by emailing info@forbabyandme.net