Updated: Sep 12
One of the most popular questions I get asked from pregnant people is ‘What’s the difference between NCT and hypnobirthing’?
Well, let me break it down for you!
Simply, let’s split Hypnobirthing into two , the ‘Hypno’ hypnobirthing techniques to keep you calm, comfortable & as relaxed as possible for birth , and ‘birthing’ all the essential birth antenatal prep you need so you can feel confident. - knowledge is power, & if you don’t know your options - you have none!
Now all Hypnobirthing courses are different (so be sure to check what their courses actually cover and what hypnobirthing school your teacher has trained at, & what their ethos is) You can check out my qualifications here) Certainly Hypnobirthing with me at The Birth Base Ltd is a comprehensive antenatal course.
Hypnobirthing is focused on transforming your mindset about birth and preparing for a positive experience (no matter how your birth unfolds), by teaching you all about your options, so you can make informed decisions, practical techniques to remain calm and in control, and a big focus on your birth rights too, which have a huge impact on your pregnancy and birth, as well as all the essential birth info you need to know.
With regard to NCT, there is a little crossover on the basic birth info such as stages of labour etc, and an NCT course will also teach you practical looking after baby skills like how to change a nappy and how to wash baby etc…those things my course does not include.
There are lots of other ways you can gain these skills either by signing up to courses, The Baby Academy for example do fantastic free courses on practical parenting skills, if you did want to join a class about those sort of things. Don’t worry it you don’t want too, or don’t feel you need too - it’s not a necessity. You can also find out lots of fab info online, or just wing it & learn on the job 🥰 which I think is what a lot of us tend to do as parents anyway.
You’ve probably heard other people talk about their ‘NCT mates’ & this of course is pretty cool bonus. But hey, you’re going to make hypnobirthing friends from your group course who are likeminded and on the same wavelength as you! I am really passionate about building my Birth Base community. Even if you do my online group course, having those connections is huge - our WhatsApp group of parents you can text at 3am for advice is invaluable. Plus there’s lots of other ways to make mum friends in your local area - going to baby groups (like baby massage, sensory classes, swimming etc), and the app Peanut (it's basically like Tinder for mum mates!).
To be honest, NCT is a pretty expensive way to find friends - plus its pot luck who’s there - you might not actually like any of them - you may find your best mates - you don’t know.
So what should you book?
Think about how each course is going to make you FEEL about your baby’s birth (cause how we feel directly impacts our birth experience and how we feel about our baby’s birth stays with us for a lifetime) and if in doubt, have a look at the reviews.
You can check mine here… and find even more on Google.
Hypnobirthing, of course, is my first choice (I know I'm bias!). But hey, why not come along to a FREE taster session of mine & see if I'm the right antenatal teacher for you? You can sign up here! OR book a free 20 min discovery call with me, and get all your burning questions answered!
Interested to hear more from people who have been there, done that?
I sent an anonymous survey to my clients about NCT v Hypnobirthing & here’s what they had to say…
I asked ‘If you DIDN’T book an NCT course, why not?’
‘Price, reviews from others, not really being made aware of it until near the end of pregnancy’
‘Wasn't 100% sure about the class teaching techniques/heard negative things from others. Preferred the hypnobirthing approach!’
‘Expensive and outdated advice In my opinion.’
‘Learnt enough during hypnobirthing’
‘’Didn’t really feel the need for 2 courses and was hoping birth base course would be enough…. And it was :)
‘If you DID book an NCT course, what would you say are the main differences between NCT and The Birth Base hypnobirthing course?’
‘NCT more practical for when baby here rather than preparing you for birth’
‘’NCT is not so interactive and doesn't go over your rights so much, more just what happens in a C-Section, what drugs are sometimes offered etc.
‘NCT was more literal facts and science where as hypnobirthing was a mix of the science behind hormonal changes and your mindset.
You also advocated for rights a lot more in hypnobirthing’
‘If a friend was deciding between NCT and hypnobirthing, what would you say?’
’I didn’t do a NCT however I love how approachable birth base is and supportive which I don’t think you would get with NCT’
‘Depends what they wanted, I got a lot out of both… very different things’
’Hypnobirthing, gives you everything you need and more’
’Do hypnobirthing and then book free additional sessions with honest midwife and baby academy to cover all and for balance. To meet other mums to be use peanut do pregnancy yoga etc!’
I asked… ‘Did you think The Birth Base hypnobirthing course was value for money?’
‘Absolutely! Best money I spent on prepping for my little girl!’
‘Yes 1000% and more!!!’
‘100% especially the additional support you get once you have had baby as that is just as much the unknown as giving birth is’
‘Yes, think the personal touches and service you get are worth the money for sure’