National Childbirth Trust

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The National Childbirth Trust (NCT) is a UK-based charity which began in 1956.[1] It offers information and support in pregnancy, childbirth and early parenthood.


Breastfeeding an infant.

The National Childbirth Trust, originally called The Natural Childbirth Trust, was founded in 1956 as the result of an advertisement placed in The Times by Prunella Briance. Briance was inspired by the writings of British obstetrician Grantly Dick-Read, who is regarded by many as the father of natural childbirth, and became the first president of the NCT.[2] At that time the rules of childbirth dictated that women did as their doctors told them. The resulting ignorance bred fear, and fear led to pain and a lack of support in childbirth and early parenthood.

Briance's advertisement announced "A Natural Childbirth Association is to be formed for the promotion and better understanding of the Dick-Read system. Anyone interested write Box...". The inaugural meeting was held on January 29, 1957 at Caxton Hall with Grantly Dick-Read as one of the speakers. The NCA became the Natural Childbirth Trust in 1958.[3]

Key dates[edit]

  • 1961 renamed the National Childbirth Trust, given charitable status. Begins publishing leaflets.
  • 1967 Breastfeeding Promotion Group and Teachers' Panel formed, setting training standards and services. NCT lobbies Government to research techniques thoroughly and end the overuse of interventions.
  • 1980 Postnatal Committee set up, leading to Parentability (support group for disabled parents) and other support groups.
  • 1989 NCT becomes a Company Limited by Guarantee
  • 1991 NCT gives evidence to Winterton Committee based on its own research
  • 1994 Report of the Expert Maternity Group, on which Eileen Hutton, NCT's then President, was a member, is adopted as Government policy for England and Wales
  • 1995 NCT Publishing established
  • 1997 Antenatal teacher training was now validated by the University of Luton
  • 1999 Parentability becomes an independent organisation, the Disabled Parents Network.
  • 2001 National Breastfeeding Line and NCT website launched
  • 2005 NCT website revised and updated to
  • 2008 NCT launches a new logo and website
  • 2008 NCT changes class bookings system from volunteer- to employee-run service - other volunteer-run services remain unchanged


In January 2013, Kirstie Allsopp, presenter of property-related television shows, sparked press comment when she tweeted, "Lots of people have good NCT experiences, but many don't. This is a very politicised, dogmatic, and in my experience scary organisation."[4] There was further press criticism in the UK's Daily Telegraph when the TV series In the Club, featuring an antenatal class, premiered.[5]


  1. ^ Kerley, Paul (4 May 2016). "NCT: The National Childbirth Trust's 60 years of advice". BBC News. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  2. ^ Pregnancy Today
  3. ^ "The NCT in the 20th century", National Childbirth Trust, December 16, 2004
  4. ^ Kirstie Mary Allsopp. Twitter Retrieved 5 April 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^

External links[edit]