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Concern about NCT(20 Posts)
Hi all, I'm new to Mumsnet and indeed pregnancy and have a question.
For my own reasons, I have opted for an elective csection and to bottle my first child instead of breastfeeding.
However if I do an NCT class (primarily to meet other women in the same situation as myself) I am concerned about mentioning either of the above in the class, as I've heard they can be quite judgemental if you're not opting for natural birth/breastfeeding.
Should I say nothing in the class and pretend I'm planning on having a nat birth/breastfeeding or should I fess up in the hope of getting some advice, especially on the point of a c section? Really unsure what to do, but really don't want to be made to feel bad about my choices at an otherwise very happy time. Any (non judgemental) thoughts would be gratefully appreciated..
They are not judgemental. But a lot of the class will be about how to manage the stages of labour and about the birth physiology. There is usually just one main breastfeeding session but breastfeeding will be mentioned in the other sections of the course, i.e. newborn equipment etc.
fwiw, I didn't really learn that much from my NCT classes anyway, but it was a nice opportunity to share something with other people who became friends as new parents.
Absolutely don't keep it a secret from the teacher. If she knows your needs, she can plan to ensure that they are incorporated in her teaching.
Expect her to call it a c/birth though, rather than c/section.
If you have ANY problems at all with the teacher (and you really REALLY shouldn't) then complain.
In my class there were 2 elc & 1 bottle fed baby & we all still got along fabulously! It's not as preachy as people say. Most people go there to make mummy friends rather than to get actual birthing advice in my experience!
And fwiw, the most interesting class for me, was the c/section class.
JoJo - I am in exactly the same situation!! (though I am hoping to breastfeed)
Also for my own reasons, I am planning an ELCS (serious phobia of childbirth... I've tried to work on it but it's just not improved at all).
My doctor has advised me to keep schtum at my upcoming NCT classes... not sure if others would agree or not?
I think she is worried that as I am already feeling so guilty about needing the ELCS because I can't get my head around VB, any negative comments from anyone NCT-related may make me even more stressed about my decision.
I too am only really doing the class to try to meet other mums, and also a little bit of me wants to be prepared for what
the hell to do if I do go into labour before the date of my planned CS. I'd still want the CS, obviously, but I think I'll be better prepared if eg my waters break.
I am hoping there will be some other useful info that ISN'T purely based around labour (bf-ing, from my pov, but also some basic info about newborn care) but mainly I am just hoping I meet one or two other potential new pals!!
Please don't feel bad about your choices, though I do understand why you do. I am keeping v v quiet IRL about my choice, even (so far) to my mum and MIL, as I have had some quite negative reactions from a lot of people so far and I really don't want to have to spend a long time justifying my phobia!!
I second what starlight said, although i found it reassuring to have done the class. Yes, maybe didn't learn much more than reading the books but felt reassured to have done the class.
Actually ours covered c-sections even though no one was planning one. I ended up with an emergency c-section and since i had been in total denial of the possibility of this, the stuff i learned in NCT was invaluable!
It may be worth checking if there are any courses that don't include a breastfeeding class? It stands to reason that if there are those courses are more likely to include mums also planning to FF.
either way the drop out rate for bfeeding is so high, for so many reasons, you won't be the only one bottle feeding after a couple of weeks, whatever people's intentions going in.
I just completed my NCT classes and they were not judgemental at all, we covered c-sections (and they were called c-sections) as the teacher said that even though none of us were elective, it was highly likely that at least 2 people in the class would end up with one. We didn't cover bottle feeding because we ran out of time but we were given information on how to prepare formula safely (which is more than I can say for the NHS!) We spent prob a whole day session's worth of time on newborn care, such as nappy changing, how to hold a newborn, bathing, how do I know if it's ill etc. The BF session was separate and run by a BF counsellor. If you really don't want to go to that session, you can just avoid that one, your course schedule should indicate which one it is. Also, when I signed up, I was asked if there was any info I wanted passed on to my teacher at signup (so you could mention it there if you don't feel comfortable mentioning it at the beginning of the class), I also received contact details for the antenatal teacher in advance so again, you could just contact her privately if you don't feel comfortable telling everyone at the start.
One of the women in my class was planning an elective c-section and the teacher didn't bat an eyelid. She also made the point to all of us that statistically speaking, several of us would end up with a c-section so we needed to be prepared for that. In the end she was right and several of us did.
If you are worried do speak to the teacher first, you should be able to get contact details in advance. If you don't get a good impression, don't book. There are other ways to meet mums.
I would just say that you have already found out that you are going to need a C-section and to bottle-feed, and leave it at that. The reasons are no-one's business. Let them assume it is medically necessary, or not, as they wish - you don't have to clarify or justify!
I wouldn't let it put you off and I would definitely tell the teacher, its your decision how to have your baby and how to feed him/her.
Additionally, while my experience of NCT classes was positive and I'd say most people wanted to b/feed and have a natural birth, what you want and what you get aren't necessarily the same thing!
There are plenty of women who attend NCT classes that end up having an ELC due to placental problems/pre-eclampsia etc, not to mention the EMC's that will happen, and there was a girl in our class who wanted to b/feed but her daughter was born at 37 weeks and didnt' have a suckle reflex and never learned to breastfeed, so she expressed fed and then ended up with prescription formula as her daughter had a milk allergy.
What I'm saying is that there may well be people in the class who have a different starting point from you in terms of the kind of birth they want, but what they actually get might be a whole lot closer to what you want, so it's not like you'll be the only person attending who will have a section or will bottle feed.
Be positive in your birth/feeding choices - don't let anyone make you feel bad!
When I signed up to my class I was waiting to see a consultant because my mw had recommended a section. I filled in the section to let the teacher know.
The classes cover a section, and in my area aren't at all judgemental.
Breastfeeding was covered in a stand alone session, so you could miss that if you wanted. There was plenty of other stuff covered- things to consider after the birth (like handling visitors and how important housework is to you), and caring for a baby (I was shocked at how many partners couldn't put a nappy or babygrow on a doll!)
It would depend entirely on the other people in your group whether there's judging and whether you all get on. And that's the one thing you can't predict.
I admit I'm a little concerned about our NCP class too. DP and I aren't married (we're in our late twenties/thirties) and am a little worried we're going to be seen as the 'heathen unwed parents' lol...
erm, I definitely don't think the NCT has a pro-marriage agenda -- it's not a religious fundamentalist organisation! I think our class happens to be about half married, half not, and nobody cares at all.
I'd speak to a teacher in advance as well. I didn't learn a huge amount to be honest. It was useful from the pregnancy perspective and newborn baby care sessions, but more for my DH.
I only really did the classes to meet other mums as well - an expensive way of making new friends!
Interesting thread. I'm in a slightly different position, but have similar concerns.
Due to a pre-existing medical condition, I will be induced at 38 weeks unless I happen to go into labour naturally before then. The fact of the induction and that they won't let me try for much more than 12 hours means that a c-section is also very likely. I can't have a home or waterbirth, nor can I go to a midwife led unit. I would prefer to have a natural labour and am not looking forward to induction, but it is what it is and of course my health and that of the baby have to come first, so I'll have to make do with it.
I was concerned that there would be too much focus in the class on natural birth and on the evils of induction / c-section which, apart from anything else, will just serve to underline what I don't get to have, and perhaps make me feel bad/ like a failure / jealous of those who can have what they want.
But, as everyone else says, I am basically doing the class to meet people and also to attend the baby care / breastfeeding sessions which I definitely need (have NEVER changed a nappy!!). So I'm staying hopeful that the teacher will be respectful of the differences between people, and I'm defintiely going to tell her my situation so that it can be taken into account.
In my classes they asked what we wanted to cover, and tailored it to that a fair bit, so be honest.
Thank you all so much, I feel really reassured.
there was no problem in our class, and the value of meeting the other women trumped any other issues. out of 8, 4 had sections in the end (one planned due to back) and several have struggled with bf anyway. it's worth doing though as you never know whatmay happen - lo could beat your planned section. the only thing we've found though (as one woman can't bf due to her medication) is that there is a serious lack of advice re how to ff so seek appropriate advice early - hv might be best.
the thing I now realise is you really can't plan your birth - you can only try and get as much info on all the diff options as possible. so those who 'want' a natural birth (I was geared up for it) may not get it, but, if it happens naturally you're all on your own for some time hence the value of knowing how to deal with it - which nct do very well. I ended up being induced at 42 weeks (though actually went into labour on way to hospital!) however as he wasn't happy ended up with rest of induction to speed things up - break of waters, drip and then section. he was fine but I never envisaged that would happen. a friend had planned a c section but lo came early. we were told at start of nct sessions that half of us were likely to have section and be induced - which is what happened. but I'm so glad I knew about how to do it naturally in case!
Do you know anyone in your area with a baby who has done the classes. They vary considerably and someone who has been will be able to tell you what the teacher near you is like. If there are NCT baby and bump pre- and post- natal meet up groups near you, that might be a better option, and much cheaper.
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