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NCT - hugely biased?(37 Posts)
My husband and I have been attending NCT classes in preparation for our first baby next month.
We have been really shocked at how biased NCT is towards 'natural' birth, despite loudly proclaiming at the start how unbiased they are. Pain management methods such as epidural and opiates are given as much air time as alternative methods like reflexology, homeopathy and doulas (!). And it seems to be 90% around doing breathing exercises (which are admittedly helpful) and answering little questions in groups, rather than actual guidance on labour and how to keep a baby alive after...
Has anyone else found this? Are there any good websites for new parents, in addition to the NHS website? I just don't think we're going to get all the info we need from NCT. (It doesn't help that our midwife is hugely into homeopathy as well...)
Yeah, this was entirely my experience.
Our teacher had a home birth agenda, which didn't help me at all since I'd already decided if I wanted drugs I'd have them.
She didn't even bother to tell us that epidurals wore off because she wouldn't talk about them.
I only discovered that when I went through an non anaesthetised forceps delivery.
So yes, anecdotally, I found they had an agenda.
I'm sure others have had difference experiences though.
We're doing the NHS ones led by local midwives. They covered Home, water, hospital births. All the standard pain relief and c sections. One midwife was very clearly pro midwife led unit and the other was a bit more pro hospital ward, but they still covered everything.
Yes!!!!! NCT lady we had was so anti doctors was unreal!!!! Basically said that if you go to deliverybfkoor you will have intervention against your wishes and the reason there are more c sections at night and weekends are because doctors are lazy and want to go back to bed....Inused to work on delivery floor and set her straight quite quickly. It’s an expensive way to make new friends I found! X
Wow typo central in post above hopefully it still makes sense got a bit excited there
YANBU at all. I was told I had to have a CS because my placenta was completely covering my cervix. I can't remember any mention of CS on my course other than in relation to birthing plans. It was also clearly very heavily pro BF - but nothing was mentioned about what to do if BF doesn't work out. We were basically told that in reality hardly any new mum has any genuine reason for not being able to BF and that if you can't and decide to give up then you are not persevering enough and making excuses for not doing it. I completely bought into the whole BF thing - especially because I had already been made to feel inadequate (before I even had my baby) for not being able to have a natural birth. When my baby was born I tried for the first three months of his life to BF him and this did not work out. I cried so many tears over it. In the end I developed thrush that would not go away even with medication from my GP. It was excruciatingly painful. Looking back I had post natal depression and I firmly believe this is down to the NCT course I had attended. I had been made to feel like a failure. Writing this now I feel quite angry about it.
I think I got lucky with mine as the leader was genuinely unbiased
All my friends who've done it say you do it more to meet people with same ages babies as they're so biased it's propaganda. I thought it was quite well known that this is their approach.
There's minimal info on dealing with a baby other than 'they cry' and 'practice a nappy on a doll that doesn't move' yes, which is shit.
The info on birth etc I thought was ok though. I thought the assumption was the majority of women aim for a vaginal birth and the lowest level of pain relief possible so it's guidance on what's available and ways to help you achieve that, where possible.
I wouldn't do NCT for the info though, I thought everyone only did it to make friends etc and that people did their own research for info on birth.
Also there is a lot more info on breastfeeding than formula feeding yes, but you don't really need support with formula whereas breastfeeding can be extremely tough and the more info you have the better.
I do think it's important breastfeeding is encouraged within reason, which was our experience of NCT so I can't fault them there personally.
I think it entirely depends on your course leader. Ours was amazing, completely unbiased and gave a balanced view on all types of pain relief etc.
Ours was unbiased. If you have a biased teacher you should complain as that's not what it's supposed to be.
We also had a full session (1 of 3 days) exclusively around baby survival - how many blankets to use, ideas to help them sleep, feeding routines (both bf and ff), how we survive as parents etc.
YANBU but I thought it was well known that the nct stance is towards natural birth, I think it's good they promote a more natural birth. It's important to remember their view is just that, a view. My labours have always been too fast for pain relief and I feel too ill with gas and air. It's important to teach parents to be about birthing experiences and to be open to many options, I was so set on pain relief that I had such panic with my first when I didn't get any, it didn't even cross my mind that I might not.
I didn't do the NCT classes but my NHS ones sound like the one you went to, they also scoffed at the idea of struggling with bf and said combi feeding is not going to work and to do it properly or not all.
A decent book is great preparation - I didn't do NCT because I didn't want a load of natural birth stuff shoved down my throat plus it seemed so expensive. Did the NHS antenatal classes instead which were fine apart from the BFing one which was heavy on propaganda and light on actual useful information (and included some falsehoods!).
The books I found useful were:
Lesley Regan - pregnancy week by week and birth which talked through all the possible things that could happen and pros and cons.
Clare Byam Smith What to expect when BFing - practical, down to earth, realistic and sensible.
I'm pregnant and one of the last of my friends to have children so I've been doing a lot of question asking of them! Spread across five parts of England they've all done NCT and had a huge variation on what they've been told. As I understand it, NCT are trying to be more balanced and move away from being the 'anything but natural birthing and breast feeding is a sin brigade' BUT they are only as good as the local course leaders who seemingly can still choose to spout whatever they want! I find that amazing.
It could be worth dropping a line to a central office as if they don't get feedback they'll never know.
I'm going to do the classes, but my expectations are low, however as a newbie to the area I live, as one of my friends described it 'it's a great way to buy friends'! Let's hope so!
Oh yes! I enjoyed my NCT classes because I was so naive My NCT leader really promoted our 'rights' to say no to induction, to 'listen to and be led by our bodies' etc etc and to take plenty of blankets and pictures to decorate our delivery room so it didn't feel like a hospital..... She really heavily promoted breastfeeding, spent a lot of time on the how to and benefits of it etc etc...said NOTHING about formula feeding, didn't even mention it as an alternative!
So there I was blankets and iPad with my playlist at the ready.....then my waters broke at home and contractions started, then they stopped, then they started, then they stopped, then I ended up in hospital being given the choice of either induction or c-section because waters had broken 36 hours earlier and only 2cms dilated. Blankets, iPad, 'rights' to say no all went out the window.
NCT tends to be very idealistic
NCT gave me a completely wrong view of how my birth would be. I expected whale music and water birth and got emergency caesarian... wish I hadn't bothered
Yes. They are vile and led to me having great sadness over my sections. I would have them banned if I could. Bastards.
Lol at keeping a baby alive, I know exactly what you mean
Are there any good websites for new parents, in addition to the NHS website
You're on it
Oh yeah I'd forgoteten I had also planned to have a water birth that went out the window too!
It’s a lottery as the individual teachers vary so much in what they cover. I found ours useless tbh.
Wow I'm so sad you've all had such negative experiences. The leader at our course was wonderful, totally listened to what we wanted and responded to that. We didn't talk about any alternative therapies and she spent dedicated time on how induction works, who is in the room for a c section and what their jobs are and every type of pain relief and their pros and cons. The woman who did the breastfeeding bit wasn't as balanced (we asked for information about ff but found we "didn't have time"). I went to an NHS bf course too and found it was much more pushy on breast is best.
Wow thank you everyone for sharing your experiences! We've got one session left and I still have so many questions. I think after the course ends I might write to NCT and give some constructive feedback.
I was hoping to 'buy' some mummy friends through NCT but quite a few of them are very pro-natural too. At least we have a whatsapp group so I can listen in on tips!
I find my midwife and her language very odd as well. She heavily promotes the midwife-led unit over the labour ward, and speaks of 'deserving' to go back to the MLU after giving birth at the labour ward, if you 'really tried' to do it without pain relief. Wtf? (The MLU is a lot nicer than the labour ward here, which is itself deliberate I feel.)
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