Childbirth class - rant about onesidedness of book, info & stats given(2 Posts)
I think I just need to vent (and it's a long one..) as each time I think about it I get more annoyed, and whilst rationally I know I can / should move on as I disagree with some of the info, I'm finding it really hard to process, and starting to second guess some of my choices.
OH and I are signed up for a childbirth class that started on Monday (we're not in the UK, but I think it's probably pretty similar to NCT classes) it's a 3 week course that covers the basic of what happens in different stages of labour, what to expect at the hospital, pain relief, basics of feeding etc etc.
The course is independently run through our pediatricians office, and (relatively surprisingly given we're in the US) it covers how to try and get the birth you want i.e. not stuck on your back in stirrups dictated to by the Drs, which can often be the norm here. The course is advocating that new guidelines published by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology last year are followed by Drs, with a focus on letting women be in active labour for longer before intervention, figuring out how to reduce the number of unnecessary C sections etc etc
So far so good, in terms of options and was interesting to hear how things are changing. However, the interpretation of the info and presentation of this by the trainer and the accompanying book given to us (written by the overall course leader I think) has annoyed the shit out of me. My opinion on birth and kids is that you should have the pros and cons of all the options laid out for you, backed up by proper research, enabling you to make the right decision for you and your baby at that time.
Atm, my baby is breech, and I suspect will continue to be so due to a back problem. My Dr will continue to monitor in case it changes, but has flagged that here in their practice they do a c-section as standard (my dr won't deliver breech vaginally) The course was lamenting the fact that 17% of malpresented babies (breech included) are c section and the numbers MUST be reduced.
I pointed out that most Drs won't deliver breech vaginally so I wasn't sure how this was going to happen and that most ppl (me included) wouldn't want a medical team who had no practice doing a breech delivery naturally due to the potential inherent risks. She then started on a lecture about manual ECV (turning) being a safe and v successful solution as an option to get the baby to turn, and the book states similar with none of the risks to the baby highlighted, or the fact it's often also only about 40-50% successful, based on the studies done. I said that I wasn't considering it as an option as a result, and it got quite awkward.
I'm clearly a bit biased (given I may likely need a csection) but when she covered the basics of natural V c section birth, she was very focused on how a csection wouldn't provide the same 'start' as natural, in relation to getting the lungs going, providing a natural 'shell' for germ protection etc etc, and it really felt like by going down the c-section route you were taking the easy way out, with an impact on the baby
When I got home and started flipping through the book, I got more annoyed. It waxes lyrical about breast feeding (and I'm all for it if it works for you) but ladles the doom out about formula feeding (again I'm all for it if it works for you) and what will happen, including these gems:
- breast fed babies are more intelligent
- formula fed babies are 21% more likely to die.
- that you should breastfeed until at least 1yo for the good of the baby
- that breastfeeding will prevent allergies, illness etc that are linked to formula
The second point is a total wtf; I deduce that this is linked to a number of factors in the US, quite probably socio-economic which present a number of issues that could arise with access to full medical care, housing etc that could all impact on this stat, but there is absolutely no mention of this.
The third point I get, but given the USA's crap policy on maternity leave, I don't feel it's in anyway realistic and the fourth, I'm sure can't be 100% proven
Other classics go on to have a full chapter about the downsides of C sections with only a v small paragraph about when it's a positive move, and a half page on forceps / ventouse intervention with NO mention of the potential impact on mothers' health as a result post birth - i.e. incontinence, prolapse etc.
I know I'm getting annoyed as I feel a bit targeted by it (likely c section, hopefully breast feeding but plan to mix in formula, especially on my return to work) and I should throw it away (the OH suggested I burn it as a means of catharsis ) but it's started niggling at me.
And I've always maintained that I would do my best not to be guilted in to stuff like this - ffs, don't we have enough to deal with, especially as a first timer?!
we have two more weeks of this, and I'd booked on a babycare and breastfeeding class with the same providers, which I'm now wondering whether I should try and cancel.
I'd try to find an alternative class - they sound very annoying! You sound a lot like me. I like to research everything and am automatically suspicious when I am getting a one-sided view. I got round the issue by hiring an independent midwife. She was working for me so didn't push her views on me (quite impressive, as I could infer from her posts on Facebook etc that we disagree on quite a few things) and was keen to show me all the research so I could make my own decision on things like induction. One thing I did find, however, is that antenatal classes (even including aspects biased to one school of thought) were helpful for my DH, to whom all the debates were new.
In the final analysis, it's your body and baby and frankly, your insurance premiums, so just nod and smile, then make your own mind up, after discussing with your partner.
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