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Kirstie Allsopp in twitter row with NCT

(183 Posts)
DuelingFanjo Sun 20-Feb-11 22:59:01

Sorry for the DM link.

what do you think about this?

Personally I think my NCT class covered C-sections very well, though there was an emphasis on 'natural' birth through-out the course. I was glad of the C-Section info when I was signing papers for the possibility, though in the end didn't need one.

Sadly my experience (Midwives not checkinghow dilated I was, No gas and Air for ages, Having waters broken, Spinal at 10 cm dilated, episiotomy and so on) has made me wonder if I would want to attempt a more natural birth next time - I am worried that I will be too scared to try.

Do you think she is right though, are women who have C-sections being made to feel like failures?

Grumpla Sun 20-Feb-11 23:05:29

Sounds like bollocks to me.

My NCT class covered c-sections in detail, including a sort of 'role play' to explain how many people would be in the room, what their jobs were etc as one of the really scary things (apparently) about having a crash c section is that suddenly you are surrounded by a massive crowd of people. There was a woman in my group scheduled for a c section for health reasons although in the end she didnt have one (baby beat them to it!) and I think our teacher went out of her way to reassure her about it. We read several articles about making c sections less traumatic (obviously more an option for scheduled than for crash) and she did make it very clear that there was no 'right' or 'wrong' way to have a baby.

Meglet Sun 20-Feb-11 23:06:30

We spent a whole class on c-sections during our NCT course. It was role play too, I was a paediatrician grin. From what I read on MN I think some NCT teachers give more info on cs's than others.

I don't feel like a failure for having c-sections (1st was emergency, second was planned). Never even crossed my mind to worry about it and no-one has ever commented on it.

fivegomadindorset Sun 20-Feb-11 23:08:36

We talked about this at my daughters school, and according to one alpha female as I had had 2 sections, I have never given birth and yes it well and truly pissed me off.

TwoIfBySea Sun 20-Feb-11 23:09:14

I suppose she has a point. There is so much emphasis on natural that if you have a c-section and bottle-feed a baby you are made to feel as though you are the worst failure as a mother. There is no information and without the knowledge it makes what should be a wonderful time very scary.

Speaking as someone who had an emergency c-section thanks to pre-eclampsia and who ended up bottle feeding after the milk didn't come properly. Yes, I do feel stigmatised and I would have liked to do everything naturally but I think others have to realise that is not always possible and get off the soapbox.

I would have liked information on the best alternative to breast milk but as it was I was shown how to make up a bottle by another mother on the ward as it was so taboo.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sun 20-Feb-11 23:10:01

My NCT class covered c-sections in detail - and the girls that did have a c-section were grateful for it - particularly the bit that explained how many people were present in the theatre.

Though (God help me) I do agree that there is an industry dedicated to promoting the idea that non-interventioned births are superior and the NCT is part of it.

TwoIfBySea Sun 20-Feb-11 23:10:09

five, what you say is that you had them surgically removed. It really winds them up, these ubermums.

DuelingFanjo Sun 20-Feb-11 23:12:52

Same here Meglet and Grumpla, I had the role-play too.

sharbie Sun 20-Feb-11 23:13:29

she is wayyy too posh to push

PedlarsSpanner Sun 20-Feb-11 23:17:32

one of my DCs was a crash c section and honest to god I never ever realised that I ought to have viewed myself as a failure, and if I WAS viewed as a failure by HCPS then they were consummate professionals because I had NO IDEA, none at all

Everyone involved, me, family, medics, friends, all were relieved at the safe arrival of the baby and I only found out that I could have been considered a failure when I rocked up on MN a few years back

I wonder if this notion that you have failed a test if you have a c section is a new thing?

LittleCheesyPineappleOne Sun 20-Feb-11 23:18:45

I agree with her actually.

I love the NCT, think they do really good work; I volunteered for them for a few years after DC1.

I do however, remain very upset at how little information I got re c sections (no role play here), and how shabbily I was treated afterwards - like the couple in the article we were not being invited back to talk to the next class (the people who were invited back had had lovely waterbirths blah blah).

It took me a looooong time to get over my feelings of failure, until I had my second and third births by v positive elective sections. Although it's mostly my own issues, I don't think the NCT are entirely blameless.

monkey9237 Sun 20-Feb-11 23:18:55

My NCT classes barely touched on c-sections or bottle-feeding. The teacher even said "we dont want any of that Too Posh To Push nonsense here' when talking about the possibility of labour ending in a c-section. About half of the women in my class ended up having sections for one reason or another, and the NCT classes alone could not be said to have prepared anyone for it.

IngridFletcher Sun 20-Feb-11 23:24:09

95% of clients on NCT classes say they did cover c-sections. Some teachers choose not to cover c-sections but they should be up front about that before the course is booked. No NCT course covers bottle feeding but expressing and therefore sterilizing etc should be covered.

DirtyMartini Sun 20-Feb-11 23:26:18

I never bothered with NCT but a few people I know who did attend have told me that CS was not really given much discussion time (am in Edinburgh). I have def formed the impression that there are many NCT groups (not all) where participants get a sense of CS births being stigmatised.

DuelingFanjo Sun 20-Feb-11 23:27:53

"we were not being invited back to talk to the next class"

does this still happen? No one came to my class.

We didn't have anything on expressing which was a shame as I ended up having to do so and wasn't clear about what to do or how to sterilize.

IngridFletcher Sun 20-Feb-11 23:38:57

Different teachers do different things. There is no NCT way that all teachers follow. Some invite a couple from their last classes to come and talk about the birth and early parenting. If I was choosing someone to ask I would do so on personality and age of baby not type of birth.

MaMattoo Sun 20-Feb-11 23:41:35

I did not even find it remotely funny when I heard the 'too posh to push' phrase. We were not told much about c-secs because the whole shift in thinking is about trying the natural way and so we should not even dwell on c-secs, which we did not. I agree with KA about this.

I did not want a c-sec at all. I came home in pain with baby and still (10 months on) remember sitting in a puddle of tears, not able to get over the shock of what had just happened to my baby. Crying because i wanted to hold him close without feeling the pain. Hating the pain and hating myself for being so negative and hung up about what the medical community calls 'major surgery'.

OOAOML Sun 20-Feb-11 23:41:45

Our NCT class covered CS in quite a lot of detail, and there was support afterwards as well. There were 2 CS in a group of 6 couples (we were one of them). That was in Edinburgh 7 years ago (picking up on what DirtyMartini said).

DuelingFanjo Sun 20-Feb-11 23:44:36

is it a shift in tinking to have a natural birth? Surely the shift is towards medical/surgical intervention and that is a recent thing? I do believe that the more informed women are about their birth choices, the less likely it is that they will go down a path of intervention.

Not every C-section is an emergency.

icapturethecastle Mon 21-Feb-11 00:01:42

my NCT did cover it in a role-play way as well. However after having an EMCS and then going to bumps and babes my NCT leader was a bit dismissive of me and said I probably didn't need one really (heart beat slowing as cord around neck) and it was probably because I had been induced (2 weeks over). I can see this is probably true but she was a bit mean about it! It did irk me a bit but I was happy just to have my lovely baby. I was invited back afterwards though and have made some great friends!

Violethill Mon 21-Feb-11 08:17:48

Hmmm I'm in two minds about this.

My experience of NCT, is that although there is an underlying ethos of natural childbirth, the teachers will also try to tailor the course to any individual needs within the group. eg if a woman has had a previous section, then this may well be more of a focus than in another group, where they haven't.

The bottom line is, the vast majority of births have the potential to be natural. I assume Kirstie Allsop must be one of the minority who cannot give birth naturally, but we have to remember that's a minority. Even where a woman needs a CSection for a specific birth with one of her children, it doesn't mean it will be medically necessary for all (eg, I needed a Csection for dc2, but I had dc1 and 3 naturally).

We have to remember that the safest way, statistically, for a woman to deliver her baby is naturally. Of course there will be exceptions to that (as with my dc2) but its a general rule that holds true. Many CSections are carried out during a labour which could have had a natural outcome, but the cascade of intervention - perhaps the mother not being well supported enough, or given a range of natural pain relief options, or has an epidural and the labour is less effective - means a CS is the result.

I think the NCT are brilliant, and I don't believe they are in the business of trying to make anyone feel guilty - but I do think people need to be aware of what they are buying into. eg when a friend of mine, who was quite upfront about not being bothered by natural birth, and wanted "all the drugs going" asked me about NCT, I said that frankly, I would have felt it wasn't good value for money if I was sure I wanted a very medicalised birth. The emphasis is very much on breathing, relaxation, and natural methods, and it probably isn't best value if you're not someone who chooses that. (And yes, before anyone points it out, I know not everyone has the type of birth that they planned, but some women do decide they want medical intervention. I know quite a number who have specifically booked into hospitals where epidurals are available and routinely given, because thats what the woman wants.

So, all in all, I think the NCT are great, and I think a lot of this 'guilt' over CSections is misplaced, and isn't necessarily anyone's fault. I have certainly never, in real life, heard anyone call anyone else a failure for having a CSection. I have, on the other hand, come across some women who wish for themself that their labour had not been so medicalised.

My NCT class covered c-sections......spent quite a while on it as I recall. Refused to discuss formula though hmm

I meant to add that a lot of the content is down to the individual teacher rather than the organisation as a whole.

Avantia Mon 21-Feb-11 08:30:56

So has Kirsty attended very NCY class throughout the country and taken a survey to come to this conclusion ?

This below os from NCT website

'Find out as much as you can
A caesarean can be an extremely positive experience, when mothers feel confident that it was the right choice for them and that their wishes were respected. It may be planned in advance, called an ‘elective’ caesarean or it may have to be agreed at short notice, especially during labour, when it is termed an ‘emergency’ caesarean.

For some women the suggestion of a caesarean, or the decision to carry out the operation, will come as a welcome relief. The circumstances of each situation and the information that a woman has been given will combine to reassure her that a caesarean birth is definitely right for her and her baby at that time.

For other women, the prospect of a caesarean can be disappointment or distressing. If a woman has not been given enough information, or she is not convinced of the need for or the ‘rightness’ of a caesarean, then she may feel that she has no option but to agree, despite her misgivings. Under these circumstances a caesarean can, sadly, be a traumatic experience.

If you do not feel you have been given sufficient information, or you do not understand your circumstances as well as you would like to, do ask for more information. You have a right to a second opinion, and if there is time (for example, if it’s an elective caesarean) you can seek further information from elsewhere such as caesarean support organisations or the Internet. The NCT has a detailed book “Caesarean Birth your Questions Answered” which will give you more information.'

Sorry cant remeber wherther it was covered in my class or not some 10 yrs ago !

Unrulysun Mon 21-Feb-11 08:33:57

I wish I hadn't had an emcs but given that we'd both be very dead otherwise I think guilt is about the last emotion I feel.

My NCT class was awful, our teacher had absolutely no idea how to structure a course or a class or anything really. Talking about episiotomy she, rather memorably, claimed that 'as the baby crowns, some women tear but others have an orgasm' (I'll have option B please). I think as an organisation it needs to quality control far better than it has.

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