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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?

tiktok Sun 06-Jan-13 12:23:02

Have answered your PM, GreenEggs smile

I'm glad NCT is political, BTW. What's wrong with that? Support for new parents involves campaigning, contact with government and policy drivers; it needs a clear focus and sound thinking about what is needed in order for parents to be supported. You want better paternity leave? You want more and better midwifery? You think women should have good facilities at work to enable them to express milk? And so on.

You have to get your hands in the political pie to be listened to and to effect change.

AmberSocks Sun 06-Jan-13 14:47:34

never felt the need to go to ante natal classes so cant omment on that,but i think he only people who make women feel guilty are other women.

Shagmundfreud Sun 06-Jan-13 17:54:34

"No, I don't think the NCT is scary. Dogmatic? A bit, despite protestations. Political? A bit, yep. More so with every year."

What, political because it's raising a protest about the rising tide of caesarean sections and emergency intervention in birth? And because of it campaigns for women to have more choices in birth and better care?

Too damn right it's political when it comes to these issues, and thank FUCK that someone is flagging this issue up and not just standing to one side while increasing numbers of women are traumatised by bad care.

And FWIW - the Royal College of Midwives make vastly more noise than the NCT about the importance of normal birth to women and babies. Actually they've set up a whole website to promote normal birth: here

"Together, we can change the way childbirth happens. The Campaign aims to inspire and support normal birth practice. It's a reminder that good birth experiences can happen despite the challenges. Intervention and caesarean shouldn't be the first choice - they should be the last."
(from the RCM website. Imagine if the NCT had that statement on their website, what a hammering they would get!)

And given that this is the case - why the hell isn't the RCM being demonised for guilt tripping women who have medicalised births, or who choose not to breastfeed?"

Why is it only the NCT who is being hammered for voicing EXACTLY the same concerns as the RCM?

"My midwife friend told me that the NCT often sets people up for disappointment and that she has had to comfort too many women over the years who view pain relief as failure and having a c-section as abnormal rather than lifesaving."

I know a couple of midwives who slag the NCT off for setting women up with unrealistic expectations which are then disappointed. These midwives work in a setting where women are often getting suboptimal care. Far better to slag the NCT off (when actually they usually have NO IDEA what the woman has been told as regards pain relief) than accept their much, much more important role in women's disappointing experiences of labour.

IrnBruTheNoo Sun 06-Jan-13 18:06:29

Never been to NCT classes so cannot comment on what they are like. I do think it is covered brilliantly by the NHS classes though (well, the ones I attended were covered extremely well by the midwife taking them, with various speakers too). We had lots of 'worse case scenario' type advice. I wanted real advice, the gritty kind.

Shagmundfreud Sun 06-Jan-13 19:18:10

IrnBru - 'worse case' scenarios would include a mother in ICU or dead. Three women died in the space of 12 weeks in my local hospital in 2011. Substandard care was found to be a contributing factor in two of the deaths. I've observed a good few NHS classes and I've yet to witness a midwife acknowledging that some women will get suboptimal care, which may impact on their experience of the birth and the mode of birth. And yet when this very important issue is acknowledged in NCT classes the NCT is accused of being anti-doctor and also, perversely, for being idealistic about birth.

IrnBruTheNoo Sun 06-Jan-13 19:39:25

Shag I was actually referring to the most common types of 'worse case scenarios' as in the types of births, i.e. you don't always get the birth you want that you've dreamed of on your birth plan.

Shagmundfreud Sun 06-Jan-13 20:03:32

I think IrnBru, you'll find that the majority of women already know LONG before they attend antenatal classes that many, many mums have emergency c/s, forceps and ventouse deliveries.

janey68 Sun 06-Jan-13 21:25:52

When I had my first dc in a MLU, the midwife who had delivered my baby was siting chatting to me 24 hours later during a night feed (yes- they had TIME to sit and chat and be supportive there!) She chatted about her previous job in the large district hospital which I would have gone to if I hadn't booked into the MLU. She told me how much more rewarding it was to work in the MLU, how midwives were allowed to get on with their specialised role of supporting women in labour without the numerous pressures in a bustling hospital. Her only disappointment about the role was that more women didn't choose to deliver there. A lot of mums transferred (as fast as possible) after delivering in hospital but she really wished more women realised that for a normal pregnancy, the MLU was a really good option, with a 100% safety record.

A big part of it was down to the NCT that I made that choice, Because the focus on non invasive pain relief helped me feel confident that I could cope. At the end of the day, the majority of births could be like that.
I'm not viewing it through rose tinted specs- it was a long painful labour but I was well supported by my midwife which is key

A final word: if kirstie Allsop needed csections to save her babies lives then why on earth would she feel bad about it? IME the cases where women feel negative about interventions like CS or forceps or epidural is when they realise their experience could have been different. No way are a quarter of births in the UK medically necessary as CS (in some hospitals nearer 50%). There is a world of difference between a life saving intervention and one which actually could have been avoided.

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