The NCT has been treated to a media thrashing of late…nothing new there though. It has been dragged by it’s hair in previous unfair attacks. The difference for me this time, is that I feel somewhat protective of the NCT now. Here is my story.
I was a pregnant 24 year old, living in an area of deprivation, in a city which is considered pretty posh. After being unimpressed with my hospital antenatal classes, I was searching for something else.
Some how I found an NCT leaflet. I saw that they did classes, and they did discounted classes for those on lower income. Starting at just £10 for those on the lowest income.
I went along to a nearly new sale to suss out what the NCT was about. Perhaps that was my mistake, but if I am honest, I felt so out of place amongst the middle class mothers, that I am sorry to say it scared me off going to the classes. So I didn’t book.
But my story doesn’t end there. That was not even the beginning. The first thing that became apparent to me after I had my first son, was that we were now in an exclusive club…WE WERE PARENTS. We now had membership to a world that you can only know, when you have children. Everything had changed.
I attended a breastfeeding peer support group. This was run by an NCT breastfeeding counsellor. And pretty soon I trained to be a peer supporter. The group was in the area of deprivation, that I lived in, and fellow peer supporters were from various backgrounds. It didn’t matter, we were bonded by motherhood, and the want to support others in their breastfeeding journey.
I was so inspired by the woman who was the breastfeeding counsellor that I decided that my life had to take the path of supporting others.
As I trained to become an antenatal facilitator, I really started to regret not attending an NCT class.
Our information is evidenced based, we encourage informed choice, we discuss more than ‘just’ breathing, positions and birth, we look at support and relationships too. More importantly I watch these parents going through this journey together. I think it is wonderful that they have eachother, that they will join the ‘parent club’ together. Because regardless of class, creed or colour, this club bonds us all. We all made that transition, and are on that pathway of learning, with our children, now as the teachers.
And what have I learnt? (except that the NCT is NOT just for the middle classes). The NCT is a charity, whose life began almost 60 years ago. From the learning of a man who saw that less fear of childbirth resulted in relatively pain free births. And the NCT is continuously growing, evolving, it is now finding it’s place as an inclusive family charity, with many Dad’s now becoming involved. And that maybe, just maybe don’t judge something by public opinion alone, because you could be missing out, on that very thing that you are seeking.