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NCT: Not For Me
Childbirth & Labour Childbirth & Labour
NCT: Not For Me
July 30, 2018
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Childbirth & Labour Childbirth & Labour
NCT: Not For Me
July 30, 2018
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When you announce you’re pregnant there are the few prerequisite questions that people tend to always ask. Namely: “Do you know what you’re having?”; “When is your due date?”; “Have you had morning sickness?” and then the inevitable – “Are you doing NCT?”. For me, from very early on it was a firm no.

For the record, I’m not against NCT in principle. In fact, I have many friends who met their best-friends-for-life at NCT, and there is no denying the brilliance that the classes instil in terms of information and education. But for me, there was instantly something that felt unnatural about being consigned into friendships based on aligned due dates and postcodes.

I’m naturally sociable, I like to be around people, but I also know what I am like when it comes to comparing myself to others. One of the things that people rarely talk about in advance of motherhood is the undercurrent of competitiveness amongst mums. Are you still breastfeeding? Is your baby not sleeping through the night yet? What – you’re co-sleeping?! I was already so nervous about becoming a mum, I decided I didn’t want to additionally emotionally invest in the roller-coaster that can come with new relationships. It was almost a self-preservation tactic and I decided to go my own way.

I was lucky though. I had girlfriends who were on maternity leave at the same time and a sister-in-law who had just had a baby that lived within 5 minutes walking distance. So instead, I happily signed up for hypno-birthing classes, pregnancy yoga and antenatal classes at my hospital. Limited contact with other parents to be, no numbers exchanged, just the right amount of support and knowledge-gathering. Enough to keep my nerves at bay.

“I was already so nervous about becoming a mum, I decided I didn’t want to additionally emotionally invest in the roller-coaster that can come with new relationships,”

Birth came and went, my own combination of classes pulled me through. Then there were the eight months of maternity leave with my baby and I finding our rhythm and our way in the world. There were definitely moments I felt lonely. When friends or family were otherwise engaged and I needed another human to talk to whilst waiting for my husband to come home from work, these were the times when it would have been good to have some other mamas on standby. But we muddled through and everything was ok.

Incidentally there is an app called Peanut which wasn’t around when I had my little boy, but had it have been available I would definitely have made use of it. It’s kind of like a Tinder for mums. You can put a message out there to signal to other mums in your area that you’re around for a chat, a walk, a coffee. It’s like a mum matchmaker. You can dip and out of it as you like, without the commitment of a Whatsapp group or the promise of life-long friendship. A brilliant idea if I ever heard of one. And of course, it was created by a mama.

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