Kirstie Allsopp's love of tweeting has made her the focus of yet another media storm.
The TV property expert and mum of two, no stranger to controversy, lambasted the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) for failing to give mothers the support and encouragement needed if they opt for a Caesarean birth.
Allsopp's view is that there is too much pressure on mums to have the "perfect natural birth" and those mothers who don't are considered "failures".
A quarter of the 700,000 babies born each year are now delivered by Caesarean, up from just 9 per cent 30 years ago. Just under half of the operations are now planned, leading to claims some women are "too posh to push".
The public spat between Allsopp and the NCT's chief executive Belinda Phipps began when Allsopp asked her 95,000 online followers if anyone had been on an NCT course recently and if so, was there any information/discussion on what happens if a C-section is needed. Mrs Phipps response that "fitting in everything is the problem" when it comes to discussing birth delivery options met with this cutting response from Allsopp: "Not talking C-sections during a childbirth course is like not talking Shakespeare during an English literature course." The heated debate reached a peak when Allsopp accused Phipps of being "reckless" and Phipps responded by saying Allsopp's reasoning "did not make sense".
Allsopp's first son, Bay, was delivered by emergency Caesarean in 2006. Second time round her hopes to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after Caesarean) were dashed when doctors warned that as Bay was a whopping 11lb 11oz, she was at risk of a "definite rupture" unless she had a Caesarean. Oscar, her second son, was safely delivered using the recommended method.
Allsopp, 39, who publically supports midwife-led delivery units said: "I suspect giving birth naturally is one of the most life-enhancing experiences you can have if it goes well.
"That's the dream, but for a quarter of women it is not the reality, and we need to make sure they don't feel like a failure.
I'm a confident woman and I know I took the best advice.
"But it makes me want to cry that some women don't have the information they need at such an important time. It has got to stop."
Posted by Penny Hosie on 21.2.11
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