I was in the dressing room in Mothercare a couple of weeks ago, as I'd had to surrender the battle I'd been having with not spending money on maternity jeans, and was full of eye-rolling and a little irritation at a posting that they had up. It was an advertisement for an independent ante-natal class and went as follows:
Encouraging "informed choices" to the challenges of your pregnancy, labour and post-natal period.
Exploring the use of alternative therapies as a means of support at all stages, i.e. homeopathy, reflexology and massage.
Small informal groups in a friendly relaxed open environment.
Facilitated by an experienced registered midwife and professional homeopath.
What I found hilarious was the quotation marks around "informed choices"
What I found less hilarious was there was another ante-natal class posting above it that said nothing about homeopathy or alternative therapies, but listed the same midwife as the contact person.
It also upset me slightly that this is coming from a registered midwife (and what on earth is a "professional" homeopath?)
The good news is I did attend the ante-natal classes that are run officially by Portlaoise Hospital, also by registered midwives and found it fantastic. Aside from the fact they benefited from several decades of experience, they completely embraced all new research and findings rather than sticking to "old ways" as one might be worried. No mention was made of any kind of "alternative" therapies, no mention of home births, and there was even a stern-yet-gentle lecture on why women shouldn't attempt to go through child birth without pain medication. They didn't even entertain the notion of not vaccinating children.
So while there are nonsense-peddlers out and about, it's nice to know that the HSE seems to be running on scientific knowledge.
(On a related note, I went for spa treatment at The Heritage a few weeks ago; it was a specific pregnancy treatment, and I was already at a rather obvious stage of my pregnancy, yet the therapist there still felt the need to tell me that - because she practices reflexology - she was able to tell from my feet that I was pregnant and had to go to the bathroom a lot.