Tuesday, 6 March 2012

expertise without experience?

A leading childcare author has come under fire in the media for publishing a comment in her latest book, suggesting that women should have sex with their partners soon after the birth so that they do not feel left out.

Gina Ford claimed in the book that women should start to get closer to their partners again from four to six weeks after giving birth, even if they don’t feel like it.

Other comments published in the book were from contributors to the forums on her website and stated opinions such as “You just have to grin and bear it.”

Now while in principle the idea of not shutting out the father of your baby is not a bad one, and trying to get back to having some adult time has some merit, I’m not entirely sure you can put a timeframe on these things. After all, every birth is different, and every mother reacts differently to having given birth. Having a baby is a life-changing event, not something you go through and then bounce back from back into how things were – things just don’t work like that.

But I have a deeper issue with this.

Gina Ford has herself never had children. She has cared for children, but she has herself never given birth, and yet she is selling a book based on her own opinions of how women should react after having given birth.

How on earth can you claim to know what people should do and how they should act if you have never experienced that which you are commenting on?

Let’s face it – everyone has their own opinions of most things. But the difference is that on the whole, they are merely opinions and nothing else. You can’t possibly seek to claim expertise over something of which you have absolutely no experience.

Gina Ford is entitled to her opinions on how people should behave after having given birth, but it is a dangerous road to go down to then sell those opinions in the name of expertise, when there is no experience to back them up.

People should have sex between four to six weeks after giving birth – that is Gina Ford’s opinion and should not be treated as anything more than that.

Gina ford does not know what she is talking about – that is a fact, and anyone who buys the book should bear that in mind before taking on the advice of someone who has no first-hand knowledge of what they are talking about.


  1. Gina's father left her mother I believe when Gina was a child. Gina's mother was supposedly a bit of a so-called "attachment parent". Her books may reflect that fact.
    They have nothing to do with us or our family, so yes I would firmly ignore her and other so-called expert's opinions.
    I read that the Baby whisperer, for example, left her kids behind in the UK and moved to the US with her new partner to nanny other people's kids. Again, I would firmly ignore her too!

  2. I agree with what you've said. Also think that any "grin and bear it" instructions when it comes to sex, veer mildly into the territory of rape. No one should really be telling anyone else when they should and shouldn't be having sex.