This has been announced today and I have to say that I do not agree with this at all.
And I say that as somebody who has had three C-sections on health grounds. I had gestational diabetes with each of my pregnancies which resulted in the first two being whoppers (over 10lbs) so I had elective C-sections. E, my third, was smaller (still 9lbs) but I was advised that having had two already, I really should not try to give birth naturally so the decision was made very early on in my pregnancy by my consultant to have a third elective in week 39.
I come from a camp that is very much “whatever is best for baby and mum” and don’t for one minute feel that I have been “cheated out of a natural delivery”.
I think it is easy to lose sight of the fact that this is major abdominal surgery and should never be viewed as an easy way to deliver. It is not unusual to be barely able to stand up straight for a couple of days, and certainly driving is banned for six weeks. A stay in hospital of at least a week is usually mandatory. Some mums are unable to hold their babies for the first few days.
What impact is all of this going to have on beds in wards? Time in operating theatres? Staffing? And ultimately, and crucially, funding? Where is all this extra money to pay for a week’s care, not to mention the surgery itself, going to come from?
The idea that it could be only a matter of time before we possibly get to “I need this baby out on the 28th because I have a meeting on the 4th” angers me. Babies should, wherever necessary, arrive when they are ready. Not when we decide to extract them.
I heard a lady being interviewed this morning who said “it is my right to have my baby however I wish” and to an extent she is right. In the western world it is a luxury that we do have that option. An option that many women in the world are denied.
However, and I am going to stick my neck on the line here, if you think it is your right to a C-section, then I believe you should pay for it privately. Obviously I am not talking about the medically advised ones, or the emergencies. Or even the women, and I know a few, who are terrified of actually giving birth. Whenever there are medical or psychological grounds and the procedure is in the best interest of the mum or baby (physically or mentally) of course it should be considered. I am not disputing that.
My issue is that “too posh or busy to push” could become more and more common.
With a finite pot of cash propping up the NHS money to pay for these C-sections on demand is going to be drawn away from other areas, it stands to reason. And I think, personally, that is wrong.
This is my Day 23 post for NaBloPoMo