C-sections to be available for all who demand them?

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

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  • I couldn’t agree more.
    My wife and I were discussing this very subject this morning and we both were in agreement; a Cesarian Section should not be elective. Of course there are exceptions, but those exceptions should be in emergencies and determined by medical staff. The parent[s] in question should not be able demand it.

    The right to choose has become some kind of ‘Sledgehammer Of Will’ that people use to swing around their heads until they get their own way, regardless of necessity. The use of a C-Section should be determined by a Doctor alone.

  • I really don’t believe that many people choose, or would or will choose, to have a C Section because it fits in, or that they are ‘too posh to push’ (a phrase that is at the top of my most hated expressions).

    I doubt that the stats will change all that much.

    I am glad that tokophobia is starting to be taken seriously, and hope that the ridicule which some people who have had cesareans suffer will decrease.

  • I agree with you completely. It annoys me that they’re prepared to give all women the right to a c section but not to a home birth. I’m not necessarily saying there should be that right but why should you be able to demand one and not the other. I don’t know the figures but surely the cost implications are no bigger for a home birth.

    I’ve had one natual birth and one c section as my daughter was transverse (incidentally MB I had 2 babies over 10lbs and midwives and doctors were convinced I must have had gestational diabetes and were gobsmacked when the test showed I didn’t but I digress). Before I had my daughter I was very much opposed to a c-section unless it was absolutely and totally necessary. When they told me she was transverse I wanted them to try to turn her so I could give birth naturally. In the end I went into labour, my waters broke, there was meconium in them, she was still transverse and her safety and well being became the only thing that mattered. Having had a c section they are not as bad as I thought (I was driving within 3 weeks, out of hospital after 2 nights and lifting a toddler 3 weeks later through circumstances not choice but I was fine). I am not as anti as I was but I still fail to see why you would have one unless it was judged medically necessary (it is absolutely major surgery).

    It is also a fact that the NHS resources are stretched to breaking point in many areas. If we’re not prepared to pay more for it we have to accept its limitations.

  • I blogged about this recently and completely agree, but from what I can tell many women were being refused even the option of discussing sections on psychological grounds, and now they can. I do worry it opens the flood gates though and I am sure some mums may try it for the convenience, hopefully these women will see sense when they are told exactly what a section involves!

  • I enjoyed reading your post.
    I totally agree with you, c-sections are serious surgery and shouldn’t be taken lightly. I had one with my son and I will be trying for a VBAC next time, unless there is a medical reason to suggest to otherwise e.g. low lying placenta, GD, twins! (My c-section decision was very dodgey, based on hospital being too busy and consultant wanting to go home!) I would never recommend a c-section to anyone. The recovery is horrid. I cannot imagine trying to look after F and a new baby if I need another c-section! Hence my decision to opt for VBAC.
    If people are afraid or worried about childbirth then special measures need to be put into place. Maybe meetings with other mums who have had children. The problem is everyone loves to share their ‘horror stories’ about birth so no wonder people want c-section without even trying for normal delivery.
    I could go into a major rant about it! Lol but a well balanced post. I enjoyed reading 🙂