You may have read that under new draft guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), the NHS should give pregnant women the right to elect to have a caesarean section, even where there is no medical need. The reason being NICE feel that caesareans have become so safe that every woman should be given an informed choice to give birth surgically.
The idea has of course opened a very emotive debate amongst women, with some extremes suggesting that all those ‘too posh to push’ are doing themselves out of a ‘real’ birth. Quotes like these completely detract from the real issue that all women should to be able to make an informed choice about birth that is right for them.
Whatever your own experience the fact is many women are scared of childbirth and find it comforting that they could opt for a c-section during their pregnancy and labour.
On the other side of the coin, I’m hoping that if these guidelines become a reality (and it looks likely the cost may well scupper the plans), the idea that a caesarean is the ‘easy’ option will be squashed once and for all. As anyone who has a caesarean will tell you, a c-section does not equal a less painful birth. Aside from the fact that it’s a major operation, the recovery is brutal, especially if you’re coping alone, or have other kids to look after.
When I was pregnant the information I received leaned so much towards a natural birth that had I been given the option of a c-section during labour I would have been completely unprepared for it. Which is why I think given the right information most women wouldn’t opt for a c-section. Not because they feel they have to do it naturally but because the reality has nothing to do with being ‘too posh to push’.
But what do you think? Will letting women choose for themselves open the c-section floodgates? Do you wish you’d been given the choice? Or do you feel women should always be encouraged to try for a natural birth? Let me know.
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