Following a story in the Times over the weekend, today’s headlines in the Telegraph, the Independent, the Sun and the Daily Mail all report that women will ‘finally be given the right to a Caesarean on the NHS’ as detailed in the recently revised National Institute of Clinical Excellence draft guidelines.
Luckily, in Brighton and Hove, the doctors at the Royal Sussex County Hospital already support women who choose C-Section for a variety of extremely valid personal reasons. But the team have also established a Normalising Birth Project – aimed to improve rates of natural birth. Part of this initiative saw the creation of a Birth Options clinic – where we are encouraged by our doctors and midwives to think about the possible impact of unnecessary C-Section on our health and the health of our babies. There is also renewed investment in antenatal education (which can help soothe fears around childbirth), a rising home birth rate (which reduces the need for C-section and increases birth satisfaction) and plenty of active birth equipment in the labour ward – so those women who want a normal birth have the best chance of getting one.
In August and September, midwives, doctors and local women celebrated a reduction in C-Section rates in our city. Choice is essential – some women will always want a C-Section. But the evidence in the Normal Birth Consensus Statement (see below) suggests the majority of women would prefer – if possible – to give birth themselves. Lets hope the recent press doesn’t reverse this trend.
Read the NormalBirthConsensusStatement here. For more information about C-Section, your options and the risks/benefits, have a look at NHS Choices. Need support or a friendly chat – whatever your birth choices ? Contact Hannah via the ‘Contact Us’ page.