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The Vote: Caesarean V Natural Birth

Lynda Moyo isn’t too posh to push but might like to weigh up her options

Written by . Published on October 31st 2011.

The Vote: Caesarean V Natural Birth

WHEN the mother of my Godson was pregnant, she was adamant she would give birth the ‘African way’. To put it bluntly, this would consist of squatting down and pushing him out.

After 30 hours of labour, she did just that and regardless of the intense, torturing pain endured, she insists she wouldn’t have had it any other way.

C-section should certainly not be thought of as an easy option. If women are to be given a choice, it should be an informed one whereby they are fully aware of what can go wrong.

The truth is, even if she wanted to, she didn’t have a choice back then. This week however, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has revealed plans to give all women the right to give birth by caesarean section – an announcement my friend, for one, was shocked and horrified at.

The crux of her argument is quite simply that you shouldn’t meddle with Mother Nature, especially at the expense of the tax payer. Kids Confidential editor and mother of one, Denise McGlinchey, also expressed concerns.

She said: “Women just opting for the easy option, or what they think is the easy option, is very typical of the sort of society we've become. Normal child birth, as painful and horrendous as it is, is natural.

“Giving an option is opening the flood gates to women who simply can't be bothered to go through the pain of labour and birth, the inevitable ripping, stretching and the unpredictable nature of birth. It means they'll see it as something that can simply be jotted down in a diary, whilst they get on with decorating the nursery.”  

Caesarean. Booked it, packed it...Caesarean. Booked it, packed it...

She has a point. Most women are perfectly equipped to give birth and without even needing to go into statistics, there’s something almost immoral when it comes to interrupting nature’s way unnecessarily.

But then what do I know? I don’t have any children and whilst I’d like to think I’d be the ultimate natural-birthing, breast-feeding, food-blending Earth Mother, I can’t predict how I might feel at the time.

I may find it easier to bottle feed. I may find it less time consuming to buy jarred baby food. And I may also find the option of a c-section more forgiving, given that I’m frequently told by friends and relatives that giving birth is “the single most painful thing you could ever experience”.

It’s not even always a case of ‘too posh to push’ as the papers would lead you to believe. In many ways we are lucky to live in a society with developed medical systems. Epidurals and IVF are, for example, an interference in the natural pattern of pregnancy. In fact the likelihood of having a birth without any medical intervention these days is slim.

Yet those same mothers who tell me their childbirth woes will also attest that after seeing their bundle of joy “it’s worth the pain”. Mixed emotions as a result of what is one of the most amazing, natural phenomena on the planet.

Child birth is a complicated and risky business. If you’re lucky enough to get pregnant in the first place (as long as you want the child), it’s just the beginning of a lifetime of decision-making for the benefit of your kid. When it comes down to it, that’s what’s important – what’s best for the unwitting, unborn child and the mother who’s bearing him or her.

C-section should certainly not be thought of as an easy option. If women are to be given a choice, it should be an informed one whereby they are fully aware of what can go wrong.

And most importantly, it should be a choice based on medical advice and not just because Posh Spice does it.

Do you think caesarean sections should be given on demand?

Follow Lynda on Twitter @lyndamoyo

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8 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Work Experience shared this on Facebook on October 31st 2011.
AnonymousOctober 31st 2011.

In my opinion it's generally best to go with nature's way if you can.
Aside from that our national Health Service is struggling and it seems wrong to divert funds from patients who may really need stuff as a matter of life and death (or even an ongoing more comfortable life/death).
The feeling after giving birth was, for me, amazing and I wouldn't want to have missed it. Being up and about very quickly afterwards and not having to have a catheter are also massive plus points for a natural birth.

AnonymousNovember 7th 2011.

I have 4 children, and I had my first by caesarian at the age of 19, there was no choice, I had a placental abruption and it was an emergency. Prior to that I wanted a caesarian, because the thought of giving birth scared the life out of me. The recovery time from my caesarian seemed endless, I was in pain, I couldn't breastfeed, I had trouble picking my son up, I couldn't sleep. All this impacted on my happiness as a new mum, I was, in essence, redundant.
My midwife gave me a good talking to on the matter when I became pregnant 7 years later, and because the section had been an emergency and not a physical problem, she said there was no reason I couldn't have a VBAC. I went on to have three normal births, and they were the most amazing experiences of my life. Yes, they were painful, but I was pretty much back to normal and I could enjoy my babies. Too many people take the idea of having a caesarian lightly, it's money that could be much better spent on other areas in the NHS, it shouldn't be a choice unless there's a good medical reason for it.

AnonymousNovember 7th 2011.

I have had two emergency caesareans and the recovery from them was an absolute nightmare. My husband had to lift me up so that I could get out of bed and it went on for weeks. I was told that for your body it's like recovering from a car crash. In no way should it be considered an easy option, it's just different and should only be used if it's medically necessary.

IndigobaobabNovember 7th 2011.

It may be about the type of society we have become, but frankly what's wrong with choice?

I am yet to give birth but I have heard stories from friends and colleagues of prolonged vaginal births, babies getting stuck, women almost dying, perineums ripped to shreds, urethral incontinence, prolapsed uteri which is enough to put me off pregnancy- if a surgical procedure means I reduce the chances of complications, have an obstetrician in attendance who won't wander off because there is insufficient staff and a planned delivery- why shouldn't it be an option?

AnonymousNovember 7th 2011.

Surgical procedures do not necessarily mean a reduction in complications, bladder and bowel problems, post op wound infection can be a result of caesarean section, make sure you understand all the pros and cons before signing the consent form

Julia KnowlesNovember 7th 2011.

Well done on raising this important issue, its not something everyone thinks about.

Lizzi TravisNovember 8th 2011.

I had an emergency caesarean and apart from a scar I'm fine now. My sister gave birth naturally and needed an epesiotomy, had stitches and now has very bad piles and needs tena pads when she laughs. I know which I'd go for next time....

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