Caesareans and “One World Birth”

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Alto Films who made the brilliant documentary, “Doula!  The Ultimate Birth Companion” have set up a new website, One World Birth is a free video resource about birth issues aimed at professionals, campaigners and parents who want to keep their finger on the pulse of what is happening in birth today.  There is a wealth of video clips on all topics birth-related with interviews from some of the most respected individuals in the world.  I am loving dipping into the videos and hearing so many opinions that echo my own about how women have become so fearful around birth.  I have been particularly saddened to hear of and read birth stories recently where women have felt so unsupported, out of control, bullied and cajoled into making decisions they don’t agree with.  No wonder the c-section rate is at almost 30% in London and the induction and intervention rates so incredibly high.  I appreciate that having a doula is not an option for everyone, or may not be something a couple feel comfortable with, so I am always happy to work antenatally with a couple – to spend time talking, listening, preparing and supporting them in the run up to the birth.  Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if that is something you feel would be of benefit.  I will happily tailor-make a package to suit you.

You may have seen quite a lot of coverage in the press recently about caesareans.  NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) are reviewing their guidelines about whether an elective caesarean should be allowed to those women requesting one for no other reason other than fear of natural birth.   At present, women who request a c-section are encouraged to have counselling to discuss their reasons for opting for that method of birth, which I support (listening to, reflecting and moving on from a previous birth experience/s is a large part of my job).  Perhaps the media portrayal of those women “too posh to push” has created a dangerous precedent (although I have it on authority from a lovely midwife at Chelsea & Westminster that “Posh Spice” Victoria Beckham, was very keen to have a natural birth with her first baby, but ended up with an emergency section!).  It certainly confounds me, as someone who had to have two emergency c-sections, how anyone would opt to have major abdominal surgery over what is a natural physiological process.  The recovery alone takes so much longer, which has such a profound affect on those early, important days with a new baby.  But, I believe that every woman has a right to choose how she gives birth, and I support every single one of my clients’ decisions (within the bounds of my job description) as long as I know that I have given her or signposted the information for her to make a considered choice.  And that, at the end of the day, is the most important thing – that a woman “owns” her birth.  Whatever the outcome she can look back and know with certainty that she had a voice.