If you really want to know about the new NICE guidelines on c-sections…

… READ THEM.

I cannot stress this enough. Here is the link. Read them if you’re interested, if it affects you or if you have an opinion. When you’ve read them, then come back and say it is all going to be a catastrophe for the NHS.

I already knew that the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) were about to update their guidelines on c-sections for pregnant women. I wrote about it for iVillage, with regards to my own experiences and why the updated guidelines were welcome for women like me.  In my article, I pointed out that one of the most important recommendations in the document, for me, was the need for:

intervention for evaluation [including] ‘psychological outcomes (postnatal depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, self-esteem, mother–infant bonding)’ and cites a previous traumatic birth as a major reason for a section being a reasonable choice. It also states that these women should be offered ‘intensive midwifery support’ and referrals to mental health professionals.

For me, the fact that medical professionals are being encourage to counsel women on their reasons for wanting a c-section, is a massive deal. It also means that most of the views I have heard from the media today are complete rubbish.

For the sake of selling a story, the media are choosing to tell us that all women can choose a c-section and that’s the end of it. Yes, that would cost the NHS a lot of money. If it was that simple. It isn’t. NICE are suggesting that women be assessed for emotional well-being and psychological factors. NICE are suggesting that counselling is the first option for women like me, in order to fully understand the reasons behind our decision to have a c-section.

Women like me are only too aware that a c-section is a major operation. You don’t need to remind us of that. I’ve been there, I have the scars. Women like me are not intent on avoiding pain or keeping a ‘nice, undisturbed set of privates’ as someone has accused me today. Women like me are not out to rip off the NHS. We are simply asking for help. NICE are showing that we are being listened to and that is the reason why the new guidelines are so important.

Today a male doctor was speaking on the radio and he started his sentence with the words :”If I were a young mother about to give birth…” and I have to admit that instantly my stomach sank. Then he finished with: “I would be more worried about being a good parent than the birth because it is such a small part of it all.”

Yes, for most women it is. But for some, like me, childbirth is a massive chain around our necks. If we get the chance to speak out, to be listened to and to nurture self-confidence in the art of childbirth then that could change. But it will never be a small thing: instead, it will be bigger than ever, only in a good way.

Today, one excellent article has been published that was written by a lady who has always been one of the first to provide me with support and guidance. Lorraine Berry has written for Dadclubz  and her article raises many good points. Please take a read. It makes a lot more sense than the women on radio one this evening…

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3 responses to “If you really want to know about the new NICE guidelines on c-sections…

  • Notanottinghill Mum

    Noone who knows what a c section is really like would choose to have one unless the alternative was , for her, worse. I have filmed several and don’t need to tell you that the screen is up for a reason – it looks like a battle field from the waist down, though the moment of birth – which sadly the mum doesn’t really see either way – is of course just as incredible and moving. I have also interviewed the mothers afterwards – just as the painkillers were beginning to wear off!

    When I was prepped for an emergency c section with child 2 I cried – I was lucky ( from my perspective) the hospital was so busy and I was not their top emergency that by the time the theatre came free I was virtually there – I just suffered being ripped a little with forceps.

    I’m sure most women are well aware that a C section is not an easy option and will have very good reasons for choosing it as you did. If of course they are not aware they certainly need to understand the reality – though a film of it I think would be going too far!

    But the main thing about birth is it is intensely personal and very different for everyone- for most painful and hard too, and so women need to be given all the support there is in whatever choice they make.

  • Honest Mum

    Read this post with real interest. The new guidelines were born from offering women their human rights and I believe no one should be denied a C Section if that is best for the mother (and child) whether that’s for an emotional or physical reason.

  • Sam

    Having had a c-section due to failure to progress and 2 vbacs i am actually considering a c section this time!
    my recovery frm c section was not good, my recovery from episotomy was worse, my 2nd vbac was a still birth due to cord prolapse, i am riddled with guilt for not pushing for a c section, i didnt listen to myself and gave in to the statistics everyone was pushing my way.
    Even though my last vbac was fast and a healthy baby born, i feel it was brutal and as i say i feel guilty for risking a potential problem such a cord prolapse which has happened to me previously. When my baby died i wanted a c section but they wanted to give me more chances of having further babies, my 2nd vbac although successful physically, mentally it has done much worse, i feel like a terrible mother for taking a risk and cannot see myself doing the same again – so for that reason i welcome the new guidelines as atleast i get to speak seriously with someone and see if they can counsel me to think and feel differently because i have done the vbacs without pain relief and a back to back baby! ive done the c section recovery but for some reason still feel a c section is best for MY SANITY this time round.

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