As a doula, I’m not allowed to tell women what I think they should be doing regarding their forthcoming births – I can only let them know what their options are and what the pros and cons of certain things might be. Even when I have presented things to the best of my abilities, occasionally women will still choose the “option” that I KNOW isn’t the best one! I would like to use this space to tell it like it is – if there is something that I really think you would be mad to do, I will say so. If there is something that is pretty much guaranteed to improve your birth experience, I will say so.
I have a handful of children myself and after much research, soul searching, and truly awful “advice” from the medics, I chose to VBAC after multiple caesareans. I didn’t explode, and my baby and I didn’t die. I have witnessed many births since then and I have helped many more women to achieve births that were memorable in a GOOD way.
Our culture is such that most women seem happy to go along with whatever their doctors tell them they have to do, without taking the time to do their own research into what is best for them. We are shown images of horrific childbirth (mostly huge works of fiction) on tv, and the competition between women to see who has had the worst/longest/most painful birth seems to be growing all the time. Caesarean section is NOT the safe easy option that is portrayed, and vaginal birth does NOT have to be an experience filled with fear and pain. We do NOT have to be drugged up to the eyeballs to get through it and big babies are nothing to be afraid of.
Let’s reclaim our rights! Say NO to unnecessary induction, NO to unnecessary caesareans and YES to giving birth in a better way and let common sense prevail
I am not anti-caesarean, far from it. It is a brilliant operation that is an essential tool for skilled obstetricians to use to save the lives of the small percentage of babies that require it. However, if it were used simply for those who really need it, our CS rate would be between 1 and 5%. The average in the UK at the moment is more than 1 in 4 births which includes “emergency” and repeat caesareans. ONE IN FOUR!!!! That is ridiculous!!!!
In some hospitals, whole wards are devoted solely to the women who come in daily for induction of labour, most of whom are only there because they are “overdue”. 40+10 is NOT overdue! Unless there is a good medical reason for induction, stay at home ladies. The Guidelines state that a woman should be able to choose regular scans instead of induction to check on her baby’s well being, placental function and amount of amniotic fluid. So why doesn’t this happen? It doesn’t happen because it hospitals have more control over their intake if women are induced. God forbid that they should all wait till labour starts naturally and come in without having made a prior appointment…….. of course, the party line is that your placenta will stop working at 42 weeks and your baby will die. But this is why regular scans are recommended in the guidelines, so that everyone KNOWS what is happening……..but still women go in every day, like lambs to the slaughter, because they “have” to.
If just one woman reads this blog and thinks twice about what she has been told she “has” to do by her doctor, and that woman takes the time to educate herself a little more about childbirth and goes on to make a truly INFORMED decision about her care, I shall consider my time well spent