Cash-strapped hospitals are going to ban women from having non-essential caesarean births.
Well about time.
A quarter of pregnant women have caesareans now. I’ve long believed that hospitals are giving in too easily to women pushing for them.
Though not because of the substantial unnecessary cost to the NHS.
True, every caesarean costs £760 more than a traditional birth and a drop of one per cent would save the NHS some £5.6million a year.
True, thousands are waiting on the cash-strapped NHS for operations to relieve their pain or rebuild their lives as pregnant women insist on their right to an operation they don’t need and call it patient choice.
But my view is medics should be cutting deeper into the pregnant woman’s psyche to find out why she really thinks it’s the best option.
It’s too simplistic to say the rise is celebrity-led. That they are simply following the example of the too-posh-to-pushers, like Madonna, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Liz Hurley and Victoria Beckham were rumoured to be.
A tiny percentage may well be vain enough to think that major surgery is the best way of keeping their nether regions neat and tidy.
To my mind, many are either unnaturally afraid of giving birth naturally, or they think it’s the more convenient option.
Career women are used to planning; they run their entire lives according to a schedule and that can easily veer from a necessity to a compulsion.
Then along comes the biggest life change of all – the arrival of their baby – and there’s not a damned thing they can do about controlling it. A natural birth? You don’t know when it’s going to happen, what it’s going to feel like, or how it’s going to turn out.
Many think a caesarean will be the safer option, They are wrong. It’s major surgery. Women who have a caesarean are three times more likely to die in labour. Their babies’ chances of having breathing difficulties increase.
Mostly, women have all the equipment they need to have a baby safely. They just need to be given the confidence to believe they can get through it.
For those who have had a child naturally, the beauty was in the fact that it could not be planned. The panic when you suddenly go into labour, that frantic dash to the hospital, the long, long hours of labour that inevitably follow, the mind-blowing pain you somehow manage to get through...
You are carried along by a the little being who is actually controlling everything. You do it willingly, helplessly and with fear at ever step. It is the most amazing experience – which is why women recant their birthing experiences until they die.
And it’s damned good practice. Because that’s the way your life will be for ever-more. That’s parenthood.