Tag Archives: labour

We shouldn’t give first-time Mums elective Caesareans – we should give them more midwives and tell them to ‘man-up’

THERE’S new guidance about to be issued to the NHS which will allow all pregnant women to request a caesarean – even if they don’t ‘need’ one.

It appears that a growing number of first-time mothers think that having an elective ‘pre-booked’ caesarean – rather than having to have one on medical grounds – will help avoid the pain of natural childbirth and keep their figure.

I’ve been lucky enough not to need a caesarean having any of my babies (if I knew then what I know now, they’d ALL have been home-births).

Therefore maybe I’m not best placed to try to deter any new mums-to-be from thinking elective c-section is easier and safer. (But you know me, I’ll have a go).

Everyone I’ve known who has had to have a caesarean has said how frightening it was. After all, it’s a major operation.

You have to sign a consent form, and there are several people in the operating theatre, including surgeons, an anaesthetist, theatre staff, midwives and a paediatrician.

You’ll probably need a spinal injection; an epidural, and have your pubic area shaved for the incision. After experiencing the strange sensation of having someone rummaging around in your insides, you get to meet your baby.

More rummaging occurs as the placenta is removed and then your stomach has to be sewn up again, which, because it involves layers of muscle, fat and skin, can take around 40 minutes. The final layer is either stapled or stitched.

Either way, it’s a major, painful wound that will take several weeks to heal. For this reason most mums who have had to have a caesarean are kept in hospital longer than those who don’t. You will find it difficult to bend and lift, and will have to take painkillers for the first few weeks at least. You’ll still get the agonising ‘afterpains’ that come after all births as the uterus contracts and have to wear pads for bleeding. Did I mention that internal surgery also gives really bad wind?

You aren’t allowed to drive for six weeks after the operation, and if you do, your car insurance is likely to be invalid.

The World Health Organisation estimates that only ten per cent of women should be having c-sections yet in some areas of the UK it’s up to 30 per cent, notably in the ‘wealthier’ South East.

There’s a distinct difference between ‘too-posh-to-push’ and mothers who have experienced a very traumatic labour and have had to have an emergency c-section. These mums have some insight into whether a caesarean would be a better option, in consultation with their midwife, for any further births.

So why are so many first-timers so taken with the idea of caesareans? Is it really the image touted by the celebrity media?

Are we really now a generation refusing to even contemplate any pain, any inconvenience to our schedules, any changes to our body-shape by life experience?

How come women are so willing to undergo the surgeon’s knife and the associated pain and scarring of plastic surgery for their looks, yet not even contemplate at least trying give birth the way nature intended?

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Is it a big deal if dad misses the birth?

SO, SARKOZY missed the birth of his only daughter, his fourth child. That’s a good start eh?

I’m sure we’ll be assured that the French President’s decision to be away, talking about the Euro crisis with the Germans, while third wife Carla was giving birth to their daughter, was all pre-arranged.

After all, while it is estimated that over 89 per cent of fathers attend the birth of their children, clearly many don’t.

This may be due to a number of factors, like them being panicking imbeciles who make the birth even more stressful for the mother, or fainty wusses who don’t like the sight of blood and can’t ‘Man-up’ enough for the sake of their partner and child.

Or maybe they are just prats like Gordon Ramsay, who famously ‘quipped’ that he missed the births of all four of his children because he feared his sex life “would be damaged by images like something out of a sci-fi movie.”

Ah, perhaps I’m being too harsh. I’m sure there are couples out there who decided it would be mutually beneficial for the bloke to scarper at the point of no return.

After all, it’s a relatively modern phenomenon that the husband is expected to be involved at all. A generation ago it was perfectly acceptable for the new father to avoid any of the gory stuff, then get drunk with his mates, then discharge himself of any involvement in his children’s upbringing other than to occasionally pat them on the head while smoking a pipe and reading the paper.

Bloke was there for the births of all four of our babies. He’d tell you that it was stressful, because of the feeling of being utterly powerless to do anything to help. And because of the genuine worry that things might go wrong for both me and the baby. And because he had to listen to me moo like a cow in the moments I wasn’t swearing at him.

He says he’d never have wanted to miss any of them though, because ultimately it was his children arriving in the world to meet their parents. He formed an instant bond with each of them he will never forget nor want to have missed.

This is not to say that those who haven’t been able to be at the business end of birth don’t have a loving and wonderful relationship with their children. Sportsmen have to be in competitions halfway around the world and teleportation still hasn’t been perfected yet (I wait and hope).

However, I can’t quite believe that Carla would have been totally cool with Emperor Sarko slopping off to meet Angela Merkel as she went into labour (or perhaps it was an elective Caesarian, still a major operation).

I like to think the conversation would have gone something like this: *imagine it with a French accent*

Carla: “Oh Nicky, the contractions are getting very painful, I think it might be soon. . .

Sarko: “Oui my sweet, you just keep breathing and let the nice nursey ladies do their thing. . . I just need to, er, pop out for a mo. . .

Carla: “What? Where are you going?

Sarko: “Hush now ma cherie, save your strength, I just remembered we need a pint of milk, I won’t be long, and er, I just need to pop over to Angela’s to sort out the Euro thingy. . .

*Exit Sarkozy, who returns for just half an hour the following day to meet his new daughter*

Sarko: “Hello love, hello petit baby. Sorry to have missed all the fun . . .

Carla: “You’d better have sorted out that Euro crisis mate, ‘cos I don’t see any milk in your hand. . .”

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