The elective C-section

Julia Llewellyn Smith: “But as long as our maternity services remain so underfunded, and our midwife shortage at a critical level, more and more women will be demanding electives, especially if they know they are the safest option.

I didn’t care about jibes. I wanted my second birth to be conducted by well-rested professionals, to have the energy to defend myself on the ward, to have some control during a process which – thanks to the NHS’s shortcomings – has become the most distressing experience of too many women’s lives.

Too posh? Too right I was.”

This midwife disagrees:

How about the negative? They are 3 times as expensive as vaginal births. They are staff intensive, normal birth = 2 midwives at any one time, perhaps an anaesthetist (epidural); assisted birth = 1 midwife, 1 obstetrician, 1 paediatrician, probably an anaesthetist; caesarian section = 1 runner, 1 scrub nurse/midwife, 1 midwife, 1 ODA, 1 anaesthetist, 2 surgeons and perhaps a paediatrician. Following the operation the woman requires close observation on a recovery ward and then a high level of nursing care on the postnatal ward.

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