Will Caesarean births become the norm?

The lead story in the Sunday Times this morning reveals that for the first time the NHS will be required to allow women to have an elective caesarean when there is no medical need. I am a mum to five children – four born in NHS hospitals and one born suddenly at home. I have never had a caesarean, although with my fifth child a problem with his heart rate during labour meant I came very close. My view is that birth is already over-medicalised. When I went into sudden labour in the early hours of the morning with my daughter she was born before an ambulance arrived. We had no option but to let nature take it’s course and nature did an amazing job. I am not recommending giving birth in this way because although my husband did brilliantly helping our daughter into the world, so many things could have gone wrong.
If elective caesarans become available to all women I fear before too long, natural birth will be sidelined. Birth will become a a production line process. I am not against caesarean birth at all, but I would hate the tide to turn so far in favour babies born via surgery that my daughters generation come to view natural labour as old fashioned.


7 thoughts on “Will Caesarean births become the norm?

  1. Yes I quite agree. fear of the pain for 1st timers and the option to go straight for C-sec means they will never experience the natural rush of childbirth nor the smug satisfaction of “Wow I did that”
    I have had 6 natural labours and after all six I was pottering around within an hour, 4 were born at home so I was able to just get on as normal.
    “Brave New World” springs to my mind…

  2. I’ve had one of each and can’t imagine why people would choose to have any surgery, with all the associated risks, unless it was medically advisable. I worry that the media, especially TV programmes, make c-sections look like an easy option when I found it to be the most traumatic experience of my life. My lack of mobility afterwards and the awkwardness of trying to establish breast feeding were also real downsides. Having said that natural birth is no picnic either!

    I think if a woman has really strong feelings about it and believes she can’t cope with labour it should be considered as an option as no one should be terrified during labour but I think that should be an exception rather than the rule. Surely the hospital team would be able to talk through all the options and find something she was happy with.

  3. interesting post,i also fear that caesareans will be the norm, and natural child birth, will be a thing of the past, i feel it should still be a choice, if requested, but i don’t like this factory,type of delivery,i have had 2 C sections due to health reasons and two natural( one still born),i just feel the main problems are still lack of midwifes.

  4. I wonder if making caesareans more widely available will indirectly lead to less midwives being trained in natural childbirth techniques. Will less midwives be needed if more mothers have caesareans ? That would be an awful consequence if that becomes the case

  5. I’d be surprised if the current one in four would change that much. Most women don’t actually want a cesarean – I know that among my group I was an exception in that I wanted one (but still tried natural anyway).

  6. Shouldn’t we also think about the benefits of natural childbirth to the baby. We are only just starting to learn about the healthy effects for the development of their lungs, gut etc. of labour and vaginal birth.
    It seems to me that we are losing any skill at trusting our instincts, trusting nature.

  7. Before the birth of my daughter, now 4 I used to to work in an antenatal clinic, the amount of women coming in want sections was shocking, particularly first time mothers, when the doctor refused to consent because there was no medical reason for it, many started to get quite abusive saying surely it was their right to choose. I fear that this new policy will, in the short term at least, lead to a rise in the number of section births.

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