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natural birth possible? ECS offered

(12 Posts)
MacMomo Wed 17-Nov-10 17:33:05

I have been offered ECS for my first baby(due January) following recovery from acute post-traumatic stress. However, I would prefer a natural birth.

I am sure most women would choose a natural, stress-free, happy birth if they could. I have read Grantly Dick-Read's book but I am a little sceptical: if it is that easy, why do so many women have traumatic births?

I don't want to risk my baby's well-being by having a traumatic birth and regressing into depression, but I am reluctant to just go for the C-section if there is a realistic chance I could have a non-intervention, natural birth.

The pregnancy has been entirely normal; the baby is assessed as 'large'; I am a normal size. Any advice?

WowOoo Wed 17-Nov-10 17:35:08

Don't know really. Depends how large your hips are, how healthy and rested you are at the time and how large baby could potentially be I suppose.

ghoulishglendawhingesagain Wed 17-Nov-10 17:40:55

I would consider things like - if things are not progressing smoothly - go for a section early on rather than have drips and things to speed up the labour.

Or think about a homebirth, as it reduces the risk of c section and you will get 1 to 1 care from a midwife

I would suggest - Look at the what-ifs basically.

I had an awful first birth - crash section under GA, very traumatic. It was vital for me to avoid that recurring.

I opted to try a homebirth - I had failure to progress but then I decided to insist on a section rather than having lots of 'being messed with' It was pretty fine really, as I still felt in control. I felt I would do my best to get either - a smooth natural birth, or a relatively calm CS if labour wasn't working.

There are no guarantees with anything of course, but you have lots of possible options to think about.

heksie Wed 17-Nov-10 17:43:42

Hi well done on your recovery from your previous stress issues and well done for having a healthy pregnancy! There is no reason why you can't have a healthy natural delivery. If you want to do so you should insist on it.

However birth is never a predictable thing and its best to approach it with an open mind. The birth of a child is a wonderful experience however it happens! You could go for natural and land up having intervention or a CS in the end.

I think you need to be realistic for yourself and work out if you are prepared to take the risk of regressing if things don't go well. You could hire a doula or your own midwife to assist you and ensure that you get continuous support from someone who knows you well and who is not associated with the hospital you land up in so that you can make sure they are taking extra good care of your emotional needs at the birth.

Having wanted a natural birth, going through a long labour and ending up with an emergency CS I didn't want (!) and a dose of PTS myself, I personally will be electing for a CS next time, but thats just my own opinion. I need to know I have some level of control for myself. Good luck with the decision.

WillYouDoTheDamnedFanjo Wed 17-Nov-10 17:45:25

It depends what your PTSD issues are, I think. If they are gynae related then I can see that a c-section would make sense. However having had 2 very different c-sections, I would gently say to you that they are not guaranteed to be free of trauma.

If you do opt for the c section, you can have a positive experience by getting all the information you can and doing as much as possible to personalise the birth. The anaesthetist is the person you really want to get a good rapport with if you are going to be awake, as they will be talking you through the procedure in theatre.

Good luck, it sounds like a really difficult decision.

MacMomo Thu 18-Nov-10 20:51:30

thanks for all the help. The PTSD isn't gynae related at all, thankfully.

DH thinks a natural childbirth is highly unlikely for any woman except a lucky few extra-stretchy people! I don't have any nostalgic ideas, I just think I would prefer not to have the whole surgery thing if possible, though I know an ECS is usually straightforward and quick recovery.

dontwakemeupbeforeyougogo Thu 18-Nov-10 21:15:25

MacMomo, the majority of women who opt for a vaginal birth have one! Birth centres offering one to one care to healthy women have very low rates of emergency c/s.

If you do decide to labour I'd advise getting an independent midwife or an experienced doula. Maybe even a homebirth?

You might be interested in these stats from the Barkantine birth centre. Only a tiny fraction of the healthy women who laboured there ended up having a c/s.


SelinaDoula Thu 18-Nov-10 21:21:42

My advice would be to contact an IM or a Doula (depending on your funds).
I work as a Doula, and in Public health. I am absolutely convinced that with the right support the majority of women could have births without intervention.
Out of the 25 births I have supported, the bigger babies were actually easier to push out than the smaller one.
I have researched every method I can find to help labours progress and to reduce pain naturally.
If you are anywhere near Liverpool I would be happy to support you, if not, you could contact some in your area to chat.
I have supported a few women with PTSD, also other previous mental health issues and/or abuse.
Olde et al. (2004) identify key causes of postnatal specific PTSD as a negative relationship between the woman and her care providers, use of obstetric intervention without informed choice and a feeling of loss of control.
A Doula provides constant emotional and physical support which helps prevent the situations that can trigger birth related PTSD.
I have supported women to have high risk births in hospital without inbtervention. From twins to heart shaped uterus.
There are ways to make it much more likely you will have a trauma free birth.
Very happy tochat to you on the phone or correspond by e mail if you want to chat in more detail.

thisisyesterday Thu 18-Nov-10 21:30:29

i think your DH is wrong!
vaginal birth is better for mum and for baby

aside from the stress disorder you are just the same as any other woman facing giving birth.
the vast majority of women give birth vaginally. some of them need intervention, many many don't

i think the key with stress-related things though is surely how YOU feel? will you not be more stressed going through a majoor operation that you don't want? I know some women find it hard to accept having a c-section...
you need to do what you feel is best and if that is natural birth then there is no physical reason why you can't do that is ther?

i am of normal build and had 3 "big" babies and it was fine!

i think it's important to remember that you hear more about traumatic births because people need to speak about them. people talk a lot more about things that have gone wrong than things that have gone right.
if you do a search on here for positive birth stories you will find a LOT! grin

violethill Thu 18-Nov-10 22:37:44

'DH thinks a natural childbirth is highly unlikely for any woman except a lucky few extra-stretchy people!'

Had a smile at this, because it certainly feels like that when you look at the size of a baby and think about where it comes out!!

However, your DH isn't actually correct: vaginal delivery is more common than CS, and indeed, is safer for mother and baby (apart from very specific medical cases where a CS is safer than vb). Most births have the potential to be natural, vaginal deliveries. A lot don't turn out that way, often because one intervention can lead to others, but most could turn out like that.

Backinthebox Thu 18-Nov-10 22:49:29

One thing I have learnt is that there is no way you can micro-manage childbirth. Even the most carefully planned of births can head off in a direction you are really not expecting. However, having the right support around you (as Selina has suggested) makes all the difference. I has a very difficult EmCS first time round after a 42hr labour. I had planned for a quick 'in and out' hospital birth with a birth pool. I tried to plan the same this time, but it involved being under consultant care and having to have a meeting with the head midwife about my VBAC hospital water birth attempt. In the end the baby had other plans and was born without me even getting out of the bedroom at home, and what could have been a traumatic situation was made fabulous by having the right people around me (I had an independent MW.) I almost had to be peeled off the ceiling with elation! My baby was a big'un, too.

Get the right support - it makes all the difference.

MacMomo Fri 19-Nov-10 20:13:03

thanks - I will see if I can afford a doula.

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