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Have any of you gone private because you wanted a C-section?

(27 Posts)
Oopsie Mon 06-Jun-11 02:09:32

Yes I know a C-section carries more risks, requires a longer recovery period, is not a way of avoiding pain, etc. Yet, on balance I'd still prefer one to a natural birth.

I gather the NHS doesn't allow C-sections unless there is a medical reason for one so, unless a medical reason presents itself over the next few months, I'm considering going private.

Has anyone else done this? Were you received positively and do you have any useful advice?

woopsidaisy Mon 06-Jun-11 09:02:20

I haven't done it myself,but I know others who have. They found it a very positive experience.

Boogiemumma Mon 06-Jun-11 09:27:07

What are you're reasons for wanting a c-section Oopsie?
Understand how you feel as I wanted this for 1st and am having elcs for 2nd.
You may find if you build a good case for yourself that you can have a c-section on the NHS. I'm having one 2nd time around (tomotrrow) as a result of what I considered to be a traumatic delivery first time around - On paper my 1st delivery seems "not too bad" but this is not how I felt and although a previous traumatic birth is not strictly considered a medical reason, if you insist on a consultant referal they are often quite sympathetic.
If it is your first birth you can still request if you have a particular fear of childbirth. I did get the consultant to agree 1st time around to elcs but was talked out of it rather bullied out of it by a registrar. You can ask for support to talk through this and if you remain extremely fearful you may get c-section.

cardamomginger Mon 06-Jun-11 10:45:17

Good luck and hope it works out. Wish to God I'd stuck to my guns and had done the same. Got talked into believing that an NHS MW-led natural birth was the safest option for me and my baby and that I'd have a quicker recovery and a better outcome. BOLLOCKS. If there is a second child, and it's a BIG if at the moment, I will be having a private ELCS. Although now it will be for medical reasons sad. I'd recommend using a private unit within an NHS hospital - if anything did go wrong, then you have all the NHS facilities right there and no one has to faff about with ambulances.

fruitybread Mon 06-Jun-11 11:58:23

Interestingly, the new NICE Draft guidelines (and they are only draft - and as Guidelines, hospitals don't actually need to follow them anyway....) - adopts a radical new change of heart on CS for maternal request. Which has gone very much unnoticed on these boards.

Here - Page 15, to save you wading through it.

The previous guidelines were vague - simply said if a woman asked for one out of fear, to offer counselling. In practice, whether or not one is granted is down to what kind of consultant you get and how fiercely anti-caesarian an individual hospital is.

Now NICe recommends that counselling is offered - but read this - "If after providing support, a vaginal birth is still not an acceptable option to the woman, offer a planned CS. An obstetrician has the right to decline a woman’s request for a CS. If this happens, they should refer the woman to an obstetrician who will carry out the CS."

So basically, if you really want one, you should be able to get one.

Re: private births - there are people on these boards who had one, but I think it's well nigh impossible outside London. If you are in London and can afford it, it's definitely an option.

Good luck.

fruitybread Mon 06-Jun-11 12:13:59

PS. Re: risks of planned CS versus other kinds of birth....

Have a look at the table at the end of the NICE doc. Pages 49 and 50. And for babies' health, page 51. -

It compares PLANNED CS (i.e. not emergency CS) against PLANNED vaginal birth. (which includes EMCS, instrumental deliveries as well as VB's without intervention. Births of course don't always go as planned).

After a planned CS, you have LESS chance of injury to bladder, ureter, or genital tract - LESS chance of early post partum haemorrhage - LESS chance of obstetric shock - than you do with a planned VB.

For babies - after a planned CS, your baby is LESS likely to be admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit than with a planned VB.

Have a look, it's an interesting comparison, and a new one. Currently, information about CSections doesn't make a distinction between emergency CS's and planned ones. Something frequently trotted out on these boards is the risks of a CS to mother and baby, but they overlook the fact that emergency CS's are carried out BECAUSE there is a risk to baby and mother. So of course you will find a higher proportion of difficulties after birth.

This new info and comparison shows a much better picture of outcome for planned Csections.

(someone will point out that we don't have a clinical comparison between planned CS's and trouble free VBs, and they'll be right. But I still think it's useful info).

seoladair Mon 06-Jun-11 12:46:41

"Yes I know a C-section carries more risks, requires a longer recovery period, is not a way of avoiding pain, etc"

I had an elective on the NHS 3 weeks ago, and it was just brilliant. It was pain-free, and I recovered very quickly, I'd say much more quickly than people who struggle with tears, episiotomy, forceps injuries etc. I had the c-sec in the morning and was walking around by evening.

An emergency section carries more risks, but an elective is very safe. Of course, any medical procedure carries some risks, but there are plenty of iatrogenic risks to a natural birth.

I did loads of research into natural birth injuries, both to babies and mums, and argued that I wanted the planned low risk of elective c-sec instead of having to face the potential risk of interventions and emergency c-sec. The hospital arranged 2 separate meeting for me with registrars, who reported my arguments back to the lead consultant. I had no medical indications for c-sec other than my concern about the potential dangers of vaginal birth.

By the way, I bonded immediately with my baby, and have had no problems with breast-feeding. Some midwives argue that c-secs cause problems with bonding and breastfeeding but in my case it's all been very straightforward.
If your hospital refuses you a c-sec, I believe they are obliged to refer you to a hospital which will carry one out.

Chynah Tue 07-Jun-11 21:56:02

Oopsie - I had my first by csection on NHS because I wanted one (no medical reason other than my concerns of possible pelvic floor damage a VB could cause) so it is possible. Maybe worth talking to your consultant before opting for private.

Panzee Tue 07-Jun-11 22:03:14

fruitybread most planned ones take place because of high risk factors too. I like your use of the word "planned" - I always have trouble with the word elective because of my own experience.
My "elective" was anything but - I could have refused but we both would have died.

BagofHolly Tue 07-Jun-11 23:38:22

Fruitybread, thanks for posting those links. Very interesting. Quite right too. Choice is the wayforward. I have had 2 ELCS and they were both lovely experiences which I wouldn't change for the world.

BagofHolly Tue 07-Jun-11 23:39:03

Boogiemommna, just seen your post, hope everything went well! x x x

BrassicaBabe Wed 08-Jun-11 08:33:51

Not long after I found out I was pregnant I did my research into planned maternal choice CSs and drafted a letter to my GP/cons. As it turned out I'm having twins, but the letter I had drafted didn't change in essence and I was granted a CS. (One twin is head down and I don't believe there is a reason why I shouldn't have a VB if I wanted one.) You need to be calm and clear and show you are informed.

Elective Cesarean

There was another good site too, but I can't find it again. I'll come back if I do.

Good luck! grin

PeppaPigandGeorge Wed 08-Jun-11 10:14:34

Yes - private consultant in an NHS hospital. Cost £6500 in 2008.

Fruitybread - agree entirely and these were the reasons I chose CS. I wanted to avoid the risks of VB going wrong, which could have catastrophic consequences for the baby.

PeppaPigandGeorge Wed 08-Jun-11 10:17:17

Just wanted to add, that I agree that you should insist on a consultant referral. I ended up going private because my midwife would not refer me for an ELCS. With hindsight, I feel Iwould have been able to make a case fo ELCS on the NHS to the consultant had I been able to get that far.

Stangirl Wed 08-Jun-11 12:27:44

Like others on this thread I have had one ELCS on the NHS with no medical reason and will be having another in a few weeks. I am at Kings.

Oopsie Wed 08-Jun-11 18:41:54

Thanks so much everybody for such supportive and non-judgmental comments. I was sure I was going to get a lot of lecturing about how 'natural' is the way to go.

I feel most encouraged and will definitely now try for a C-section on the NHS.

PeppaPigandGeorge Wed 08-Jun-11 19:05:18

Natural is the way to go for a lot of people - but not everyone. Stick to your guns. Just make sure you are firm with the MW - you can almost guarantee they'll try to talk you out of it.

Chynah Wed 08-Jun-11 21:00:15

and if the midwife refuses to refer you ring your consultants secretary direct (his/her name will be in your notes) and book your own appointment. The decision is made by a consultant NOT a midwife so don't let them fob you off.

fruitybread Wed 08-Jun-11 21:08:59

Panzee, yep, I think 'planned' versus 'emergency' is a much more useful terminology than 'elective'. NICE I think are using it in a slightly different way in that document, it's worth pointing out - the group of planned CS's will contain a few VBs, just as the planned VB group contains EMCS's, IYSWIM. 'Planned' there just means 'I was aiming for x kind of a birth, even if I ended up with something different'.

And you are right too that most planned CS's are carried out because of high risk factors. What's interesting, according to those recent NICE comparison tables, is that planned CS's still compare favourably with outcomes, maternal and infant, from planned VBs. For example - babies from a planned CS, where most of the time there will be some known risk factor either to mother or baby, are still less likely to spend time in an intensive care baby unit than they are in the planned VB group.

Obviously there is a world of difference between a non emergency high risk siutation and an acute emergency.

Oopsie Wed 08-Jun-11 21:30:16

Thanks everybody. There is lots of great advice here.

BrassicaBabe Thu 09-Jun-11 11:32:54

My consultant gave a throw away comment when booking my ELCS of "CS are safer for babies but more risky for the mother".

Curlyems Sat 11-Jun-11 00:34:21

Yes - I have gone private for exactly that reason. I will be having an elective c-section at The Portland in September - it was the only way that I could guarantee getting it and it was a price I was willing to pay.

PeppaPigandGeorge Sun 12-Jun-11 15:03:43

I think if you go NHS, then you may not be able to get a CS confirmed until fairly late; my second planned CS wasn't confirmed until 32 / 33 weeks. Privately you will be able to confirm much earlier.

cowboylover Sun 12-Jun-11 18:16:28

I hope you get the result you want OP without the need to go private.

I had a ECS 2 weeks ago after a very traumatic attempt at a VB after an induction when my DD was in SCBU for 4 days due to the impact of the birth on her. I am happy to say all is well now and we have bonded well and EBF ect but the experience for me means that I will not be even considering more children unless they say I will be able to have a planned section so thanks all for the great links before I get signed off from my MW I want to find out.

schmee Mon 13-Jun-11 21:29:42

I've just had a repeat c-section agreed by the NHS, but they will only agree to it at 39+2. If I go into labour beforehand I may well be forced into a trial by scar. I've been subjected to unbelievable bullying as part of the process, and it's had a massive negative impact on my pregnancy. I'm going for private counselling to help me with it.

I think I've been unlucky but not completely unusual in how I've been treated (and bear in mind that mine is a repeat section). I have been told that the gov't will no longer fund c-sections above a certain limit (e.g. 2010 numbers - 400), so hospitals aren't funded to perform them for many people. Hence the major battle that I've faced, and that I'm still facing to some extent.

I would really think through your reasons why you want this, and your determination to get the result you want, as you will need to be absolutely sure you want to go into battle.

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