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Will any NHS hospitals in London do ELCS for first birth w/o charging a fortune?

(12 Posts)
eversomuch Thu 14-Mar-13 13:38:14

A friend of mine feels very strongly that she wants an ELCS for her first baby due this summer. She has some issues w her vision that she worries may be exasperated through labour and just overall does not want a vaginal birth.

Her mw has said no -- and also said they won't even offer an epidural. Friend is very stressed out and looking into private clinics (but most charge several thousand pounds) or travelling to her home country and being separated from her DH for several months.

I've suggested trying a different hospital, but I don't know how likely it is that they'd agree or that she'd feel any better. Certainly, other hospitals don't have a strict no epidural rule at least.

Is there any hope that she'll find an NHS hospital in London that's willing to do an ELCS for first birth w/o charging a fortune? Or does anyone have any other advice?

I'm not sure how much of her concern is fear of childbirth. If so, would a hospital be more likely to agree to a elcs then?


VinegarDrinker Thu 14-Mar-13 13:41:34

I've never heard of anywhere that bans epidurals, that sounds very unusual.

As for the CS, it isn't up to her MW. She needs to ask to be referred to an obstetrician. She would probably be offered some kind of counselling/CBT if there was an element of tocophobia (phobia of childbirth).

VinegarDrinker Thu 14-Mar-13 13:42:39

Can I be nosy and ask which hospital it is that have told her she can't have an epidural?

scaevola Thu 14-Mar-13 13:46:04

No NHS hospital raises charges for patients entitled to free NHS treatment. Nor would one bit of NHS (whether London or elsewhere) be likely to agree to a procedure that is not medically indicated.

The private wings attached to a couple of London NHS hospitals charge much the same as any private provider.

The 'no epidural' sounds wrong as a blanket ruling. Is it possible your friend misunderstood?

RueDeWakening Thu 14-Mar-13 14:04:29

I have eye problems that can be made worse by labour. My consultant at Moorfields wrote to my obs/gyn consultant and told him of his concerns, and I got an ELCS for DD's birth. This was 6 years ago all NHS.

I'm now waiting for a date for CS number 3, had an EMCS with DS 3 years ago after my waters broke before the scheduled section date.

pooka Thu 14-Mar-13 14:07:41

Is it possible that the no epidural is because she's talking about midwife led VB in a birthing centre or at home rather than hospital based consultant care?

The only time I've heard of no epidural is at a birthing centre.

I had an epidural with my first at a bog-standard hospital birth. None for subsequent 2 because was at home.

OneLittleToddleTerror Thu 14-Mar-13 14:23:04

Or it might just be no epidural is guaranteed? I remember visiting the hospital prebirth, and they pretty much say epidural is only available if an anaesthetist is free. Given my personal experience at an NHS hospital, you will be lucky to find anyone to help you. I was in for nearly 3 days and many times there were no midwives in the station. They were no G&A. They only thing they gave me is codeine.

CityDweller Thu 14-Mar-13 15:36:43

A friend recently had an ELCS at Kings for her first (on NHS) out of choice. Not sure how she managed it, but I do know it wasn't agreed to until she was quite far along (35ish wks?)

LivingThings Thu 14-Mar-13 19:49:31

She needs to see her consultant ASAP - its not up to the midwife to make these decisions. (my first was ELCS on NHS by choice).

eversomuch Fri 15-Mar-13 13:31:05

Thanks everyone. I've suggested she ask to see a consultant and that she see her GP to try to get a referral to Moorfields to discuss her vision.

English is not her first language, so it's possible there's been some misunderstanding; but her English is good and she says she knows several women who were refused epidurals during labour at the hospital, which I think is Whipps Cross.

LivingThings do you mind my asking how you successfully argued for your ELCS?

OneLittleToddleTerror Fri 15-Mar-13 14:13:43

eversomuch I was refused gas and air in my hospital. I think what the others meant is that there isn't a no epidural rule. But on the field on that day, it's a completely different story.

PS. I was refused because my labour wasn't deemed as progressed enough. That was because they were understaffed, and they have no midwives spare. I wasn't examined, or assigned a midwife until I was fully dilated. At least I was let into the ward. I have a friend who was turned away from the hospital because they were full. She said she was so glad she looked up the birth centre beforehand just in case.

jumpinghoops Fri 15-Mar-13 15:19:38

Both my friend and my cousin's wife gave birth at Whipps Cross and both of them had an epidural. Perhaps what the midwife meant was that there was no guarantee of an epidural? I missed my window of opportunity for one in first birth as the anesthetist was otherwise engaged and then they told me I was pretty much fully dilated and it was too late. I've heard quite a few women with similar stories.

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