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Does anyone regret an ELCS?

(44 Posts)
j200 Mon 20-Oct-14 19:01:25

Hi am thinking of having an ELCS due to severe anxiety I have had in pregnancy (had to have fertility treatment) and concern that a traumatic birth will lead to PND due to history of depression in family.

I have my appointment with consultant next week (30 weeks) and am really struggling with what to do. I

have read mostly positive stories about ELCS and hoping that is the case, but I wondered does anyone regret having one and why?

I am not bothered about having a natural birth, just want him out safely as soon as possible!


TheysayIamparanoid Mon 20-Oct-14 20:00:46

Hi, I had my ELCS 19 years ago now due to the traumatic birth of my DS 4 years previously.

Looking back on it now I do wish I'd been more informed and confident. I had always wanted a water birth but I was just too scared of the same pain and helplessness again!

My first DD was EMCS and I recovered quickly from that, mainly I think because I was only 19!

UpUpAndAway123 Tue 21-Oct-14 13:40:13

I had PTSD and PND after first birth. Planned a home birth this time (also did with first but didn't happen) as I believe you are more likelt to have a non medicalised and positive birth at home, but baby was breech so chose to have a section-it was brilliant and I only have positive memories (dd is 2 weeks old); recovery has been brill and feel a million times better than I did last time.
There's nothing to say that you won't have a brilliant birth but it seems to me that you are already looking at the negative and these things can become a self fulfilling prophecy. why not have a chat with supervisor of midwives about concerns-if you did want to have a vaginal birth you could put together a robust birth plan with them for all eventualities?
If you decide section, have a look at 'gentle cesarean/section' on YouTube x

j200 Tue 21-Oct-14 18:03:55

Thanks ladies smile

Annietheacrobat Tue 21-Oct-14 18:35:53

I half regret mine . I had an emergency section with DD1 after a failed induction.

With DD2 I requested and had an ELCS. I found the whole experience far more nerve wracking than the first time (after a 3 day induction I would have been happy to have my legs chopped off).

I honestly don't know what I would do if I got pregnant again.

MrsTaylor35 Tue 21-Oct-14 19:12:48

Well, because birth is a deeply personal experience that varies from person to person, you need to choose the process that best fits you. If you opt for ELCS, you should be ready to cope up with the pain after operation. Of course, there will be drugs to help you, but it will affect your day-to-day activities for some time which may hamper your quality time with newborn.
Is your doctor very optimistic about ELCS? If your only concern is PND, then did your doctor tell you that there will be minimal chance of getting PND after ELCS? I don’t think that, anyone can guarantee for same. Chances of PND don’t vary, even if you had a long and painful labour or a difficult caesarean. Even doctors aren’t sure why some women become depressed and others don't. Maybe our individual brain biochemistry makes some of us more prone to depression than others.
It is uncertain whether it’s possible to prevent postnatal depression. However, getting support during your pregnancy may help you to embark on motherhood feeling strong, energetic and confident. Accept all the help you are offered get fit and reduce your stress levels. These might play an important role.

I know this is not exactly you are looking for but just thought to stop by and share. All the best, with whatever decision you make.

Only1scoop Tue 21-Oct-14 19:15:14

No regrets at all ....very civilised and calm experience.

WhatsGoingOnEh Tue 21-Oct-14 19:19:49

An ELCS is THE easiest and least-stressful form of giving birth going. I had one with DS2 and, in a way, with DS1 as I was 10 days overdue because of a cyst so they said, "we'll do a C-section in the morning".

It's easy, relaxed and the entire op takes about an hour, start to finish.

The recovery is easy too. Far easier than some of the R ecovery stories I've heard from natural births.

I'd imagine an emergency CS is a very different story. But elective - well, it's what most women who WORK in maternity units choose yo have. Put it that way.

Boysclothes Tue 21-Oct-14 20:16:49

I have to challenge that what's on. Where's your evidence for that? IME of ten years working across two maternity units that is totally untrue.

I haven't had an ELCS myself OP, but my professional experience is that women who had a traumatic labour or EMCS the first time love their ELCSs second time round. The first time mums who have an ELCS generally do get a touch of the what-ifs and usually opt for a VBAC second time round.

However, birth isn't too important really. Some women want the experience, and I was one, but for others it's just a way to get the baby and they want as fuss free, quick and controlled as possible. There is NOTHING wring with not having anything emotionally invested in the method of birth and opting for an ELCS if that is what makes you more comfortable. It's important to remember though that there are risks and they will have to talk you through them. Try not to think of this as scaremongering but just listen with an open mind. Good luck x

colafrosties Tue 21-Oct-14 22:41:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Gennz Tue 21-Oct-14 23:23:28

I've chosen to have an ELCS for my first but it's not scheduled for a month so I'll report back then. No medical reason to have it - the baby's not breach, I don't have anxiety issues around birth etc - but I looked at the options and decided I liked the set of risks associated with ELCS better than those associated with a VB.

Some of the factors for me were (mighthelp you in making your decision):

(1) I don't have any expectations about the "birth experience" I just want the baby out and both of us in good nick and for me ELCS way the best bet;
(2) I LOATHE being pregnant (still vomiting at 34 1/2 weeks), and my mum & DH's mum both went 2 weeks overdue with us - an ELCS at 39 weeks means that I potentially avoid 3 weeks of pregnancy (massive win);
(3) I've reading as much medical literature as I can get my hands on re CS vs VB/CS risks and outcomes & I'm pretty sure that I come as low as possible for the CS risks (no medical issues, healthy pre-preg BMI, still fit & active) as does the baby (tracking well on weights all along, no medical issues etc);
(4) I've always suffered a bit from a weak pelvic floor/stress incontinence and I wanted to mitigate the risk round aggravating this as much as I possibly could, and ELCS before onset of labour was the best way to manage this. Plus I REALLY didn't want to attempt a VB and end up with a EMCS or (worse, IMO) forceps. ELCS was the only way to ensure I avoided these outcomes.
(5) Have good family support (DH taking 2 weeks parental leave, mum/sister/MIL all live nearby) so this iwll help in the initial recovery;
(6) Everyone I spoke to about having an ELCS has been positive about it, compared to VBs which has probably been about 50/50.

TurquoiseDress Tue 21-Oct-14 23:40:19

I pretty much could've written your post!

For me it nicely sums up most of the reasons why I requested a CS.

And have not regretted it one bit.

Gennz Tue 21-Oct-14 23:51:49

Oh I'm so glad to hear that Turquoise! How was your recovery? I'm under no illusions that it will be a picnic but I'm hoping to be feeling semi-normal by about 3 weeks after?

TurquoiseDress Wed 22-Oct-14 11:56:05

Hi Gennz
For me I found the CS manageable in terms of recovery.

I won't lie, it is painful & uncomfortable- for me day 2 was the worst, being on the post natal ward, am certain it would've been a bit different if I'd been given my pain meds on time!

Funny, my memories of the pain/discomfort are kind of hazy despite it being only several months ago.

Try to keep mobile but equally take it easy. I remember getting out of bed was hard work- I felt as if I had no abdominal strength or back strength.

All back to normal now (8 months later) but at the time I panicked that I'd never be the same again!

I remember shuffling around for a good week or so.

One point I'd make is this- yes having a CS will likely be slower recovery compared with a VB.

However this isn't always the case.
A good friend ended up with forceps, episiotomy and 3rd degree tear.
She was hobbling around for quite a few weeks and even months later she still wasn't quite right- eventually she had a repair operation.

It's a bit of a myth that you'll be skipping up the stairs the day following a VB.

Anyhow, it's all down to individual choice- for me that choice was a CS & I have no regrets at all.

Good luck & hope all goes well for you!

SASASI Thu 23-Oct-14 08:32:03

I had a lot of anxiety - took some time to get pregnant, had a horrendous HSG procedure where everything went wrong & was diagnosed with cancer in the middle of it all, operated on etc. Discovering I was pregnant was just so out of the blue & amazing. I couldn't risk anything going wrong which I strongly believe is more likely with a VB.

I was booked for an ELCS on the Monday but waters broke on the Friday so I had an EMCS on the Saturday. I was still terrified but the cannula going on was the worst part (ask for local anesthetic!). It was a truly lovely relaxing experience & all staff were aware of my reasons for having a section & made me feel at ease. If I am fortunate enough to fall pregnant again I will definately have another.

Getting in & out of bed was the hardest thing to do when I got home. Rest rest rest!! Let everyone attend to you, get a cleaner in for a few weeks & just cuddle the baby. I'm nearly 10 weeks post birth. Started driving again at 6wks. Still haven't done any exercise other then walking, I'm still a bit scared but other than that I'm back to normal.

RedToothBrush Fri 24-Oct-14 15:32:26

But elective - well, it's what most women who WORK in maternity units choose yo have. Put it that way.

Absolutely not true. I think its very misleading to post a statement like that.

There is evidence that female consultants or the partners of consultants are more likely to opt for an ELCS than the average population but this is offset by the fact that midwives would prefer a vb and are less likely to go for a medicalised approach.

Also female consultants or the partners of consultants represent a particular demographic; they are much more likely to have children late so the risks of the pregnancy and having a vb are slightly different to the general population too, making it a somewhat unfair comparison anyway.

ohthegoats Fri 24-Oct-14 16:13:10

Also, female consultants only tend to see birth when something is going wrong, their experiences are just as anecdotal as anyone elses. I had two female consultants, both had natural births, one of them was a strong advocate for epidurals!

Tranquilitybaby Sun 26-Oct-14 03:42:06

I had an ELCS with my again after a EMCS due to failed induction with my daughter. I found it a positive experience overall and a good recovery afterwards.

I'm newly pregnant with no. 3 and the midwife told me at my local hospital it will be an automatic ELCS next time round too. I can obviously choose to Vbac if I want to but I'll probably opt for the ELCS again.

Mummymidwife87 Sun 26-Oct-14 09:20:40

So I have worked in a maternity unit 9years and the statement regarding most women working in the service have ELCS is bollocks. There are a few yes, but I would say most go for a vaginal birth, mixed homebirths, birth centres, labour ward.

I had a crash cs at anterior lip for infection, I ended up with a blood transfusion and lots of antibiotics, DS ended up with meningitis...

Would I have an elective next time.... Hell no.

The risks of a cs far outweigh the risks of a vbac, let alone the thought of an elective for first baby.
I've seen too much shit at work to put myself through major surgery unnesecarily.
Plus the birth experience is very important to me, and an elective doesn't quite cut it for me

Gennz Sun 26-Oct-14 21:30:26

The risks of a CS do not far outweigh the risks of a VB. If you are conflating EMCS and ELCS, then yes they do, largely due to the medical reasons leading to a CS in the first place.

An elective CS for maternal request where the mother is fit and healthy carries about the same level of risk as a VB (although the risks are different).

Gennz Sun 26-Oct-14 21:36:06

Just wat to add - in my experience when stating a position on CS vs VB, people don't compare apples wth apples. If you are comparing a straightforward, totally uncomplicated, intervention-free VB to a CS (even a planned ELCS for no medical reason) then yes the VB outcomes are likely to be better and recovery almost definitely faster. (Though for me with my weak pelvic floor I'd still be iffy about it - this isn't the case for everyone though, obv).

However, there's no guarantee that your VB will be straightforward and complication-free. IMO a planned ELCS for maternal request beats a complicated VB with forceps, or an EMCS after a protracted labour. That's why I decided to cut to the chase (excuse the pun) and go for a ELCS. Lots of people will look at that scenario and decide they'd rather hope for a good VB and avoid a CS altogether - which is totally understandable and a valid decision.

GinnelsandWhippets Sun 26-Oct-14 21:42:18

Hmmm, i don't regret my ELCS exactly but i do wish i had prepared myself a bit better mentally for it not being easy. I had an EMCS with DC1 and an ELCS for DC2, for medical reasons. As it turned out the ELCS was by far the best thing for the baby (the reason for the CS was actually to do with my health) as baby had the cord wrapped around neck,arm and leg and was tangled up in s way that could have caused problems had i gone into labour. But the op took far longer than expected (because of the tangling), caused me a lot more pain after than the EMCS had, and my recovery took longer than i thought.
Having said that, i did recover fine, DC2 is well and overall it was by far tge best choice. Go for it, but prepare yourself for the possibility that it may be difficult.

RedToothBrush Sun 26-Oct-14 21:58:53

The risks of a cs far outweigh the risks of a vbac, let alone the thought of an elective for first baby.

This statement is as bollocks as the other statement I challenged. However its worse because its come from someone who works in the field and frankly should know better about statistics and risk, especially given the current NICE guidelines on the subject. (Though its worth saying the NICE guidelines themselves are flawed, but understanding where they are lacking is also crucial too, in giving women good advice and care).

If you are giving this information to your patients it is categorically incorrect and shows a severely lacking understanding of managing risk and understanding the difference of risk amongst different groups of women. Not to mention, understanding how years of stats regarding CS are fundamentally flawed due to EMCS being lumped together with ELCS.

I do find it poor that practising midwives lack this knowledge as it has a massive impact on the care women receive.

Yes it is true that a vb is more risk free for a lot of women. But there are also certain groups, for which this is definitely not the case and the argument for an ELCS is very compelling if not preferable.

blueshoes Sun 26-Oct-14 22:00:03

Totally agree with Gennz.

The results of my research led me to the same conclusion. I loved my ELCS. It did what it said on the tin and I healed quickly and easily, as I did for my EMCS.

Mummymidwife87 Mon 27-Oct-14 01:58:36

For me the risks of an elcs far outweigh the risks of a vbac or elcs for first baby. I am well aware of statistics and major complications with a vaginal birth but I am talking about myself And how I feel.
If I can avoid increased risks of placental acreta/percreta, i will do.

I appreciate there are many reasons women choose elcs, many valid reasons (I have sat and pursuaded refusing consultants to agree to elcs for women) but for me it is too risky.

And I believe its impossible to compare vaginal birth to elcs unless in hignsight. Vaginal birth risks are so variable depending on labour onset, analgesia, pre existing medical conditions, pregnancy conditions, etc...

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