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How much to save for private ELCS?

(53 Posts)
TwentySomething Thu 29-Dec-16 23:09:12

I'm hoping to have one DC in the next 5-7 years (I'm 27 now). Having a private ELCS with a female obstetrician is the only option I find acceptable, due to previous sexual trauma.

I've saved £10k towards this already but would be interested to hear people's opinions on the total amount I should be aiming for. As things currently stand, I won't be a high-risk pregnancy, but I do realise that that could change at any time. I'm looking for all ante- and post-natal treatment to be covered.

Thanks in advance.

OP’s posts: |
AleHouseWench Thu 29-Dec-16 23:14:52

Is there any reason that you couldn't be referred by the NHS due to the stress it would cause tonyour MH otherwise?

GTS Thu 29-Dec-16 23:18:53

sorry no real advice about the cost of elcs, besides it might well be very different in a few years time cost wise. I'm sorry you've been through such a traumatic experience. As a previous midwife, I can honestly say that if you state those reasons to the NHS they WILL give you a cs. Tokophobia is a perfectly reasonable rationale for elcs, and they will more than likely offer you counselling.

TwentySomething Thu 29-Dec-16 23:19:59

I would rather save up for it and pay than go through the stress of jumping through hoops to get an ELCS on the NHS. I know it may sound strange, but the certainty would be well worth it for me.

OP’s posts: |
Mistletoekids Thu 29-Dec-16 23:20:22

Do you require all staff to be female? Doctors (registrar / SHO obestrician assisting; anaesthetist?) and theatre / midwifery staff? There are many people involved in an ELCS

Kitchenaide Thu 29-Dec-16 23:21:18

I'd say up to 20k allowing for inflation. Doctor's fee currently around 7,500 for full package and hospital fee 6k -ish. Add a couple of extra nights for a post-cs stay at over 1k/night, around 1-2k for bloods, scans and then allow a bit for inflation over the next few years.

Mistletoekids Thu 29-Dec-16 23:21:53

I'd say get it done via NHS if so . Will be much easier / cheaper to sort as bigger pool of staff etc etc

butterry Thu 29-Dec-16 23:22:49

Roughly what I paid 2 years ago for Lindo in London: 7500 for consultant for entirety of pregnancy from 6 weeks, 7500 hospital c-section fees, 1000 anaesthesatist, 4000 for 3 days stay after birth, 2000 for various tests inc harmony and newborn tests for jaundice

HomeIsWhereTheGinisNow Thu 29-Dec-16 23:24:50

Twenty: mine cost £6900 (all in), but the consultant fee was £7500 on top of that but included all my care throughout whole pregnancy. Extra nights in the hospital were close to a grand per night in our London hospital. See your point about the hoops - the only woman I know who had a first child ELCS on the NHS actually had to attend a psychiatric assessment, something so sexist it makes my blood boil even now. NICE guidelines are that you should have one if you want one, but I suspect they will pressure you an enormous deal. Ignore the nay-Sayers re other people, as part of my package I could request a particular consultant anaesthetist too so sure you could get a woman. Best of luck, I loved my ELCS, so relaxed and quick!

Kitchenaide Thu 29-Dec-16 23:25:14

Yes just realised I forgot anaesthetist... 1k

clumsyduck Thu 29-Dec-16 23:25:51

When the time comes I'd at least try nhs route . I'm sure your reasons for wanting elcs would mean you wouldn't have to jump through hoops

Blueroses99 Thu 29-Dec-16 23:28:13

If you have a preferred hospital, the prices are likely to be on the website. Just out of curiosity, I had a look at the Portland Hospital (£8k for ELCS plus extras) and my local hospital (outer London, slightly less).

GTS Thu 29-Dec-16 23:29:55

It doesn't sound strange at all, I totally understand. And yes, there ARE hoops to be jumped through, or rather protocols to be followed...and they include a psych evaluation/or counselling. This can be via a midwife or health visitor, can be just an informal chat. But regardless, I totally understand your reasons for wanting to avoid any possible stress, it's not an easy situation. Good luck with it all x

LottieDoubtie Thu 29-Dec-16 23:30:53

Having experienced jumping through the NHS hoops for an ELCS I would not be at all certain that the OP wouldn't have to jump through them/wouldnt find the experience traumatic.

I got my ELCS and it sounds as though my reasons were not as severe as the OPs (they were serious enough for the supervisor of MWs to advise ELCS- that didn't prevent 3 more consultants appointments and 'birth options clinic' which were all very much dedicated to changing my mind) and I've no doubt that she would get one too in the end- BUT it wasn't easy or trauma free.

eternalopt Fri 30-Dec-16 08:18:01

No idea of the private fees, just wanted to say that when the time comes, it would be worth asking your midwife is there is a section friendly female consultant at your local hospital she could refer you to. There is at mine and it meant there were no hoops for me to jump through when I wanted one (previous birth trauma). She was happy for patient choice to win out. My friends at the same hospital did have to use more persuasion. I didn't have one in the end as nature intervened with an early and fast labour that went well so we didn't interfere, but even when I was in hospital dilating rapidly, they were checking with me whether I wanted section instead. Only saw the consultant once, but the registrars working under her followed her ethos and, by chance, were all female. I think asking for female only doctors would be quite common as lots of women do that for religious reasons, although anaesthetics does seem to be male dominated in my experience.

eternalopt Fri 30-Dec-16 08:18:46

^^Should have said my friends at the same hospital under different consultants.

GTS Fri 30-Dec-16 08:44:10

Unfortunately there is ZERO chance of guaranteeing female only doctors on the NHS, religious reasons are not applicable. If it happens it happens, but would be more luck than judgement. It is hard enough to find sufficient doctors to staff a ward, let alone specifying a gender.

TwentySomething Fri 30-Dec-16 13:49:40

Thanks to everyone for the very helpful responses.

OP’s posts: |
RedToothBrush Fri 30-Dec-16 15:53:21

FWIW you might NOT need to jump through as many hoops as you think.

I would advise you to try and get a referral before you even try and get pregnant to get this on record. This IS possible. You can get assessed as having tokophobia and get a CS agreed in principle before getting pregnant on the NHS.

Do some research into where has good mental health support in maternity. Not all hospitals have any support at all. There are specialists in birth fear out there. They are few and fair between but they do exist and they are becoming more common. Find somewhere that has experience of dealing with women like you.

How do you do this? Look for newspaper reports on the subject or which hospitals are doing research into the subject. Check hospital websites for information. Ask your GP. Ask friends. Ask MN. Awareness of this is becoming much more common than it was in 2011 when the current NICE guidelines were written. The bonus in doing this, is it puts you in control and offers you a bit of reassurance before you even start by arming you with the knowledge that it does not have to be a battle.

Its worth your while to at least attempt this, whilst also making plans to save - just in case - as a back up. It could save you a considerable amount of money that you can then invest in your child's future. If you are not pregnant then some of the stress of the process is already removed.

My other reservation about going private is it does not help you address your underlying fears and anxieties which are not just about your past experiences - they relate to your trust with HCPs in general and fear of the system. You need to think about how you deal with this too. And how this could affect your child. Your wider mental health is an issue here. This is something I never realised - nor appreciated until I went through it myself... I think its an essential part of your health care than money won't buy you.

As I say, I've been there. I have done this.

You sound like you are going through the same thought processes and decision making to me, that I went through 5 to 7 years ago. The idea of dealing with the NHS was one that I refused to even consider for a long time. Practically though, it really wasn't an option for me for go private as at the time there were no private options outside the South East at all and this was ultimately what forced me to rethink it and look for an alternative plan to the one I originally envisaged.

Please also be aware that having a private female obstetrician isn't necessarily going to solve your concerns either. They will not be the only person in the operating theatre and they may not be the only person who carries out procedures during the operation. You would need to have an all female support team too. There are also certain circumstances in which you might find things not going to plan - what happens if your obstetrician is dealing with another patient if you go into labour before your CS date? What happens if you have a medical emergency in which an intimate examination is unavoidable? Its rare but its a possibility you need to consider how you will deal with too. (I never had one). Also who is going to deal with you post-op? You will have a catheter that will need to be removed. This is extremely unlikely to be the responsibility of your obstetrician.

Even if you pay for it, you STILL can not guarantee that you will end up with the birth you want to be in control of. This is why building a relationship of trust with the culture and staff of the institution in general, rather than just a single individual, is an important part of the process, in case things don't go quite the way you want and because your care will be the responsibility of a team.

This is why you need more support than simply buying a CS. Its a bit more complex and the issues and concerns you need to think about are perhaps wider than you think now.

Ironically the best person I had was in fact a senior male midwife. He was the one who arranged my CS and listened to why I was so desperate to do this. One of my fears was the stress of the process itself and he recognised and supported me with that part of it.

I now have a 2 year old boy who is awesome.

The NHS were brilliant for me. I had a CS agreed in principle before I got pregnant. I had a CS date by 16 weeks. It is possible.

Whilst I appreciate care within the NHS is patchy and many places do have a culture of hoop jumping that is NOT the case everywhere. I never faced any such hoops as it was recognised early by people who had experience that I had a genuine and legitimate problem for wanting to go down this route. Stating I had a fear of hoop jumping also made it more difficult to do that as well as starting out with a referral to someone senior with enough authority to do that direct from a GP, rather than being referred upwards by a midwife once pregnant. It changes the balance of power and what agendas you might face, which I'm sure given your circumstances you will find helpful.

Getting properly diagnosed as having particular mental health needs for which you are entitled to the most appropriate care - which can include an CS from the offset - is your key.

Good luck. I hope my experience offers you some incite and some things to consider that you might not have and offers you a bit of reassurance that it is possible to have a very positive experience through the NHS in difficult circumstances. There are things you can do to increase your chances of getting this, if you are flexible about which hospital you want to give birth at rather than simply going for the one closest to you. Knowledge is power.

I have been on these threads a long time and read a lot of threads from very desperate women, who want an ELCS. Hoop jumping happens, but there are lots of places who are a lot more sympathetic than you might think and many, many women post here surprised that they are NOT subjected to it when they have been very fearful that they will be.

EstelleRoberts Fri 30-Dec-16 18:51:13

We paid around £20k for everything last year at Chelsea and Westminster. My consultant was Roshni Patel, who was brilliant. She has a special interest in mental health, and I think she would be very sensitive to your needs, if you are near enough for C&W to be a viable option.

As it happens, my ELCS was done by an all-female team (anaesthetist was Joanna Allan, who was also great). I didn't ask for that, but in a large teaching hospital I would have thought they could do their best to accommodate such a request if possible, especially as an ELCS is booked so far in advance.

EstelleRoberts Fri 30-Dec-16 18:51:51

Allam, not Allan.

TwentySomething Fri 30-Dec-16 19:19:27

I don't necessarily need an all-female team but would prefer a female consultant to lead. The issue is more around loss of control and intimate examinations. I had one once (just a brief look) when I agreed it was medically essential and I trusted the female doctor, but that is the only time I've ever managed it. I realise it's not realistic to avoid examinations completely but I'd need them to be kept to an absolute minimum. I seem to recall reading on a thread recently that not all hospitals use catheters for CS any more. Has that been anyone's experience?

I am near enough to London for any of the Central London hospitals to be a viable option.

OP’s posts: |
TwentySomething Fri 30-Dec-16 19:26:41

And thanks to RedToothBrush for such a helpful and thought-provoking response.

OP’s posts: |
RedToothBrush Fri 30-Dec-16 20:25:12

My understanding about catheters is it depends on individual hospital policy. As a rule its non-negotiable in the majority I think, due to the risk of bladder damage if you don't have one. I did look into the option of seeing if I could request not having one, but in the end felt that it seemed like an unwise move so didn't even try and I got the impression that it was not an option where I was.

In the end it was not something I even really noticed due to the anaesthetic. The team were very understanding and sensitive about putting it in and taking it out and I barely even noticed them doing it. My worry prior to the event was much greater than it proved to be on the day, especially with everything else going on and it being an experience that was quite overwhelming in other respects. I had obsessed over it before hand though.

In the scheme of things, with the benefit of hindsight there were other things that I found more stressful in the end which came as something of a surprise given it was one of the things I worried about most at the time.

LottieDoubtie Fri 30-Dec-16 21:28:01

Red gives excellent advice, my son is the same age as hers and I wish I'd had the wisdom to do the 'pre conception' research that she had done. My experiences were much more pot luck- and as a result mixed I saw some amazing health professionals and some genuinely horrendous ones.

I agree with the catheter advice too- I was very worried about this and in reality it was not a problem at all. It went in without me really realising (and certainly without me feeling anything at all) - and came out painlessly (although I did feel it, procecdure lasted less than 3 seconds)

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