Would these count as reasons for a ELCS(54 Posts)
I'm only 10 weeks now but as it's my first I'm thinking a lot about these things, I've been wondering whether the following list would mean I would be eligible for a ELCS
- I'm terrified of anything medical, my heart pounds and I feel my blood pressure increase. I know this would mean in labour the same would occur and then constant monitoring would just make it worse still, almost creating a spiral of stress which I'm sure wouldn't help the baby
- I'm fine with the idea of the childbirth pain, I'm terrified of the process and potential for serious damage to my body such as incontinence
- I do not trust that my requests for no interventions will be listened to (I have read a scary statistic stating the amount of refused consent episiotomies for instance)
- I cannot trust myself to not put my babies life at risk by not letting medical professionals near me if I am scared in hospital if I do not trust them because of the above (I may be fine, I may Not, who knows!!!)
- when I was very young I had stitches somewhere down there.....i don't actually know where but I was only around 3 and I still vividly remember the pain and screaming at them to stop and being ignored - the statistics for mothers being ignored doesn't help this either. I have a feeling I also kicked a nurse hard in the head (which I do still feel incredibly guilty for ) I would not want to do that as an adult to a midwife
I am more than happy to talk through my fears with a xouncillor but quite frankly I think they're legitimate fears, same as someone who has a fear of snakes/spiders (actually I think it makes more sense as a teeny spider in the UK is going to have no negative impacts on you).
Would an ElCS be an option to me?
I believe you're entitled to an ELCS if that's your choice? Try googling for the NICE guidelines.
You can insist on a CS if you really want to but make sure you're properly informed before you do. If you're terrified of anything medical then being wheeled into the bright lights of theatre isn't going to be easy either. A section is major abdominal surgery which comes with its own risks and complications and the recovery is usually much harder than from a vaginal delivery. I've only given birth vaginally but having done that I can tell you i would be much more frightened of going in for an ELCS. Try talking to your midwife, touring the hospital etc and just see how you feel as the time nears. Don't read horror stories online either, you're highly unlikely to be treated as badly as you seem to expect!
I am very aware of the ELCS risks too, I've done my reading on both and I know it's not risk free but it does seem a great deal more controlled. I know it sounds illogical to cope better with that when I am scared but at least there are significantly fewer variables
I would love a simple water birth. But I know that the chances of this are slim
It would be lovely to think that I wouldn't be treated badly or not listened to in labour but there are no guarantees unfortunately. I've been through the experience of not being listened to and it's horrible!
Had a planned elective with my second and it was a lovely peaceful experience. There are (obv) a lot of needles etc and the surgery felt very crowded with lots of people, but I'd been told what to expect, and it was all very calm.
Woman have rights now thankfully. If you are too scared of VB you should get a csection x
Would you consider a home birth? I know it's not for everyone but it might be worth researching. Hire a birth pool, only have people you know present, safety and comfort of your own home, much less chance of intervention...
Calm sounds amazing monkey needles I can handle
Homebirth sounds fantastic however had I been a homebirth I wouldn't be here now so things like that scare me a little
OP your post is screaming out to me that you should perhaps explore options such as homebirth/midwife led unit/waterbirth/hypnobirthing (assuming that you have a low risk pregnancy) rather than an ELCS. I understand that there are fewer variables and unknowns in that scenario but it also guarantees a lot of medical intervention.
A doula is unfortunately not an option due to the cost however I will look up hypnobirthing. I love the idea of a midwife unit and a water birth but what if you get there and they're full? Or they say you can't use the pool for one reason or another?
Homebirth would be lovely too but
Oops hint post too soon, but I do worry about the risks as if I wasn't a hospital birth I'd not have made it
Why don't you google or ask your midwife for more information about your trust's midwife led unit/birth centre options? It sounds like you have a lot of anxiety around the "what ifs" of a hospital birth. You could probably benefit from talking to someone about it and exploring ways of managing this anxiety rather than jumping to ELCS request as your first action here.
I had an ELCS honestly based on your list it doesn't sound like the ideal option for you. It is highly medicalized. You will have to be still enough to allow them to insert the drip, catheter, and the spinal/epidural. You have to have full confidence that the doctor is conducting the surgery properly as there is a curtain up and you won't be able to see or feel what is happening.
I think you would benefit from getting as much information as possible but ELCS doesn't seem like an obvious choice for someone who is terrified of medical professionals. If you will kick and punch while they are trying to prep you for the operation it's going to be a problem.
I agree with Eeanne- ELCS is highly medicalised. I had a an ELCS with my 2nd child in 2016 after a VB with my first in 2013. I really had to fight the medical professionals for it. No matter what they say about being able to choose ELCS, most medical professionals will still resist- it really depends on you getting a sympathetic consultant. I had a fantastic consultant who told me from the start that I could have an ELCS if I wanted one, but explained that she had to go through the drawbacks for the procedure, and that is probably come up against other doctors and midwives who didn’t think I should.
An ELCS isn't actually what I want, I want a water birth in a midwife lead unit. Unfortunately there isn't a midwife lead unit, the closest being just over an hour away. I'm still considering that as it's got a phenomenal reputation.
I know that an ELCS is heavily medicalised, but friends who have experienced them have said you're talked through the experience before and during. This puts my mind at rest, far fewer variables and yes of course it can go wrong but for some reason the fear isn't there in the same way.
I had an elcs (not my choice, I had some complications, but it was planned and not emergency so technically elcs.)
Firstly, you can request an elcs. You don’t need a reason or ‘an excuse’ in the uk. Maternal choice is enough.
Secondly, if you do request it’s likely you will be pressurised to some degree into a vb- they usually lean on you a bit. But if you stick with it then you are entitled to one.
Thirdly, if you have birth related anxiety then there are services available to help. Talk to your mw.
And lastly, stuff can go very medicalised in an elcs. The spinal wore off in mine for example which I have to say was not hugely fun. Luckily they dealt with that pretty sharpish but there you go.
I understand your position and actually I think it’s quite logical - birth is probably the riskiest thing most women will ever do. The safest option is an uncomplicated VB but of course you can’t guarantee that. The next safest option is an uncomplicated elcs. So it’s actually not an illogical voice you’re making.
Talk to your mw and don’t be afraid to stand your ground. Remember trusts are under big pressure to cut cs rates as well. If I were you I’d work on the anxiety and go from there - if you feel more comfortable after that then maybe a VB is happening. If not, you have the option of a cs.
I was somewhat similar to you for my first, though not quite so strongly felt. I did a hypnobirthing course and the background material really helped me. Understanding how the physiological processes help birth the baby was very powerful. I did have a straightforward birth in the pool at a midwife led unit (ours is only 20 or so minutes away), but I acknowledge that a lot of that was down to luck rather than just the hypnobirth techniques.
The techniques you learn are aimed at helping you keep calm and feeling in control, no matter what way things go, rather than achieving a pain free birth.
Perhaps find a hypnobirthing course and you can still opt for an ELCS if you still think that would be the best option for you? The techniques you learn could still be used to help in the highly medicalised scenario of an ELCS.
Hope you have a healthy pregnancy!
I had an emergency section with my first then chose to have an elcs with my second. Both of my sections were fine and I was pleased I had the elcs - but please bear in mind that you are VERY aware of the 'medical' side of things in an elective.
There is lots of waiting around, talking to surgeon/anaesthetist etc, heading down to theatre, having injections etc - during all this time you are completely aware of everything that is happening, and I found this MUCH more nerve wracking then when I was dealing with stuff in labour with my first. There is also more medical stuff afterwards - cannula, monitoring, drip etc.
So if it is the medical side of things that stresses you out, an elcs really might not be the best thing for you.
I really do think that it would be worth researching a home birth. I know you believe that you wouldn't be alive had you been born at home, but had there been signs of distress etc you would be brought to hospital. You would have the undivided attention of at least one, and possibly two, midwives at home. That's unlikely to be the case in hospital.
Given that you don't actually want an elcs, it seems to be a good alternative and a feasible way of achieving a water birth
I will definitely look at home births and hypnobirthing thank you all.
ElCS fight will be if they say I HAVE to go to hospital I think
OP I think that's sensible. I assume you are having a low risk pregnancy, so doing some hypnobirthing, accessing some specialist services to talk through birth anxiety (there may be a specialist midwife who does this), and planning a home or birth centre birth is probably your best option (a birth centre an hour from home is still an option for someone having their first baby as you generally have lots of time to get there).
Then if for some reason things look like they are going to become more medicalised late in the pregnancy, (for instance they want to induce you), you can then discuss ELCS. I hope everything goes smoothly for you!
What happens if you get to a small midwife led unit and they're full?
So far low risk but obviously aware things can change. Thank you all for your help
I’ll also say that a small mw led unit to me would not be a choice I’d entertain for a first baby unless it was physically connected (by which I mean being able to shove a trolley through the double doors) into a fully equipped unit with full NICU/surgical capability.
I too am very anxious about any possible second birth. They are OBSESSED with natural birth in my country, there’s no maternal request option and the rate of birth injury is high. So that’s worrying for me.
Your issues are understandable and to do with consent and boundaries. They are not irrational at all. You need to talk to the people caring for you at every stage and reiterate that nothing, absolutely nothing, is done to you without informed consent
Pp is not correct that anyone has a right to a c section for maternal request. Depends on your trust but 9 times out of 10 you most definitely do need a 'reason'. However- anxiety or mental health reason is a valid reason, whereas simply wanting one often is not. You will need to be 100% sure of your decision in order to convince a consultant and jump through the various hoops. So if you are wavering between actually wanting a water birth or home birth instead, you're very unlikely to persuade them imo. I would do a lot more research into all options and have a good talk to your midwife- they should also be able to refer you to a senior midwife at hospital who deal with birth choices and can give you more reassurance about what your options are.
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