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choosing a c section

(33 Posts)
SammyFirstBaby Thu 21-Mar-13 23:48:53

can I choose one? I am physically sick at the thought of a vaginal birth and have panic attacks
when would they do it weeks wise?sad

CareerGirl01 Fri 22-Mar-13 07:28:25

Normally at 38/39 weeks. I had an emergency section with my first and - much to my regret - having to have an elective c section with my second - scheduled in six weeks time. C sections are painful and the recovery time is much longer. Maybe speak to your midwife about hypnobirthbirthing - I've seen other mums mention about it helping them to relax.

Teaandflapjacks Fri 22-Mar-13 09:04:25

I don't know - I know for a fact that where I live unless you have a medical reason, such as breach (which you can chose to have a vaginal birth for depending of how the baby lies anyway) etc then they simply won't. It is major surgery, and there are higher risks, both to you, and to the baby - so no doctor would do that these days. If you had the money I think private in UK maybe - just maybe though, but you would have to go privately and ask, this would not be covered under insurance either I assume. I live in germany where you automatically get free acupuncture in the last 6 weeks in the run up to help with the birth - this is something you could look at. Also - hypnotherapy is another option, and talking through with midwife.

What is it that scares you exactly? They give you gas and air in UK (not here in germany - sob!), epidural - which is essentially the same as a c-section via elective as you would also be awake for that too, and if you are good with using oil around your vagina from week 36 at least on this prevents risks of tearing or need for any cutting. If they need to cut they would check your pain relief prior to doing so. I myself an terrified of tearing/cutting - so i have DH on hand to massage me with oil later on - he is totally on board with that (although some friends did without as they didn't want their partners fiddling about 'down there'). The upside to a normal birth is - you are more with it after, you can shower/wash etc instantly, no need for catheter, or for nurse to change your sanitary pads for you in bed, etc etc - other Mum's who have had them can tell you better. I had a friend who also terrified, and in the end had to have an elective c-section due to baby's position, which ended in emergency in the end anyway. You just never know! But speak to someone - they will have experience of this and should be able to help you. smile

Teaandflapjacks Fri 22-Mar-13 09:05:43

p.s. congrats!!

hotcrosbum Fri 22-Mar-13 09:14:07

I chose a c section when I had my son 11 years ago, partly due to being treated abysmally by staff during my pregnancy (vaginal exams where they refused to shut curtains on a busy ward, for example) and partly because thats what I wanted, I never wanted a vaginal birth.

I had to fight tooth and nail though, but it was when I broke down and had a panic attack during another internal that they realised I would not mentally cope with giving birth naturally.

I had my section booked for 39 weeks, but went into labour at 37, so had one as an 'emergency' (wasn't really, but it was classed as that as I was having contractions).

Since it's been 11 years since my section and the hospital I am going to are trying to cut their cs rates, I guess i am going to have a fight on my hands this time round.

Yes, afterwards it fucking hurts for a bit. But you've been cut in half and sewn back together again, so it's going to. I walked as soon as I could, it helped. Morphine does jack shit for me (unlucky) so I just took neurofen for the pain. It was manageable, only horrible for the first two days.

Then again, my sister gave naturally birth 3 weeks after me, had 3rd degree tears, infections, haemorrhaged etc, was out of action for far longer than I was with my CS. You can never tell.

tak1ngchances Fri 22-Mar-13 09:22:19

I am not pregnant yet, only TTC (for a year + but that's another thread...). I know 100% that I will choose to have an ELCS. Why?
- the risks are clearer
- I have anxiety and want to know what will happen, when
- I have pelvic problems already and think I could end up doubly incontinent if an assisted VBAC took place

I don't expect that any of these will be considered reason enough for NHS to offer me an ELCS. So I have saved enough money to go to a private hospital.

To me, this means that I am a woman living in the 21st century, who has made an intelligent and considered choice about childbirth. Every woman should be entitled to do the same IMO

bogwoppitinatree Fri 22-Mar-13 09:32:30

I can't recommend hypnobirthing enough to everyone out there. It really is an amazing way to build confidence around birthing. Have a look for someone in your area and see if you can have a chat. C-section is a big choice to make.

tak1ngchances Fri 22-Mar-13 09:35:18

Fair enough bogwop, I understand that it can help you relax. But hypnobirthing is not going to help you if a ventouse or forceps is required.

LemonPeculiarJones Fri 22-Mar-13 09:38:27

OP I'm considering a C section too (am pg with DC2). My first birth experience was difficult and I'm weighing up the pros and cons.

Teaandflapjacks has some good advice, but I think she's describing an 'ideal' natural birth - I had a v birth first time round, and I was bed-bound for a bit afterwards, and I did need a catheter and for nurses to change pads, I was in pain for several days.

Not saying that you would have this experience! Every birth is different. But for me and most of my NCT group, the births weren't straight-forward and there was intervention and recovery time afterwards.

Not trying to scare you, my lovely - I am still considering trying for a v birth again. And I know plenty of women who had much better experiences, too.

If you tell your midwife/GP and insist on a cs, you'll probably be referred to a mental healthcare professional to talk it through. If you insist, and really express your fears, then you will get an elective cs.

Teaandflapjacks Fri 22-Mar-13 10:48:26

Lemon - you are quite right hon - I have no doubt it will be horrific - just in germany it is a flat no (private or otherwise) for an elective c section unless medically necessary - so I am psyching myself up and looking at the pros of a v birth. But no gas and air? ahhhh!! at least they do have epidurals etc. God the whole thing is horrific. At the open evenings, they have lovely snaps of calm looking women bouncing on birthing balls, with partner mopping brow and everyone looks so happy.... I had a friend who's midwife said, with no pain relief 'I am just going to make a bit more room here', and snipped away.. When they stitched her up - they did her her a shot of something, but she had 4 more stitches to go, and the pain relief had run out, they told her to grin and bear it - shock cries into tea and cornflakes at thought, and crosses legs

Teaandflapjacks Fri 22-Mar-13 10:57:19

p.s. I kind of think though - make it upfront as easy as you can - try to relax as best you can, all the women who have had natural births did say you body does 'take over' to some degree, and what goes in, must come out... however you achieve it.... the end result will be totally worth it smile

LemonPeculiarJones Fri 22-Mar-13 11:20:04

Ah tea - poor you, birth is such a worry every which way you look at it! Good that you can get an epidural in Germany though.

I will say that during the three days I was in the birth experience, parts of it were manageable, you do go with it, and I was so impressed with myself for coping so well (I'd listened to natal hypnotherapy CDs and used visualisation exercises). It was just the last bit and the recovery which made it traumatic for me.

But yes the end result is always so worth it! smile

Christelle2207 Fri 22-Mar-13 11:20:05

As far as I understand it we are all entitled to speak to a consultant about the possibility of having an ELCS whether there is a medical need or not. My MW certainly hasn't volunteered this information though and it's up the consultant whether you get one or not.
OP I would speak to a mw in the first instance -given your fears you will be a good candidate for one and may well get one but I don't think you should assume you will just be offered it.

bogwoppitinatree Fri 22-Mar-13 12:37:52

Taking Chances - why would being calm and relaxed during a forceps/ventuose delivery not be a help? The more you tense and your muscles with it, the slower things are going to progress and more stressed your baby is going to get whatever the situation.
One of the biggest things hypnobirthing aims to teach is to stay in a state of relaxation whatever turn a birthing may take. Anyway, good luck to the OP whatever she decides. smile

tak1ngchances Fri 22-Mar-13 16:21:49

I agree it's lovely to be relaxed during the event bogwop, I am talking about the after-effects.

Totally agree, best of luck to the OP. Sammy i hope you reach a decision that is right for you and congratulations on your pregnancy.

My personal wish for this country is that women were given choices and information, rather than having to beg for things such as epidurals and C-sections. It is a pitiful state of affairs.

looloo13 Sun 24-Mar-13 15:36:51

A c-section almost killed me, these are not something that is easy. I ended up with 9.5 inch blood clott, spent over a month in intensive care , needed physio for 18 months just to be able to walk unaided again and had blood poisoning due to the operation, I missed out on the first 3 months of being a mum to my daughter, I have to wear support stockings every day for the rest of my life. Please think about the down side of what many people think is the easy option.

tak1ngchances Sun 24-Mar-13 17:26:12

looloo was it an emergency or elective section?

TakingTheStairs Mon 25-Mar-13 09:00:18

tak1ngchances I feel exactly the way you do and I will be opting for an ELCS. My work health insurance thankfully covers private maternity care so I don't anticipate it being a problem for me but you can request an ELCS through the NHS. Be prepared for a bit of a battle but it can be done. And I know it's easier said than done, but do try to relax until you are actually pregnant. There's nothing you can do yet so getting yourself worked up won't help.
And if you have the funds, you can go private for about 9-10K. Not the Portland! but a private wing & consultant in an NHS hospital.

tak1ngchances Mon 25-Mar-13 10:22:44

Thanks TakingTheStairs. Which health scheme are you with? I am BUPA platinum cover but it doesn't cover maternity unless there is a condition that requires medical intervention.

I am not going on the NHS, no way. I have looked into consultants & costs and so far I like the look of the Lansdell Suite at St Thomas' in London. I am expecting to pay up to £15k

TakingTheStairs Mon 25-Mar-13 10:34:17

I looked at the Lansdell suite too. I really liked it. Have you got them to send you out information? They will send you a pack with a breakdown of their prices and who their consultants are etc. You might find it really useful.
I'm with Cigna which is part of Bupa but you can't get it as an individual unfortunately. There needs to be a certain number of people signed up to it to be able to have it.

TakingTheStairs Mon 25-Mar-13 10:34:52

Sorry - just saw that you've looked into your consultants too

MoodyDidIt Mon 25-Mar-13 10:47:09

hi OP

i was like this with my first dc, and after being referred to an obstetric consultant and also a psychiatrist they believed my fear was bad enough to be offered a cs. i had another one with dc2 but as had already had a cs they offered me one without any bother

so you CAN have one, but you will have to really push for it and do your research on cs's and let them know you are serious

btw am pg with dc3 now, am older, wiser, and less scared, so am now considering a vbac! but i know only too well the terrible fear so please feel free to PM me if you want to chat more x

looloo13 Tue 26-Mar-13 08:37:56

hi it was elective due to me losing a daughter at 22 weeks and having to go through labour which was horrific.

rainrainandmorerain Tue 26-Mar-13 09:01:44

I had a planned cs on the nhs for my 1st dc for fear of childbirth, and will be having a second planned cs shortly.

I had to have several meetings with MWs, consultants and a mental health specialist before it was agreed. They were all helpful and sympathetic btw - but (as with much nhs care) this seems to vary from place to place, and there have been posts here from women who have been treated a lot worse and had a fight on their hands.

I think it is best to assume that you cannot have one just for asking - and that if you are genuinely very fearful, they will want to be convinced you are scared to the point of phobia before taking it seriously and going down the cs route. I would also make it a priority to go 'beyond' mw care asap. MWs cannot in any case agree a cs for you, most are very anti-cs and it's not their job to offer a psychiatric evaluation.

btw, it is always worth doing your research about risks etc as far as you can with cs. Asking on boards like this is fairly pointless - you find women who have had horrific vbs and women who have had awful cs's. Emergency CS's represent the majority of cs's carried out in the UK, and this tends to be reflected in discussion. My planned cs was calm, relaxed, well managed and as long as you keep on pain meds afterwards, pain need not be an issue. I was home after 2 nights in hospital (have been told I can come out after one night this time if all is well) - recovered very well, bf-ed my ds successfully and after I had my stitches out 5 days post op, felt really good. Friends having 1st babies vaginally around the same time had a variety of experiences - but nearly all of them needed a longer stay in hospital than I did and had ongoing problems afterwards (epsiotomy infection, restitches, readmission to hospital). A couple are still having physio/counselling 2 years on, which I find a bit shocking.

But that's just my experience. I think you are best off asking specifically for advice from women who have asked for or had cs for fear of childbirth (some will have had cs, some may have had counselling/vb). Otherwise all you'll get is general responses about cs, and these threads tend to fill up with people who have not had a phobia about birth, but had emcs's when they desperately wanted vbs. Unsurprisingly, they are very anti cs! and tend to assume their experience is the 'one experience' of cs, iyswim.

notdueforages Tue 26-Mar-13 09:17:46


Lots of people saying you have to fight for an elective CS or go private but that hasn't been my experience. I just said I wanted one, had to see a consultant and that was that, I am having one. Perhaps it depends on the trust but the NICe guidelines are useful reading

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