I've just been reading a few other threads, and I get the impression that the NHS tries to make it as hard as possible to have an elective section. Is it true that they (the consultants and midwives) don't advertise the fact that anyone is entitled to a section? I've also read about people having to fight tooth and nail to have an elective C-section. What are people's experiences with asking for a section and getting one? Do they really try to make it as difficult as possible?
Assuming you have a reason, not that hard. I had a complicated 1st birth and was told (when I asked) that I could have an ELCS, on psychological grounds. Essentially I didn't want another VB though there was no significant physical reason not to have one. They won't "offer" it but in most cases after a discussion with a consultant who has to sign it off (NOT a midwife) it's very possible I believe. In many cases you may need to stand your ground though- midwives and consultants may well try and put you off!
They aren't offered as a choice (due to cost and increase in risks to patient) however you can chose to have one - just ask. They may try and persuade you otherwise, after all it could be unnecessary major abdominal surgery! But it is your choice.
I got one but that was due to my traumatic first birth. However - I had to be adamant. They tried to talk me out of it at every stage and I think only my hysterical tears were the reason I got one. I can understand why they don't want to give them for no reason.
I think it should be patient led. If you have a need, then you should be able to request it (which is what the guidelines reflect I suppose). It's important to separate want from need though and it's a very sketchy area. It's not something that should be routinely offered because it is logistically and financially impossible.
I had already had an emcs so was offered a completely free choice of elcs or vbac.
I really don't think that the NHS offers cs as a choice, unless there is a well-founded medical reason for it. Why should they? It's major surgery, with all the associated risks and costs. If there is a reason, then yes, it is not hard to get one, but they will ensure that you are aware of all the implications, and there are quite a few.
You have every right to request a CS and they have to take your request seriously - this is in the NICE guidelines - see below:
22.214.171.124 For women requesting a CS, if after discussion and offer of support (including perinatal mental health support for women with anxiety about childbirth), a vaginal birth is still not an acceptable option, offer a planned CS.
126.96.36.199 An obstetrician unwilling to perform a CS should refer the woman to an obstetrician who will carry out the CS.
I think the NHS try not to offer them on grounds of cost, they need to keep theater space open in case someone needs an Emergency CS leaving less space for Elective CS and if you're capable of a safe VB they would see it as unnecessary invasive surgery. My friend argued for a CS and wished she hadn't (but on the flip side some women have them and are very happy with their choice) because afterward she was told couldn't lift anything heavier than a kettle which her son was and had to get her other half up to get him out of the Moses basket so she could feed him because she couldn't bend down to get him. But it is your right and if you really want one just don't take no for an answer.
It depends on your hospital and the policy. I've just had one a few weeks ago having had to fight very hard. I'd had a previous EMCS, poor candidate for VBAC, a complication meaning they needed blood and paediatricians on standby and PTSD from my first premature birth and still I had to fight. I had to go on a VBAC course, psychologist, consultant midwife, birth choices session, and see 3 consultants. Took me until 37 weeks to get it sorted
I think it depends, but for me it was easy. My consultant said she would support whatever I chose but admitted afterwards that she was relieved that I have chosen an elective section. I have medical reason (damaged hips & chronic RA) and a previous birth history that led to an emergency section. I am hoping that it will be easier than the protracted labour and emergency section I had with DS. I only know people who have chosen them from a medical point of view.