As the year 2019 draws to a close, this page is a celebration of the many happy and positive caesarean birth experiences women have had this year. During 2018’s special week, we celebrated maternal satisfaction, healing birth, saving lives, prophylactic planning, medical advances, pelvic floor protection and maternal choice, and this year we focus on the latter. Thank you to everyone who continues to support communication and understanding of this choice, and many congratulations on the births of these beautiful babies!
My CS experience was absolutely wonderful! I had my sweet baby girl on 1/12/19. I had this pre-planned, so I got to see my doctor at every appointment throughout my whole pregnancy, and then she was able to deliver my baby. It was so special to have her as a part of my experience on that day as I truly adore her. They played 80s music in the operating room and the surgery was over before I knew it! I went home a day early (my request) because I felt great! I healed very quickly once I was home and was asking when I could get back to the gym at my 7 day postpartum appointment. I began a walking regime that day and was cleared after 8 weeks to resume activity as per usual. My birth experience was everything I could have wanted and more, and my daughter is a healthy, happy perfect little princess!
Having been granted my elective caesarean this year, after 6 hours of labour, I am even more sure this was the right choice for my mental and physical health, and that of my child. If I were, as many of my friends have been, trying to get through these first few months with a newborn while wondering if I would ever recover continence or regain a sex life, I would have struggled to form a bond with my baby. Her Apgar scores were 10/10/10 and she is very healthy and smiley.
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Undoubtedly, there will be women for whom their caesarean birth was unwanted and difficult to process and/or recover from, and it is important that these experiences are not forgotten or dismissed.
But where a caesarean is wanted, whether for emergency, medical or prophylactic reasons, this is an annual opportunity to celebrate these experiences, and to demonstrate the importance and value of timely access to this birth choice.
No birth plan is without risk, and yet unfortunately, there remains considerable opposition to caesarean birth choice in many areas of the world. Looking back over the past decade, there have been important steps forward (e.g. NICE CG132, Montgomery, CQC, SOGC), but steps backward (or no movement at all) too.
We’re on the cusp of an important anniversary for maternal request caesareans (more on that soon), and my sincere hope for the decade ahead is to see:
1) Improved maternity data – specifically citing maternal request outcomes
2) Informed consent – for all modes and places of birth
3) Unhindered support for maternal request caesareans
4) More evidence on all short- and long-term outcomes for different birth mode plans
5) Caesarean rate league tables (local, national and international) made obsolete
- Written by author and journalist Pauline M Hull