Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Caesareans Cause Concern

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Caesareans Cause Concern

Article excerpt

Byline: By Julie Cush

Soaring Caesarean birth rates are fuelling concern that many are carried out for reasons that aren't strictly medical.

Some believe the rise is because women feel they are "too posh to push" after the examples set by celebrity mums such as Victoria Beckham and disc jockey Zoe Ball, who both opted for the operation.

But a new report by the House of Commons Health Committee is blaming a lack of midwives and inexperience of doctors for the rise.

Its members are calling for a change in policy to ensure the operation is only carried out when it is medically or psychologically necessary.

In England one in five babies is now delivered by C-section, compared with just three per cent in the 50s.

Julia Drown, chairwoman of the maternity services sub-committee, says the inquiry will find out if maternity services have changed since in the last 10 years.

She said: "Although we found some excellent examples of maternity services, we were disappointed that much of what was expected by the Government 10 years ago has not been created consistently across the country.

"Some women are having unnecessary Caesareans on the advice of doctors who lack experience.

"There also seems to be a link between Caesarean rates and low staffing levels.

"It seems to us unacceptable that a woman should undergo a surgical procedure that might have been avoided had she been better supported during pregnancy and or during labour."

Women who have a Caesarean are three times more likely to die in labour, although the risk is still small.

A spokeswoman for the Royal College of Midwives said: "Pregnancy and childbirth make you vulnerable and there's a fear of pain. The `medicalisation' of childbirth alienates women from the birthing process.

"And that is when women are going to want to have an elective Caesarean. …

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