29 March, 2022
The Times Newspaper reported this weekend that there was drive at the Shrewsbury NHS to encourage natural births as opposed to caesarean sections.
The NCT( Natural Childbirth Association) use to advocate for fewer interventions, arguing that birth was primarily a natural process and that women ought to be supported to give birth naturally.
In 1985 the World Health Organisation (WHO) stated that countries should aim for a caesarean section rate no higher than 10 to 15 per cent. By the time the WHO had backtracked on its statement, the damage had been done.
Both procedures have risks. Prolonged labour, particularly induced, can be damaging to both mother and baby. Caesarean sections can result in major blood loss, a need for a blood transfusion, a risk of sepsis infection. Subsequent pregnancy can lead to a rupture in the womb during labour.
Previous studies have concluded that overall, the risk of adverse outcomes is small for either delivery approach.
Caesareans undoubtedly had a place and should always be considered if there is a risk to the mother or the baby. They frequently occur in a medical emergency and have saved many lives. The overriding view from the Times article is that the outcome is the most important factor, not how we get there. Natural childbirth is entirely appropriate in the right circumstances as is a Caesarean. The aim should be to avoid injuring the mother and baby. Birth injuries can have a devastating impact on a family's life often leaving a child requiring a lifetime of care and support.
For more information contact John Bennett in our Clinical Negligence department via email or phone on 01254 872111. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.
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