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Row over caesarean op barriers

Wednesday August 22nd, 2018

Pregnant women are being intimidated to prevent them requesting caesarean births, campaigners have claimed.

Some hospitals are simply refusing requests for planned sections while others are requiring women to go through complicated procedures, according to the organisation Birthrights.

The organisation claims hospitals are misinterpreting recent guidance aimed at reducing the rate of caesarean section.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence says that women should have “discussion and support” if they request a surgical birth without medical reason.

According to Birthrights, 26% of trusts offer maternal request caesarean section in line with this guidance.

Its Freedom of Information inquiries found that 47% offered caesarean section with “concerns” about the procedures used.

Some 15% refused to allow planned caesarean sections, including the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. The charity is considering legal action against the trust over its ban.

The organisation’s chief executive Rebecca Schiller said: “Maternal request caesareans are the number one reason women contact the Birthrights advice service. The women we support have endured previously traumatic births, mental ill-health, childhood sexual abuse or have carefully examined the evidence available and made informed decisions that planned caesareans will give them and their baby the best chance of an emotionally and physically healthy start.

“It is clear that women requesting caesareans meet judgement, barriers and disrespect more often than they find compassion and support.”

Tags: Childbirth and Pregnancy | NHS | UK News | Women's Health & Gynaecology

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