Antenatal advice may ‘perpetuate C-section myths’

With over half of UK births involving intervention, I believe women need to know more about their options so they can assess the risks for themselves and play an active role in the direction of their labour. Unfortunately some antenatal education classes shy away from this difficult subject leaving women in the dark about these important interventions. I highlighted this point for a BBC article.

“All too often the risks of vaginal birth are significantly downplayed while caesareans are portrayed as an intervention to avoid wherever possible, with those planning a Caesarean labelled selfish or “too posh to push”.”

“Unfortunately the majority of women still understand so little about C-sections that it should come as no surprise to find that many find their experience, if they have one, extremely traumatic, so severe in fact that some go on to develop post-traumatic stress disorder, while those who want or need to plan a Caesarean are left totally unaware of the opportunities for making their birth feel special and personal.”

While not all classes have such glaring omissions it remains the case that the quality of antenatal education is quite variable and “Unfortunately the toxic combination of out of date or inadequate information and biased advice means that women will continue to face their birth with huge gaps in their knowledge leading to unnecessary trauma.”

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