Leigh East talking to BBC Tees – Caesarean Ban

I was interviewed by BBC Tees as part of a debate on PCTs banning planned caesareans where there is no medical need (in at 1 hour 40 minutes).

“Women have the right to make an informed choice about they way they give birth…some women would rather plan a caesarean to avoid the risks associated with an emergency caesarean…The National Institute for Clincial Excellence (NICE) have clearly stated, and I quote ‘If a vaginal birth is still not an acceptable option to the woman, her request for a CS should be supported within the health system’.”

Such a recommendation by NICE follows an 18month assessment of research into the benefits and risks of caesarean birth. Assuming that the birth is planned for no earlier than 39 weeks these mothers are NOT requesting something which carries any greater risk to their baby than to those born vaginally at the same stage.

Interesting comments earlier in the programme from independent midwife Chris Warren and later by Pauline McDongagh-Hull Caesarean birth campaigner.

Pauline and I have separately contacted Dr Dixon (Chairman of the NHS Alliance) to discuss some of his material – in particular his implication that the UK still aims for the WHO 15% target rate, when it does not.