Leigh East interviewed by Sunday Times – Some PCTs ban planned caesareans

The Sunday Times reveal that a number of PCTs are now formally banning all planned caesareans that have no medical justication. (Linking to Daily Mail copy of the article because the Sunday Times is behind a subscription page).

As an advocate for informed choice I am disappointed PCTs are taking this huge step backwards in women’s birth rights all in the name of cost cutting. What is being forgotten is that the number of women falling into this category is not only incredibly small but that only a fraction of them, should they be made to have a vaginal birth instead, would achieve the totally natural birth. (e.g. no intervention of any sort and no over night stay) necessary to achieve the levels of cost savings being talked about. We know that over 50% of UK vaginal births currently involve intervention. The emotional trauma suffered by women forced to labour when they so clearly wanted a caesarean is akin to that experienced by many women wanting a vaginal birth but ending up with an emergency caesarean.

Attempting to save costs by banning all those planned caesareans where there are no recognised medical grounds totally fails to address the many, many reasons why women make these requests. It is certainly not all about ‘lifestyle’ for many of them and this ban removes the ability for women to make informed choices based on sound risk assessment.

Funny figures from WHO on caesareans

An excellent example of how to really assess a scientific paper.

The World Health Organisation suggested that women ‘too posh to push’ were 3 times more at risk of death or other complications than those experiencing a vaginal birth. Nigel Hawkes of Straight Statistics looks at the details and finds “WHO believes too many caesareans are done without proper cause. But in interpreting these data, the authors appear to have bent over backwards to prove the point – a classic illustration of White Hat bias. The findings should be ignored.”

Book contributors – many thanks for your support

A wonderful network of specialists – midwives, obstetricians and anaesthetists, have participated in the development of my book. I am confident everything you read is accurate and based on up-to-date research.

My thanks to:

  • Dr Philip J Steer BSc, MD, RCOG Emeritus Professor, Imperial College London, Consultant Obstetrician, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital London
  • Fiona Knox MB ChB, FRCA, MD – Consultant Anaesthetist
  • Debbie Rhodes Registered Midwife RM (Hons)
  • Dr Lena M. Crichton, Consultant Obstetrician Aberdeen Maternity Hospital
  • Dr Bryan Beattie MD FRCOG – Consultant in Fetal Medicine and Director of Innermost Secrets Ltd, Cardiff
  • Dr Fiona Schneider FRCOG, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist
  • Kim Hughes BSc (Hons) Registered Midwife RM www.yorkstorks.co.uk
  • Maureen Treadwell – Co-founder of the Birth Trauma Association
  • Penny Christensen – Executive Director Birth Trauma Canada
  • Chris Warren – Registered Midwife RM www.yorkstorks.co.uk
  • Christa Greenacre – NCT teacher (retired)
  • Professor James Drife FRCOG