Sunday, October 30, 2011

Media reports on NICE guideline ahead of publication

The Sunday Times' front page today reads "All women get right to caesareans" - a story that's been followed up by many other newspapers, radio and television news* programmes.

And athough I was surprised to read the article ahead of the NICE final publication date, I have not been surprised by some of the negative reactions to the news.

Unfortunately, many of the comments being made highlight the desperate need for education about planned cesarean births, and particularly those on maternal request, but even so, it is absolutely incredible to think that as of November 2011, cesarean autonomy may finally be a reality for all women, and not just those who are lucky enough to meet with a supportive obstetrician or live in an area with a supportive hospital.

*I was interviewed live on Sky News at lunchtime today and am scheduled to talk on BBC Breakfast tomorrow morning.

Where have I been? I've been to London to visit the Queen

That's not actually true of course, but it rhymes a whole lot better than 'the MP Dr. Daniel Poulter'!

On Tuesday 25 October, I attended the APPG meeting on Maternity and Population, Development and Reproductive Health in Portcullis House, House of Commons, London.

Afterwards, I spoke briefly with Dr. Poulter, who is the APPG chair, and he agreed to present a letter containing my concerns about caesarean rate targets to the Department of Health.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Is an obsession with natural birth putting mothers and babies in danger?

This was the question posed yesterday, by reporter Jane Feinmann, in an article that is certainly worth reading.

I commented: "There is nothing wrong with supporting women to have a natural birth if this is their preference, but we should not put maternity policies in place that set out to encourage (and even force) natural birth for ALL women who have been labeled 'low risk'. It is impossible to be sure which pregnancies and births are low risk until the birth is over, and women should be fully informed of this. The fact is that no birth plan is inherently "safe" or risk-free, and it's about time we started measuring good practice based on the actual physical and psychological health outcomes of babies and women - and not a hospital or area's caesarean rate."